About James

James Swanson OPA & AIS Oil painter Bio

The Artist James Swanson is from Wisconsin originally and was going to be a Forest Ranger in College, but found he was better at painting trees than identifying them. So James transferred to a professional art college and never looked back.

     James received his BFA at The Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio in 1983.  After graduation James moved to Chicago and set up shop and became a successful Illustrator working for Ad Agencies and Magazines, a few of his clients he worked with were Budweiser, The Belmont, ESPN, US Open, The USA Olympic Volleyball Team, McDonalds, and Soap Box Derby.

     James has made an excellent transition from Illustration to Fine Art and has representation with numerous Galleries across the United States.

     His eclectic fine art oil painting project "The Artist and the Traveler" has drawn rave reviews from everyone who has seen it. The oil paintings from the project by themselves have received a number of “Best of Show" and other awards from exhibitions around the country. Making Oil Paintings from traveler’s journeys keeps him inspired and surprised. "I am in awe of this world, and want to paint every part of it."

     James's latest news is being named as a Signature member of the Oil Painters of America. He was awarded the honor by having multiple works accepted into their highly competitive National and Regional Juried exhibitions. James also asked to be a judge of the 2016 East Regional show for the Oil Painters of the America's 2016 exhibition in Cincinnati Ohio.

James’s latest painting award is his painting "Loaded Down Woman" won the Quinquagenary Grand Prize in Painting at the 73rd Annual Wabash Valley Exhibition at the Swope Art Museum, and then was bought for the Art Museum. And to top it all off another painting James had in the show "A Winters Walk" won a purchase award and will be staying at the art museum too.


2019 James has had his paintings accepted in:

AIS Small works show

OPA National Exhibition at the Steamboat Springs Art Museum in Steamboat Springs, CO.


AIS National Exhibition at the Peninsula School of Art - Guenzel Gallery in Fish Creek, WI


NOAPS America’s Best National Exhibition at the Richland Art Gallery in Nashville TN


OPA Eastern Regional Exhibition at the McBride Gallery in Annapolis MD


Virtuosos of the OPA at the Cutter & Cutter Fine Art in St. Augustine, FL


Virtuosos of the OPA Cutter & Cutter Fine Art in St. Augustine, FL

NOAPS America’s Best Small Works National Exhibition at the RS Hanna Gallery in Fredericksburg, TX


The Emerald Isle Show at the McCord Gallery Palos IL- Best of Show


2019 Arkansas Territory Bicentennial Art Exhibition

AIS Small WorksNational Exhibition at the Crooked Tree Art Gallery in Petoskey, Michigan


James Swanson Fine Art .708.606.2742 . james@jamesswansondesign.com  © james swanson 2017

James Swanson OPA AIS Signature Artist

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