home | portfolios | commissions | itinerant artist project | exhibits and talks | press | bio | contact

News / Features


Landscape Lottery Results, from a recent installation in Andover, MA



2014 Dazzle, Great Lakes, Watercolors
2013 Saltonstall, Memphis, Ani Interview
2012 Phoenix, Aspen, the Dorsey Blog
2011 Ithaca, Brooklyn, Out of Bounds
2010 ROC-ART Tour
2009 Boston, China, Rome
2008 IAP Tour & Today Show
2007 IAP New England Tour


Back in grad school, one of my advisors, George Bayliss, gave me a memorable assignment: complete 24 large paintings in 12 hours...then throw them out. They were done in acrylic on sheets of cheap paper, about 30" x 40" on average. The idea was to get the paint flowing, get the body involved, forget about being careful, and push through some ideas. It was draining and exhilarating at the same time, and, because of the scale, the exercise felt more athletic than poetic.

For years I talked about the painting marathon ("no I didn't throw them out. I even sold a few of them...") as if it were a one-shot rite of passage, part of a mythic past. Then a few weeks ago, while fondly recalling the exercise once more, it struck me that I could do it again if I wanted to. Why not?

This time, having miscalculated the number of large sheets I could get from a roll of paper, I settled for 16 paintings in 8 hours, and they were a bit smaller on average. And I worked on the floor instead of tacking the sheets to a wall. If I ever get around to photographing the results, I'll post them here.

Meanwhile I recommend the exercise to any one who feels inclined. I plan to do it once a year now. I further recommend quickly priming the paper at the outset; it's a good warm-up, and the paint will behave better.


Lobster Boats Near McLoon's, South Thomaston, ME, at right, is the latest card available in the IAP card collection. It was inspired by a trip to Maine for my cousin Molly's wedding. Also new this past year are Elizabeth's Island and Island Pine.

Click on card image to reach the website's gift shop. Although the gift shop currently is not at full functionality, feel free to check it out and to contact me if interested in ordering / purchasing anything.



Back around the age of 5 or 6, when I began to take art seriously, my main interest was birds, connecting with nature by drawing and painting birds. As I grew older, the focus expanded to landscape, the overall visual environment. Art became a realm to explore for its own sake. The sense of connection I was after could be achieved through the process of interacting with materials and nature, through expression as much as through depiction.

In recent years, however, I've grown more conscious of how much I still enjoy birds, and they have been working their way back into my paintings – often subtly, sometimes as the main subject. My new Bird Art page shows some examples.


Plans are in the works for Itinerant Artist Project (IAP) tours of California and various parts of the northeast in 2015. Timing has yet to be determined, but it's never too early to contact me about hosting or about arranging an IAP talk for your school, museum, cultural center, or art group.

You can learn more about the project and hosting in the IAP section of this website. If you're interested or want to know more, email me.



Shown at right are two of the 55 paintings installed for a recent exhibit at Phillips Andover Academy. Works on display were selected from the last four Itinerant Artist Project (IAP) tours and the 2015 Landscape Lottery project.

The IAP involves collaboration at every stage, and the hosting artist / art instructor, Emily Trespas, did an impressive job of selecting and arranging the 55 paintings into meaningful clusters. Talking with her students was a lot of fun; many had an inspiring degree of interest in fine art.

Other highlights included lunch at the dining hall, where you can get a pile of vegetables at the wok bar and have it all stir-fried while you wait (and wait, but still...); and the opening night, where a good crowd - not all of them required to attend - listened to talks from me and fellow exhibitor Jonathan Nix


Two Andover students asked if I had advice for a young artist, which threw me off a little, since I still feel like a young artist looking for good advice.

It's hard to know what to say in a world where an art critic of Jed Perl's stature can plausibly assert that "the 21st century is proud to be done with the ideal." That may be all the more reason for creative people to follow their hearts, pursue their visions, make work that embodies ideals, and hopefully also live life in ways that embody ideals. The work worth doing is now the work of creative resistance, though: it's in the margins, not the mainstream, and it isn't easy to get by. But it can be rewarding.


Prepare to be Dazzled was the title of an article written by Melissa Pheterson about my game, Dazzle, and the spin-off app and how much she enjoyed playing them both. The article appeared in the August issue of Rochester Magazine.

Dazzle is a game of chance and design that can be played competitively or cooperatively as an interactive art form. It was inspired by African textiles, Anasazi ceramics, and "dazzle camouflage" patterns used by the British Navy in WWI.

Shown at right are a photo of a ship in dazzle camouflage and a screen shot of the app, with a game just completed. Billions and billions of design outcomes are possible!

Learn more at: dazzlegame.com.

The app is available at
the iTunes Store.

Try it today!



In July 2014, not having done an Itinerant Artist Project tour for a year or so, I did a little warm-up run, making a few stops on the way to and from my cousin's wedding.

I stayed in Prout's Neck, ME; Thomaston, ME; and Swampscott, MA. My hosts were great, and I was glad to be reminded how inspiring it can be to live/work with gracious hosts and in households with interested children around.

Shown at right are:

Backs of Houses, a painting I did from the guest bed, shortly after waking up on my first morning in Swampscott

Prout's Neck Rocks at Night, one of several monochrome studies I made from sketches after returning from the tour

Lawrence, MA from 490,
a study that was inspired by one of my favorite views on the drive home.

Later in 2014 I did a variation on the Itinerant Artist Project which I called the Landscape Lottery. This project was so interesting it gets its own page: here.


Keywords: Jim Mott, landscape painter, Itinerant Artist Project, landscape painting commissions, fine art prints, giclee prints, g