James C. Leonard

James C. Leonard

James C. Leonard
James Leonard (b. 1949, American)   James Leonard has emerged as one of California’s leading abstract expressionist painters.  Leonard’s emotionally charged compositions, which at first appear purely abstract, often suggest embedded landscapes, figures, and objects. Working with acrylics on canvas or board, Leonard uses bold horizontal and vertical strokes and variegated color to suggest different moods, seasons, registers, art historic resonations, etc. While one work might convey a lacy, Rococo, light decorativeness, another might seize the viewer with high-contrast lights and darks and drastic strokes in a Baroque manner, deep with gravitas.  “Just as our lives unfold in unique and beautiful ways, so do my paintings have their own unique and individual expression. Most artists work from the outside in, the subject is outside of themselves. I work from the inside out,” says Leonard.  Abstract Expressionism or Action painting, which had its beginnings in Surrealism in Europe of the 1930s, came to full fruition in New York of the 1940s and ‘50s in a group called the Abstract Expressionists. Influenced by the Surrealists, who had re-settled in NYC due to Germany’s occupation of France, this younger generation of Americans is responsible for giving the U.S. its first ‘home-grown’ school of international art. Just as Jazz music was the first totally American musical form of international proportions, so Abstract Expressionism was a uniquely American language of art, which influenced artists on every continent. Even Picasso had to retort with his near-abstractions of the 1970s! Most artists work with brushes, while Leonard works with extended palette knives. “I’m pulling paint, layering one layer at a time, which creates a sense of history in the painting. It’s like looking at a fence post that’s been repainted over a period of time. You can see the different colors and layers.” In art-speak, this geometric depth of ground is known as ‘push-pull.’ What first appears as the ‘background’ may suddenly exceed to the forefront of the painting, while what a second ago seemed like the forefront, recedes. “Great art is such a surprise. It’s so enchanting, so delightfully unexpected and unpredictable. In order to create that, you have to drop the concept of imposing what you think it should be, and allow the work to evolve in its own way. That requires all the skills of listening, allowing – learning to quiet that part of our mind that is constantly telling us how things should be. For me, that’s the essence of creativity.” “Leonard’s compositions are non-representational and move the viewer’s eye vertically or horizontally across the space.  This basic movement is complicated by layers of dropped, speckled, and fragmented colors that infuse not only a rich language of color, but also a visual history left to be discovered by the eye as it moves across the surface. Leonard’s inventive layering process results in heavy impasto, or textured surfaces with a glossy, wet shine, making them particularly beautiful when seen in person.” – Urban Tulsa Weekly, 2010 “There can be thirty or forty layers in one painting, creating the feeling of a ‘waterfall.’  As a final touch, Leonard employs a technique he calls ‘sgraffito’ – scraping lines through the upper layers, so the colors of the ground layers show through. It’s a technique that demands courage and conviction; one misstep can destroy an entire painting.” – Art writer, critic, and curator Dallas Faulkner   EDUCATION 1976     Bachelor of Fine Arts, Fresno State University, Fresno, CARECENT EXHIBITIONS2017             Art Market San Francisco, Chloe Gallery    MUSEUM & JURIED EXHIBITIONS & PRIZES 2013     San Diego Contemporary Art Fair, CA 2012     Art Basel Miami, FL 2012     Bold Expressions International Exhibition, Carmichael, CA 2010     Andrews Art Museum, solo exhibition, Andrews, NC 2006     All-Abstract Show, Valley Art Gallery, “Second Place Award” 2005     Alameda Art Center, Contemporary Abstracts, Juror: Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle Art Critic 2004     San Diego Museum of the Living Artist, 47th Annual International Juried Award Exhibition, “Award of Excellence,” CA 2004     Albany Museum & Institute of History and Art, NY 2002     Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA 2001     Palm Springs Desert Museum, 32nd Annual National Juried Exhibition, “Artists’ Council Award,” CA 2000     San Diego Museum of Art, All-California Exhibition, “Silver Award,” CA 1999     The Artist's Magazine, “The Best of Art Competition, Experimental Category”   CORPORATE & PUBLIC COLLECTIONS 3-1 Corporation, Waltham, MA Abry