Selfie Portrait

Hi!  My name is Jim, and I am slightly obsessed with pencil drawing.  Sometimes I think I am possibly possessed because I am typically gripped by an idea for a piece, and the only relief is to “exorcise” the idea by using pencils to bring it into reality.

I love photorealism for the challenge of capturing all of the subtle details that reveal the distinct personalities of the subjects. I have a theory that a visual artist is a kind of illusionist, and there is something magical about using mere pencil and paper to fool our brains into seeing what it thinks is a photograph.  For that reason I also love hyperrealistic drawings, creating images and adding effects that our brains know can’t exist but are coerced into seeing as reality.  While my artwork may not be for everybody, most people appreciate the technical side of it and enjoy how I add a little bit extra to my pieces, whether that’s humour, darkness, an underlying message, or a visual effect.

My biggest passion is to create my own reference images and infuse my work with a subtle theme. Sometimes it’s dark or philosophical, sometimes light and humourous (why should cartoonists have all the fun?)  However, I also recently fell in love with working on commissions for those who have honoured me by requesting a customized piece.  Very few things are as rewarding as when I see a client getting lost in a drawing’s details, and sharing in the magic of creating something meaningful to them or their loved ones.  It’s also not uncommon that the reveal of a commission is accompanied by a few tears (the good kind!)

Born, raised, and living in Alberta, Canada, I almost literally stumbled into this drawing endeavour, although “limped” is more accurate:  a hip surgery in 2013 had me retire from sports and rediscover my childhood love of shading with pencils.  I can be found from time to time at pop up markets in southern Alberta, so be sure to follow along on social media to receive updates about those events.

Thanks for taking the time to visit me here at Drawings Without Borders, I sincerely appreciate it, and hope to hear from you soon!


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Awards and Recognition

– Selected as a finalist in the ‘The 49th International Artavita Artist of the Year’ online contest in December 2021
– Selected as contributor to ‘World Wide Art Magazine #6’, published in 2021
– Selected as contributor to ‘The Best of Drawing: 11th Annual Strokes of Genius Competition Winners’, Artists Magazine Winter 2020 special issue
– ‘First in Class’ for Drawings at the 2019 Calgary Stampede Western Showcase
– ‘Best in Section’ for Drawings at the 2018 Calgary Stampede Western Showcase
– ‘First Place’ in the Colors of Humanity Art Gallery 2018 ‘Black and White’ Show
– 2nd place in the Federation of Canadian Artists 2017 ‘Limitless’ Online Exhibition and Competition
– ‘Best in Section’ for Drawings at the 2017 Calgary Stampede Western Showcase
– ‘Best of Show’ in the Colors of Humanity Art Gallery 2017 ‘Black and White’ Show
– 3rd place in the Federation of Canadian Artists 2016 ‘Limitless’ Online Exhibition and Competition
– Selected as contributor to ‘Strokes of Genius 8: Expressive Texture’, published by North Light Books in 2016