Artist Statement

About Jim

Jim Potterton is originally from New York, born in Brooklyn and raised on the South Shore of Long Island. As a boy he would wander for hours exploring the local woods and waterways. He reveled in the experience of adventure and discovery in the outdoors. Jim often entertained himself by drawing and doodling in his school notebooks. He attended schools that offered no formal art classes, so he just drew what he wanted for fun.

In his early thirties, he began a long career as a college labor studies and psychology professor at San Jose City College.  He took advantage of the college’s art program and enrolled in art classes taught by several notable Bay Area artists including Joe Zirker, Eve Page-Mathias and Luis Gutierrez.  From his downtown Santa Cruz studio Jim now produces work that has earned him a spot as a Santa Cruz Open Studios artist beginning in 2006 to the present. His work has won awards in major painting competitions in the San Francisco Bay Area and in New York City. In 2016 the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History purchased one of his works as part of an exhibit celebrating the geology of the Big Sur Coast. A recent piece of his public art features the endangered Santa Cruz Tarplant that grows in a meadow near his home in Santa Cruz.

For more about Jim and to see an on-line gallery of his paintings visit:

                                                      Artist's Statement

When I make art  its about getting to know myself and the  environment in a very intimate way. It means digging in,  participating with paint, water, brushes, canvas, and paper in a messy, physical manner. I love engaging with these elements of the sense world and using them to shape images that reflect an emotional response. I often pace back and forth when I'm painting. I notice the joy of movement that accompanies me in these creative moments. For me it is an opportunity to navigate the inaccessible regions that test my tolerance for confusion, uncertainty and ambiguity.

I mostly paint from memory  and use reference photos I take on my phone as a starting place.  Photos serve as a reminder and are soon put aside as I begin a dialogue with the marks I make and the feelings they evoke. It is  a ceaseless source of wonder and surprise that keeps me coming back to my studio for another adventure.



330 Sims Rd, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA

831 332 9324
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