Jim Vose is a native Minnesotan. He practiced corporate law for more than three decades in Minneapolis, while trying to find time for his avocations, painting and reading philosophy. As he wound down his law practice he became an evening student at The Atelier, in Minneapolis.The Atelier conducts a studio program for instruction in fine art, specifically teaching the techniques of classical realist painting. The founder of The Atelier, prominent American painter Richard Lack (1928-2009), was also one of the founders of the American classical realist movement. After a number of years as an evening student at The Atelier Jim became a full time painter.
Jim works principally in still life, using the methods and practices of classical realism. His paintings depict a broad range of objects, including, for example, flowers, musical instruments, hand tools, fruit, vegetables, and even, in one case, colorful bowties owned by a client. In his still life work he is inspired by Dutch and Spanish still life painters from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Jim is particularly interested in the work of Spanish painters who produced so-called “bodegon” paintings—paintings depicting items of food (fruit, vegetables, fish, bread, and so on) and everyday objects connected with the preparation and consumption of food. In these paintings the artist challenges himself to discover the aesthetic qualities of ordinary “stuff.”
Beyond matters of technique and method, Jim finds still life painting to be a poetic exercise, and also a philosophic one, in the sense that still life is fertile ground on which to investigate the extent to which we impose meaning on the world, or instead extract meaning from it.
Jim often works on commission in order to meet his clients’ thematic interests, color schemes and size requirements (his work ranges from small six inch square pieces to larger pieces up to five feet wide), sometimes incorporating into his work objects that are of personal significance to the client.