James Bland is a figurative artist who enjoys the surprises and the surrender of control that oil painting uniquely offers. Memory, folklore and dreams are the main subjects of his work and his paintings offer tantalising glimpses of narratives alongside the rigorously-observed depictions of light and form.

James studied at Canterbury Christ Church University and is a member of the New English Art Club and Contemporary British Portrait Painters.

James paints in oils but first develops his ideas in sketchbooks before setting up his compositions in the studio with models and homemade props. As they progress, his paintings move away from being purely from direct observation towards memory and imagination. James revises his paintings substantially, giving them latitude to change and depart from the original motif - a method inspired by Giorgione and Georges Braque. Objects, locations and figures might be painted out or in, canvases re-stretched and colour schemes completely altered.

The alchemy of this unpredictable process is what gives each painting its unique character and excitement.
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