Notes from a Lecture by James C. Christensen

On Friday, March 5, 2010, I attended a lecture by James C. Christensen at the Bridge Academy of Art in Provo, Utah. A truly fascinating experience. Below I’ve included some notes I took from his lecture:

• Influences:

Northern Renaissance

quirky perspective

attention to detail




19th Century Romantics / Pre-Raphaelites




• Paints “slower than the drift of continents.”

• ”The harder you work, the luckier you’ll get.”

• Likes the work of Andrej Dugin and Olga Dugina.

• According to BYU professor Martha Peacock, “He (JCC) was born in the wrong century.”

William Whitaker, a fellow professor at BYU, taught him how to paint in oils.

• Has a hard time working for money -- has to love what he’s doing; needs to be excited about it.

• Put in the time. Get good. 10,000 hours (Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”) of practicing your craft is what it will take to get good.

• Worked on the murals for the Nauvoo Temple.

• Uses small sable hair brushes for his work in oil.

• Contributed to the book, “Star Wars: Visions.” He painted a Cantina scene from Mos Eisley on Tattoine.

• Making money on PRINTS (Greenwich Workshop) and the originals allows him to justify to amount of time that he puts into a painting.

• Has 57 volumes of sketchbooks, works almost exclusively in ink, and relies on them for ideas, working out compostions, observational sketching, etc.

Below is a photo taken during the lecture by artist Justin Taylor of the Bridge Academy of Art. If you look closely, you’ll see me on the third row, my lovely wife is on my left in the dark jacket and magenta blouse.

christensen 3-10a1