Originally from Glasgow, Jim moved to Ayrshire in 1977 and now resides in the town of Stewarton. He graduated from Glasgow School of Art in Drawing and Painting in 1967, trained at Jordanhill College and became a teacher. After eight years at Crookston Castle Secondary in Glasgow and 25 years as Principal Teacher of Art at Kilmarnock Academy, he left teaching in 2001 to concentrate on his painting. He has work on show in galleries across Scotland. Earlier developments in his work led away from a concentration on form and structure to a greater awareness of surface, and a tendency towards stronger and purer use of colour. ‘My main understanding of painting has always been through line, form and structure. Things like colour and texture for a long time had been something of a mystery. My struggle to come to grips with colour has led to an increased use of strong local colour and this in turn has led to greater experimentation with surface quality. Form and structure, however, is an always present ghost – something which I frequently try to deny, but can never completely escape from.’
A recurring theme in his work is that of the contrast between the mystery of power and the intrinsic beauty of nature – power in a fascination with ugliness, decay, aggression, and the beauty of strength – nature in its delicacy, in its ability to regenerate, and in the unrivalled attraction of its colours and textures.