By Bonnie Gangelhoff
James Biggers is fortunate enough to call the area surrounding majestic Rocky Mountain National Park his home. But sometimes in winter, when temperatures drop to single digits, Biggers escapes to the sunny climes of Mexico for a brief respite. In this year’s Governor’s show Biggers is presenting VILLAGE LAGOON, a painting inspired by one of his recent forays to Puerto Vallarta, on the Pacific Coast of Mexico’s Bahia de Banderas.
Wherever he travels, near or far, Biggers packs his easel, paints, and brushes because, for decades now, he has relished the chance to paint on location. Indeed, he has been a plein-air painter for more than 30 years—long before “plein-air” was a buzzword with a certain cachet among collectors. “It used to bother me to set up on location because of the crowds,” he says. “But not so much anymore.”
Although he enjoys the inspiration he derives from excursions to Mexico, Europe, and Africa, he is equally comfortable painting Colorado’s snow-capped mountains and its patches of wildflowers in the summer. Despite his penchant for realism and representational imagery, his works often veer toward abstraction. He is fond of simplifying details while capturing the emotions he experiences when depicting a scene. “I like works that are painterly, and by that I mean those that are not so tightly painted,” Biggers says. “I think that a painting, to be successful, must grab you from a distance when you walk into a gallery.”
His main artistic mission is to convey a sense of beauty to viewers. “I don’t have a deep underlying meaning in most of my work,” he says. “I want it to possess a beauty that people would want to have in their homes, want to look at every day, and get a good feeling from.”
Featured in April 2012.