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JAMES BURNETT--Abstract Paintings for Sale.  JAMES BURNETT--Oaxaca Series Watercolors for Sale.

Creative Process at Biddington's Art Gallery

Artist James Burnett looking at painting Current Exhibition: ABSTRACTION--JIM BURNETT and BART GULLEY
Shelnutt Gallery,Rensselear Polytechnic
15th Street & Sage Avenue, Troy, NY
April 6-May 15, 2006

James Burnett
"Lost Cities" Paintings

CREATIVE PROCESS visits the Tribeca and Hudson, New York studios of
non-objective painter James Burnett

Editor's Note: In the vernacular of art, "non-objective" refers to a painting not specifically representing a scene or an object: it might be called a gentle version of "abstract". Its opposites are words such as "representational" or "figurative".

BURNETT: In the late-1990's, I began a series of paintings called "Lost Cities". The name derives from the Greek root for the word "city" or "civilization". Cities were meant to be ideal places where people--friends--would meet and grow together. These paintings are non-specific journeys through the landscapes of my mind.

James Burnett
in His Tribeca Studio in 1999 with
Lost Cities #38

BURNETT: I'm excited about this body of work because it reconnects to a place I was going with my painting in my 20's. Now I am able to resolve issues I couldn't resolve at that time.

James Burnett figurative watercolor Window West 12th

BURNETT: I stopped doing the more abstract work and spent many years doing figurative painting. The two approaches are not as different as you might think: The way I organize space, for instance, remains consistent. From the period of figurative work, I learned what I wanted to do with the less specific, pure painting.

Window West 12th Street
Watercolor on Paper, 1975 (left)

James Burnett abstracted

BURNETT: My roots are in abstract expressionism. I've been afraid to call myself that since everyone who did is dead--even the second generation Abstract Expressionists who aren't much older than I am.

Lost Cities #37
Watercolor 1998 (right)

BURNETT: The earliest works in the Lost Cities series date from 1997 (before the show at Jo Rain Gallery in Dublin). I was trying to use an Albert Pinkham Ryder palette--moody, night colors. Ryder was my first hero and he's still my hero.

James Burnett oil from Dublin Show

James Burnett Lost Cities #18
Oil on Canvas, 1997

BURNETT: The earlier works in the series are pictorial; I'm trying to make the current ones more painterly. Besides Ryder, the other painter whose work is close to my ideal is Willem de Kooning in his Merritt Parkway and Havana series.

James Burnett pictorial watercolorJames Burnett painterly watercolor

pictorial (left) vs. painterly (right)

Lost Cities #25 (left)

Lost Cities #41 (right)

James Burnett Studio Worktable with Paints & Brushes

BURNETT: I work on various types of papers. On a heavy paper--like the Arches 300 lb. cold press--the pebbly surface is very hard; the paint rests on the surface. A lighter weight, hot press paper is more absorbent. Sometimes I have to stretch the lighter paper with tape around the edges to flatten it after painting. I adjust my handling of the paint to suit the surface.

Detail of Wilber Flats #7 James Burnett oil on canvas

BURNETT: In the past, I had found gouaches and watercolors easier than oil because I could work faster and more spontaneously--now I can achieve that in my oil paintings as well. The occasional dribbles are controlled to the extent that if I don't like them, I paint them out. With this type of painting you need to know when to quit--that's a cliché, but it's true.

Detail of James Burnett
Wilbur Flats #7 (right)
Oil on Canvas, 2003

BURNETT: When people ask me" "What's good art?" I don't talk to them about push/pull spatial relationships, or color harmony or paint handling. Good art is whatever's got class. That's something you work out over time. I don't think much about dates of paintings--mine or anyone else's. The Altamira cave paintings are some of the best gestural and figurative paintings ever made.

Artist James Burnett with Wilber Flats Twister

BURNETT: Following a transitional period in 2001-2002 when I moved my studio upstate, I began another phase in the Lost Cities series that I have named "Wilbur Flats". In these paintings, I'm covering the canvas or paper less; I use the white. I make a few broad strokes with a large brush. Gestural painting is an experience of time and space that you don't get elsewhere.

James Burnett
Wilbur Flats Twister
Oil on Canvas, 2003

BIDDINGTON'S offers for sale recent abstract works by the artist in

View JAMES BURNETT's representational works in these
Biddington's Galleries:
James Burnett pop art painting James Burnett cityscape James Burnett landscape James Burnett interior
Pop Art Cityscape Landscape Interior
Price range of artworks: $350-$5000

JAMES BURNETT Solo Exhibitions:
Conde Gallery (New York)
Chuck Harris (New York)
Robert Anthony (New York)
Sarah Renschler (New York)
Triangle Gallery (San Francisco)
Lighthouse (Hermosa Beach)

"Fanelli Show" OK Harris (New York)
Conde (New York)
Jo Rain (Dublin, Ireland)
Images (Fort Smith, AR)
Kronen (New York)
Vorpal (San Francisco)
Union Court Gallery (San Francisco)
Maxwell Gallery (San Francisco.)

JAMES BURNETT Awards & Credentials
Phelan Awards, Palace of the Legion of Honor, (San Francisco)
Jersey State College 1977-1980--Adjunct faculty watercolor and oil painting


CREATIVE PROCESS at Biddington's is designed as a forum for watching art in the making. Usually, this process happens in the privacy of the artist's studio. At BIDDINGTON'S Contemporary Art Gallery & upmarket, online art & antiques auction--we find it interesting to witness the steps leading to the end product and to hear the artists speak about their work in the relaxed surroundings of their own studios.

Contact Biddington's

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Nancy Azara Sculptor
Tova Beck-Friedman Sculptor & Mixed-Media Artist
Todd Bellanca Abstract Painter
Carol Bruns Bronze Figurative Sculptor
James Burnett Non-Objective Painter
Garrison Buxton Abstract Paintings on Paper
Cynthia Capriata Peruvian Painter & Printmaker
Catalina Chervin Argentine Surrealist Artist
Diane Churchill Expressionist Painter
John Clem Clarke Pop Artist
Lisa Dinhofer Illusionist Painter
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Harry Gordon Monumental Sculpture
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LA Hughes Pop Artist
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Babette Katz Narrative Printmaker and Book Artist
Richard Mock Abstract Painter & Linocut Printmaker
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Bill Murphy Contemporary Realist Painter
Jim Napierala Abstract Painter
Frances Pellegrini New York City & Fashion Photographer
Joseph Reeder Cross Media Artist Paintings & Ceramics
Laura Shechter Contemporary Realist Painter
Annemarie Slipper Figurative Ceramic Sculpture
Gary Slipper Fantasy Painter
Margaret Speer Landscape & Travel Paintings
Serena Tallarigo Marble Sculptor
Rein Triefeldt Kinetic Sculpture
Vivian Tsao Painter of Light
Nancy Van Deren Contemporary Painter
Joan Berg Victor Drawings from Nature
Edward Walsh Figurative Sculpture in Bronze, Marble & Steel
Kate Wattson Contemporary Colorist Painter
Betty Winkler Organic Minimalist Painter & Printmaker

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