Brittany James graduated from Montclair State University with a BFA degree concentrated in oil painting in 2009 and has been a full-time artist and muralist ever since. As a Jersey Shore native, James began painting in Island Heights with mentor Elaine Sgambati and was inspired by the beauty of her surroundings. Nature has always been a big influence in her work . All of James’ paintings are derived from a combination of photo references and imagined scenes to create the surreal images she paints today. Most of her paintings are of surreal or fantasy-like subject matter, inspired by the relationships between women and nature, astronomy, astrology.
James’ philosophy is that artists are seekers, always trying to understand the underlying, hidden truths. Nothing is exactly as it seems and reality is often hidden behind illusions. She has represented this theme in many of her paintings which are often inspired by dreams, memories, and life experiences. She is currently focused on the struggle some women face trying to find the delicate balance between wanting to be feminine and domestic, versus wild and free, and trying to be both at the same time. As a further emphasis on the relationship between reality and illusion, she uses a technique of dripping many layers of turpentine mixed with oil paint down the canvas before adding the images on top. This creates a break in the realism of the painting.
In addition to painting, James teaches art classes for children and teens at Inspired Minds Fine Art School in Lincroft. She also teaches painting classes for adults at art629 Gallery and runs an open studio for local artists. She is experienced in oil painting, acrylic murals, performance art, charcoal drawing, pastel, life drawing, printmaking, and sculpture.
James has painted live on stage at the State Theater in New Brunswick and the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park during Glen Burtnik’s British Invasion shows, and was part of a performance art piece during the Summer of Love concert at Count Basie Theater in Red Bank. She has been a muralist and featured artist for the Asbury Underground Art & Music Crawl, and has shown her work in several New Jersey galleries including Torche Gallery and Belmar Arts Center in Belmar, Art629 Gallery in Asbury Park, and George Segal Gallery in Montclair. She was recently commissioned to paint a very large mural in Keansburg New Jersey, which can be seen on Main Street.
James says, “The healing therapy of art- making and self-expression has been very important to me throughout my life as well, and is something I continue to share with others through painting. I could not be who I am today without the ability and freedom to channel my thoughts onto a canvas. Whether it be through creating or teaching, I want to continue to make an impact on others lives through art. That makes me feel like I am doing my job as an artist.”
2019 "Transcendent Impressions", Group Exhibition at Alfa Art Gallery, New Brunswick, NJ
2018 "Portraits", Group Exhibition at art629 Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ
2018 "Shore Enough", Group Exhibition at Local Vision Fine Art Gallery, Red Bank, NJ
2018 “Spring Fever”, Group Exhibition at Local Vision Fine Art Gallery, Red Bank, NJ
2018 Solo Exhibition, "Escapism", Belmar Arts Center, Belmar, NJ
2017 "Metamorphosis", Art629 Exhibit with Patrick Schiavino, Asbury Park, NJ
2016 Solo Exhibition, "Return of Saturn", Concrete Gallery, Red Bank NJ
2016 "The Locals", Group Exhibition at Art629 Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ
2015 Spring Group Exhibition, Torche Gallery, Belmar, NJ
2014 "The Locals", Group Exhibition at Art629 Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ
2014 Fall Group Exhibition, Torche Gallery, Belmar, NJ
2013 Summer Group Exhibition, Torche Gallery, Belmar, NJ
2011 Solo Exhibition, "27: A Musical Art Show", CoWerks Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ
2009 BFA Group Exhibition, George Segal Gallery, Montclair, NJ
2008 Solo Exhibition, "Something Pretty" Gallery 3.0, Montclair, NJ
- Oil/Acrylic Painting Instructor, Life Drawing Instructor, Resident Artist and Curator at Art629 Gallery, Asbury Park NJ 2014- Present
- Art Teacher at Inspired Minds Fine Art School, Lincroft & Brielle NJ, 2012- Present
- Private School Art Teacher at WeExcel LLC, Toms River NJ, 2010-2012
- Art Teacher at West Hudson Council for the Arts, Kearney NJ, 2008-2009
- Manager of Galeria Classica, Spring Lake NJ, 2008-2010