James Heroux

Member since: 2017


Every child knows how to draw and color. They are always convinced that whatever they do is great – and they are right. Why else would Mom put it on the refrigerator if it wasn’t great? I don’t remember any of my childhood art but have no doubt it was on our family refrigerator gallery. In High School I was into band, history, drafting and math. What a strange combination to be good at. Some said with that kind of left brain/right brain combination I stood no chance in succeeding in life. What did they know? This was me they were talking about. I set a personal goal to do the very best I could at whatever I decided to do. With some encouragement I combined the art, drafting and math in a career in architecture.

Architecture is a profession that takes a long time to know the materials and techniques that work well together. Over time I became the lead designer for our firm. I was charged with working with clients to establish the form, size and function of their building needs. After retiring in 2012 I took a watercolor class from Miriam Henjum and was hooked on a new path. I wasn’t very good to start with, but like everything you just keep doing more and more. This was something I could do when it was too hot or rainy to play golf or tennis. The best part was there weren’t any clients to tell me how they wanted it done their way. When you get to make the decisions it’s a lot more fun.
When you begin to be as watercolor artist you start simply to understand your materials and what they can do and how to control them. After the first year I realize my art was stiff and uninteresting. I started to research other artists I liked to see how they did their work and why they art was interesting. My style developed because I tried to emulate their techniques. That got me to try a lot of different tricks and styles to loosen up. This was all a learning experience, some worked, and some didn’t. Through this research I discovered there is no “best” style or technique. Whether controlled or loose, accidental or planned when it works all together it becomes art. When it doesn’t work, throw it in the closet and never let it out again.

My goal in doing watercolor is to capture light and mood. Light is the source of all value, color, texture and form. Light creates a mood and an emotion. The works that I am most proud of capture the wonder and beauty this world shares with us every day. I enjoy the private time when the clock ceases to exist and it’s just me, my music and my art. My next painting is always going to be my best – well, ok, that was the intent. After six years of painting, I still consider myself an advanced beginner. I also teach beginning watercolor classes during the Spring, Summer and Fall. I am proud to be a member of Eastbank Art Gallery and The Great Plains Watercolor Society. Three artists that I think are worth checking out are: Steve Rogers, Jan Fabian Wallake, and Sterling Edwards.