James O'Shea

"On a very cold day last winter, my partner and I decided to walk on the railroad tracks from Bard to Tivoli and back again. I'm always surprised at how the trees and water seem not to mind the cold. Every tree was finely etched against the sky. A loon that would have gone unnoticed in June looked more lonely than hungry as it floated in the bay. The sound of our feet on the rocks on the tracks sounded so crisp and clear. So much of life's structure reveals itself when it goes into hibernation. There is so much that asks to be isolated and examined as it sleeps.

In summer, land and water melt into each other. There is so much color and so little to define it. An island with trees becomes a mass of incoherent green. Animals can make themselves invisible. Noises become blurs. There can be almost too much going on. Everything is fighting for attention.

When I was a kid, I would sometimes look deep into my father's face when he took a nap on a quiet Saturday afternoon. (Okay, I only did it two or three times.) It was a good way to get to know him. It was a good way to know how loving and kind he was.

No wonder we have winter. Winter makes the world understandable as the world rests up for spring.

These paintings, I hope, show a little bit more than a landscape's breadth and pith, to be known only when it is cold. I liked having to supply the color."

Oil on Canvas 2011

12 x 12 inch & 10 x 10 inch Paintings

Medium Oil Paintings on Canvas

Large Oil Paintings 2021-2023

13 x 16 (and thereabout) gouache on paper 2013

Palaestra Series 2008

24 x 24 inch oil on panel

Larger Works

Works on Wood Panel 2013

2019 Gouache on Paper

2015 Encaustic

Oil on Canvas 2015

9 x 12 Collages 2014

Collages 2011 - 2013

Works on Paper 2010-2011

5 x 7 oil on canvas


James O'Shea was born in 1952 in Buffalo, New York. He lived in London from 1970 to 1975 where he attended the City and Guilds of London Art School studying with Eric Morby. He also attended Goldsmith's College and the University of London, where he majored in printmaking. Moving to New York in 1975, he spent 10 years life drawing and investigating color. He experiments in most media, and is now primarily interested in oils and encaustic paints. In 2004, he exhibited his work at the Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford, Connecticut, in a one man show. In 2006 he exhibited at Paesaggio Fine Arts’ 100 Pearl Street Gallery in Hartford, Connecticut. O’Shea has also shown at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY, and the Guildhall in London. His work is included in many private collections. Mr. O’Shea divides his time between New York City and the Hudson River Valley.