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Jim Lammers

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Jim had never painted or drawn until four years ago, in 2014. Jim’s affinity for painting surprised everyone around him not the least of all, Jim. This discovery now has him painting 6-7 days a week. He begins painting early in the morning and continues until early evening - eight to twelve hours a day. Jim sees each of his paintings as a puzzle to be solved, as a search for something unseen. 

His understanding of what he does is evolving. Jim looks for light and shadows, contrasts, reflections, an unusual perspective, and mood, all of that captured in a compelling moment in time, somewhere on the street or sidewalk, in a building, or on the highway. He often takes dozens of photos and returns to the site several times, day and night and in the rain when possible. Jim’s paintings are his cumulative impression of that place based on those varied exposures. He uses only oil paint, brushes, pencils, and straight edges, never tracings or projections, to create his paintings. 

 In his second year of painting, five of Jim’s works were accepted into the 2016 Marin County Fair. "Cadillac" won the 2016 Fair Theme Award. Three of his paintings were included in the 2017 Marin County Fair and “Sax” was awarded third place for oil painting. 

Jim’s past lives include work as a ranch hand in Montana; as an ecologist (on live rabid animals, on mosquito predators in Arkansas rice fields, on pine trees in East Texas), conducting water chemistry tests near a nuclear plant, and as a necropsy assistant; his research on invasive species was awarded a $200,000 National Science Foundation grant. After beginning a PhD at UC Berkeley, Jim’s academic life was disrupted when it was discovered that a UC Berkeley prof was embezzling from the grant. The Feds were not happy. Jim made a major life change and worked as a VISTA volunteer establishing literacy programs in California, including one for refugee women, and then earned his teaching credential from UC Berkeley. He was a teacher for thirteen years in the SF Bay Area and Marin County Teacher of the Year in 1999. He’s in his fourth reinvention, as a painter, a true vocation that he believes fits him better than anything he’s ever done. The discovery of painting has changed his life.

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