James Ferris | workinprogress

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WipArtExhibit - "life is a work in progress"

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James Ferris

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James has been working with Scratchboard since 2000. He stumbled upon it while taking a painting class under the instruction of artist Helen Marioncu. James wanted to learn to paint, but the class was designed to explore other mediums to enhance perspective, and develop other techniques that could be applied to painting. 

When Marioncu introduced Scratchboard to the class, she instantly recognized James understood "negative space" that is commonly a challenge for many artists, and is quite critical to success with Scratchboard. Upon her suggestion, James put his pursuit of painting on hold to explore his expression in Black and White, and hasn't really looked back.

James draws on personal experiences for inspiration, continuously exploring how simple lines can tell powerful stories, and how strong contrast captures our imagination. "What really creates the texture and fabric of what we see?" James tries to answer this question, not by what he adds or puts into his work, but by what he leaves out.

"I like to think of a work as a room. There is always a defined amount of space, and what matters is how you use that space. And if you fill up the room completely, there is nowhere for the viewer to come into the room. You must leave space for them to come inside, and share and explore the perspective, the feeling, the moment, and the understanding."

Most recently, James has been exploring printmaking with linocuts. Like scratchboard, "reduction printing" success is determined not by what is added to the work, but by what is left out or taken away.