At the age of 21, upon seeing nineteenth century French landscape paintings, Jim McVicker had an awakening to art. The beauty and sensitivity he saw in those works changed his perception of the world. Influenced by the French Impressionists – particularly Monet, Pissarro, and Sisley – he created his first plein air painting in 1973.
After attending art classes at Chaffey Community College in Southern California, in 1975 – at 24 years old – McVicker decided to become a full time painter. He moved from Ontario, California, where he was born and raised, in order to start a fresh life as a painter. He ultimately settled in Humboldt County, drawn there by the beauty of northern California, the art community, and the chance to live a quieter, rural life.
With the exception of a couple adventures elsewhere, McVicker has remained in Humboldt since 1977 and it is where his education and growth as a painter flourished. There were several accomplished artists in the area that he met through a life-drawing group. Three of them, Curtis Otto, James Moore and George Van Hook, became close friends as well as mentors. Working so closely with these talented artists, in combination with direct observation of nature and studying historical and contemporary art, was the way in which he learned to see.
In 1984, McVicker met his wife and fellow artist, Terry. Terry has been another major influence in his development as an artist, a constant partner and companion that broadens his vision and pushes his work. Painting from life, in both a studio on his property and outdoors, he oeuvre contains landscapes, still lifes and figure paintings. He paintings capture the light, atmosphere, space, and mysterious beauty all around us.