Partners, Boston, MA Acadian Asset Management, Inc., Boston, MA Adobe Systems, San Francisco, CA Alumax Corp. Headquarters, Atlanta, GA Andrew Spangler, Spangler Law P.C., Longview, TX Appia Developments, Vancouver, Canada Arthur Anderson, San Francisco, CA Ascent Art Ventures, LLC., Dallas, TX Axis, Hamilton, Bermuda Biogen Inc., Cambridge, MA Boston Stock Exchange, Boston, MA Brookfield Power, Marlborough, MA Brookstone Inc., Amherst, NH Burns & Levinson, Boston, MA CB Richard Ellis, Walnut Creek, CA Cetrulo & Capone, Boston, MA Color Kinetics, Boston, MA College Park Music Dept., Pleasant Hill, CA Computer Associates International, NYC, NY Cornnuts Toasted Corn, Oakland, CA DDJ Capitol, Boston, MA Deloitte Consulting, Boston, MA Driscoll Agency, Boston, MA Dwyer & Collora, Boston, MA Edinboro University, Edinboro, PA Edwards & Angell, Boston, MA Ellen O. Tauscher, Congresswoman, 10th District Epstein Becker & Green, Boston, MA Factory Motor Parts, St. Paul, MN Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, Vancouver, Canada Fenway Ventures, LLC.,  Boston, MA filmtwist.com, San Francisco, CA Flanders, Douglas & Associates, Minneapolis, MN Florida Credit Union, Tallahassee, FL FM Global, Waltham, MA FSP Phoenix Tower, Ltd., Houston, TX Goodwin, Procter & Hoar, Boston, MA Hadco, Canton, MA Hale & Dorr Law Offices, Boston, MA Harvard Vanguard Medical Assn., Boston, MA Hyatt Regency, Vancouver, Canada Hinkie & Foran, Tallahassee, FL Hoffman Companies, Boston, MA Inn At The Opera Plaza, San Francisco, CA Interface Consulting Int., Houston, TX Integrated Financial Partners, Boston, MA. LOI, Inc., Boston, MA Issacson Miller, Washington, D.C. Jack Morton Worldwide, Boston, MA Joule Unlimited, Inc. Bedford, MA Kaiser Permanente Hospital, Vallejo, CA Kim Copeland Productions, Nashville, TN Larson-Juhl Corp., Craig & June Ponizo, Atlanta, GA Lifoka Grafische, Den Haag, Holland Loews Hotels, NYC, NY Looper, Reed, Mark & McGraw, Houston, TX Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA Mathematica Policy Research, Washington, D.C. Mayer, Brown, Rowe, & Maw, Washington, D.C. Meany & Oliver, McLean, VA MFA Moody, Famigliette & Andronico, Tewksbury, MA Mirion Technologies Inc., San Ramon, CA Mopar, Detroit, MI Motorola Company, Dallas, TX NASA, Stennis Space Center, Starkville, MS National Development, Boston, MA Pacific Union Real Estate, San Francisco, CA Palmer & Dodge, Boston, MA Pilko & Associates, Houston, TX Prince, Lobel, Glovsky & Tye, Boston, MA Sage Hill Partners, Cambridge, MA Sanford Bernstein, San Francisco, CA Schnaeder, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, Law Offices, Atlanta, GA SCM Microsystems, Los Gatos, CA Scudder, Stevens & Clark, Boston, MA Shire Pharmaceuticals, Boston, MA Simplex Inc., Boston, MA Skadden, Arps, Slate, & Flom, Boston, MA Sky Across, Tokyo, Japan Soundboard Consulting Group, LLC, Boonton Township, NJ Stonebridge Associates, Boston, MA Summit Bank, Oakland, Walnut Creek & Emeryville, CA Sunset Magazine Idea House, 1999 Symantec Corporation, NYC, NY & Cupertino, CA Thomas Mizo Chadwick, Saylor & Co., Los Angeles, CA Tisbury Capital, Boston, MA Total System Services, Columbus, GA Tufts Dental School, Boston, MA Unicco, Auburndale, MA USAA Law Offices, San Francisco, CA Washington Real Estate Investment Trust, Rockville, MD Wilmer Hale, NYC, NY Wusthof Knives, Solingen, Germany Xl Corp. Hamilton, Bermuda   CRITICAL REVIEWS 2012     Galleries West Magazine              Valley Sentinel, Pleasanton, CA 2010     Artnews Magazine              Urban Tulsa Weekly, Tulsa, OK 2008     Bottom Line, Palm Desert 2006    Contra Costa Times 2004    San Diego News 2000    Laguna News Post 1999    The Artist's Magazine, Best Art of Art: Experimental Category, “Honorable Mention”             www.about.com 1998    The Santa Fe New Mexican             The Guild             Art Expressions Magazine 1997    St. Louis Post Dispatch   CAREER 1980 –1993     Art Instructor, Mt. Diablo Unified School District, developmentally disabled adults, Lafayette, CA   PHILANTHROPIC DONATIONS USC/LAC Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA HIV/AIDS Foundation, Houston, TX Larry King Cardiac Foundation, Auction, Beverly Hills, CA World Vision Inc., NYC, NY Open Hands Project, Santa Fe, NM Joe Morgan Invitational, Oakland, CA Canadian Cancer Society, Vancouver, B.C. Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation, Inc. Summit Bank Foundation, Oakland, CA Parkinson's Foundation, San Jose, CA Make-a-Wish Foundation, San Francisco, CA Sunnyhills Children’s Garden, San Anselmo, CA Mt. Diablo Ballet, Walnut Creek, CA Habitat For Humanity, Mt. Diablo, CA Lycée Français, La Perouse, San Francisco, CA  
Artist

