Artist James McGrew

An example of fine art by James McGrew

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James McGrew first backpacked in Yosemite at just four months old and subsequent family camping/backpacking trips inspired an early interest in art and nature as he was constantly drawing and painting.  He began using pastels at age 8 and his father's oils at 10.  Today he is best known for his oil paintings interpreting western National Parks.  A strong background in natural sciences (degrees in biology, chemistry and geology and grad work for M.S. in Environmental Ed) help James understand his natural subjects as well as to carry on the tradition of 19th century artists whose images helped to establish the first national parks.   He also lends his art background to his work as a summer seasonal Yosemite ranger/naturalist as he has for the past 21 Summers. His primary objective in painting is to help inspire love and protection of our national parks and environment as a whole. 
James prefers to paint direct from life and often works up to about 30x40 en plein air.  However, he creates his most refined and largest paintings in the studio from his plein air references. He hikes or backpacks several hundred miles a year, looking for unique perspectives and a deeper connection with nature.  He works to create paintings which not only visually portray a scene, but convey the emotions of the actual experience.  Although inspired by a combination of Romanticism and Impressionism, McGrew paints with a style that is largely self taught and uniquely his own.  
McGrew’s paintings hang in collections around the world and have shown in numerous solo shows, national and international exhibitions and plein air invitationals, receiving many awards including best of show at Grand Canyon Celebration of Art and Maui Plein Air Invitational, the prestigious Zion Foundation Award, and many People’s/Collector's Choice Awards at Grand Canyon, Zion, Sedona, [...]

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