plein-air-self-portrait-233x300 Jim McVicker, Plein Air Self Portrait – 18″x14″, oil on canvas, 2015. First Place, Plein Air Magazine Salon Competition  $15,000 award plus cover story in the September 2015 issue

“I think that’s what the artist does, we (artists), can take something out there that I think for most people is just a jumble of visual assault, that they aren’t able to zero in on the beauty of it.” -from Jim McVicker: A Way of Seeing

photographed by Joseph Wilhelm,

photographed by Joseph Wilhelm,                                            Jim McVicker, Morning Light North Coast, oil on linen – 36″ x 60″

I had seen Jims’ work in puplications and had been impressed, and as I had mentioned in an earlier newsletter, I first met Jim when I was participating in the 10th Annual Sedona Plein Air Festival and Jim was the judge. He did a presentation of his life and work, and quite honestly, I was blown away. Not just by the quality of the work, which is magnificent, but by the quality of the artist. Jims’ passion and dedication exudes from his work and is matched by his humility and gentle nature. These are qualities I look for in an instructor. Jim McVicker’s reputation for painting what he sees, capturing light, and personal interpretation precede him. As an instructor, he is a natural: he is thorough, encouraging, and thoughtful. He spends copious amounts of quality time demonstrating techniques live on the canvas, within a variety of settings. As we travel to different exotic locations in and around the Casa, Jim will visit and coache each participant on-site sharing techniques and valuable feedback geared toward each painters needs and preferences.

rail crossing 12x16 Jim McVicker, Rail Crossing, oil on panel – 12″ x 16″

“I want the landscape itself, or still life, or the person I am painting to dictate the direction the painting is going to go. I want to, (I know it’s impossible but), I want to approach it as open as I can, so I’m not coming there with preconceived ideas about how I’m going to paint something. I want what I’m looking at to…kinda talk to me, which it does…” -from Jim McVicker: A Way of Seeing

Jim will paint a small demo the first morning to show his process for starting a landscape: “How I work over the entire canvas in order to develop the painting as a unified whole, working on land, trees, water and sky so the painting grows with a cohesive feeling and not as separate parts. I block in the painting so the whole canvas is covered and feels right within the first half hour, and then move on to develop the painting. I’ll work with the drawing of the landscape, with shapes, values, and color. I will describe my process, how I see and simplify what I see, with a focus on design and values which will give your work a completeness throughout the process.”

cresent city rocks, 12x16,oil on linen panelCresent City Rocks, 12×16, oil on linen panel

Join Jim as we paint on the beach in front of the Casa – (or in the open air Casa studio), with the fishing boats, exotic birds, waves, river, village and mountains all around us. Experience the gorgeous rock formations of the Mexican Pacific coast as we take a boat trip, (with opportunity of seeing whales, dolphin, tortoise and mantas) and then onto sketch and picnic at a beautiful beach. Spend the day painting incredible flora and vistas as we make the hacienda at the award winning Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens our studio where they serve us a delicious lunch. Step back in time as we spend the day painting in and around the zocalo of the quaint  mountain town of El Tuito, stopping only to have a sumptuous lunch in the patio garden of a hacienda style restaurant off the town square. We are excited to host Jim at the Casa in January, to watch him work first hand and to get to know him better. Experience all this and more when you join Jim McVicker for Plein Air Painting in Paradise at Casa de los Artistas.