Artwork

Color Found Within
James C. Leonard

Color Found Within

acrylic on canvas

48 x 36 in

Nature Speaks To You
James C. Leonard

Nature Speaks To You

acrylic on canvas

54 x 54 in

Blue Days
James C. Leonard

Blue Days

acrylic on canvas

36 x 72 in

Down South
James C. Leonard

Down South

Acrylic on Canvas

24 x 24 in

Light Upon Light (diptych)
James C. Leonard

Light Upon Light (diptych)

Acrylic on Board

24 x 48 in

Night Moves
James C. Leonard

Night Moves

Acrylic on Canvas

54 x 54 in

Rain in Maui
James C. Leonard

Rain in Maui

acrylic on canvas

60 x 60 in

Sending You Flowers
James C. Leonard

Sending You Flowers

Acrylic on Canvas

36 x 60 in

Thoughts of Monet
James C. Leonard

Thoughts of Monet

oil on canvas

36 x 72 in

Untitled Works on Paper #6
James C. Leonard

Untitled Works on Paper #6

Acrylic on Paper

16.50 x 24 in

White Frost
James C. Leonard

White Frost

oil on canvas

36 x 36 in

Gulf Stream
James C. Leonard

Gulf Stream

acrylic on canvas

36 x 36 in

Sunsets Daily 1 (Part of Diptych)
James C. Leonard

Sunsets Daily 1 (Part of Diptych)

acrylic on canvas

16 x 20 in

Blue Water Falls
James C. Leonard

Blue Water Falls

Acrylic on Canvas

36 x 72 in

Green Juicy Pears
James C. Leonard

Green Juicy Pears

Acrylic on Board

24 x 20 in

Looking Back
James C. Leonard

Looking Back

Acrylic on Canvas

72 x 60 in

Nothing but Blue Skies
James C. Leonard

Nothing but Blue Skies

acrylic on canvas

36 x 72 in

Roses Are Red
James C. Leonard

Roses Are Red

oil on canvas

36 x 72 in

Splash of Red
James C. Leonard

Splash of Red

Acrylic on Board

24 x 20 in

Today's Your Day
James C. Leonard

Today's Your Day

Acrylic on Board

24 x 20 in

Untitled Works on Paper #8
James C. Leonard

Untitled Works on Paper #8

Acrylic on Paper

16.50 x 24 in

Yellow Butterflies
James C. Leonard

Yellow Butterflies

Acrylic on Board

24 x 20 in

Island Visit
James C. Leonard

Island Visit

acrylic on canvas

32 x 42 in

Sunsets Daily 2 (Part of Diptych)
James C. Leonard

Sunsets Daily 2 (Part of Diptych)

acrylic on canvas

16 x 20 in

Colors of Rainbow
James C. Leonard

Colors of Rainbow

Acrylic on Canvas

54 x 54 in

High Seas (2 of 2)
James C. Leonard

High Seas (2 of 2)

Acrylic on Canvas Board

24 x 20 in

Nature Sings
James C. Leonard

Nature Sings

Acrylic on Board

36 x 36 in

Open Ocean (1 of 2)
James C. Leonard

Open Ocean (1 of 2)

Acrylic on Canvas Board

24 x 20 in

Running Around
James C. Leonard

Running Around

Acrylic on Board

18 x 24 in

Spring Flowers
James C. Leonard

Spring Flowers

acrylic on canvas

36 x 72 in

Untitled Works on Paper #1
James C. Leonard

Untitled Works on Paper #1

Acrylic on Paper

20 x 34 in

Untitled Works on Paper #9
James C. Leonard

Untitled Works on Paper #9

Acrylic on Paper

16.50 x 24 in

Kanagawa (Great Waves Series)
James C. Leonard

Kanagawa (Great Waves Series)

acrylic on board

24 x 18 in

Before Spring (diptych)
James C. Leonard

Before Spring (diptych)

Acrylic on Board

24 x 48 in

Dining Out (Table)
James C. Leonard

Dining Out (Table)

Furniture Mixed Media

31 x 38 x 78 in

Last Movements
James C. Leonard

Last Movements

acrylic on canvas

48 x 68 in

Nature Speaks To You, Again
James C. Leonard

Nature Speaks To You, Again

acrylic on canvas

54 x 54 in

Outside
James C. Leonard

Outside

Oil on Board

36 x 36 in

Seeing You Again
James C. Leonard

Seeing You Again

Acrylic on Board

34 x 34 in

The Blues 1949
James C. Leonard

The Blues 1949

Acrylic on Board

24 x 40 in

Untitled Works on Paper #4
James C. Leonard

Untitled Works on Paper #4

Acrylic on Paper

16.50 x 24 in

Walking Through The Woods
James C. Leonard

Walking Through The Woods

Acrylic on Canvas

72 x 72 in

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