In the Audubon Tradition Exhibition
About James Coe
James Coe is an artist with a passion for birds, nature and our rural heritage. Jim grew up in the suburbs of New York City and was captivated by the shorebirds he saw in nearby marshes and inlets. He studied biology at Harvard and later received a master’s degree in painting from Parson’s School of Design.
Jim began his art career in illustration and is best known as the author and illustrator of the acclaimed Golden Field Guide Eastern Birds. After spending 15 years painting bird identification plates, Jim stepped back across the divide into the world of ‘fine’ art, to
Jim was honored in 2011 as Master Wildlife Artist by the Woodson Art Museum. He is represented in the permanent collections of the New York State Museum, Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon, Hiram Blauvelt and Woodson Art Museums, and the Bell Museum of Natural History. Jim was the subject of a feature in the September 2017 issue of Harvard Magazine. His work has been featured also in Wildlife Art, American Art Collector, and Plein Air magazine. His paintings have appeared on the covers of Sanctuary, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Birding World, and The Auk, professional journal of the American Ornithologist’s Union.
Jim lives with his wife Karen in Hudson Valley, not far from Albany, NY. He maintains a studio in their restored
Oil on linen
40 x 30
Some paintings flow with ease and inspiration. This was not one of them! Winter’s Eve has been in the works−on and off the easel−for more than five years. It began as an enlargement of a successful smaller painting of the same view, depicting a creek just about a mile from home. But larger paintings often beget bigger problems. And I have struggled to find the suitable degree of resolution and detail in the landscape at this large scale. Early on, I cropped the bottom of the canvas to re-format the composition and direct attention towards the horizon. Later I infused the entire scene with the warm orange and pinks of the sky to unify and subdue the complexity of the marsh and distant tree line. And repeatedly, in frustration, I would set the canvas aside, only to take it up months later, sanding down the top layers of paint and reworking the entire surface. I lost count how many times I reworked it. But the painting finally glows with the peaceful evening light and mysterious shadows that originally inspired me.
High in the Pine
Oil on linen
24 x 20
Every year, the highlight of the Woodson Museum’s Birds in Art opening weekend is the artists’ outing to Lake Catherine in northern Wisconsin’s lake country.
Oil on linen
24 x 30
This little red-morph Eastern Screech-Owl was a