Hello and welcome to Goodchap Art.
This is a body of work that follows years of preparation and decades of global creativity. At college I learned of “Naive Artists” (particularly Alfred Wallis and L.S.Lowry) and was an instant fan. I worked out what it was that they had, others did not–no outside influence! They are thus rather like an art movement of one. I like the sound of that–powerful individualism, distinct styles, pure love of painting sans a need for peer approval or patronage. The results are as engagingly real as they are delightfully fresh.
I paint initially en plein air, watercolor. Then dive into a second painting, often in oil. The first painting leads the way and provides content reference, the second painting is then free to explore new developments and paint handling. Nice to go bigger too. Large canvases are definitely on the landscape horizon.
I studied art and design in the UK. Since then I have chosen to carve my own painterly path. Naturally, a million art gallery visits influence my work, and diligent studies are made from the likes of Cezanne and Sargent, but otherwise my style is all my own, idiosyncrasies are such as they are, and I’m fixing to keep it that way. Only a painting, as it reveals itself, should have as much say as the painter. Who knows what will then happen next? I used to climb rock. One knew where the top was, the route usually planned and apprehended. What happens on the day of the climb however is always full of surprises and unique challenges. Sometimes it’s a cake walk, other times you have to dig deep to make it happen, in mind and body, and really want to be there. I paint like that.
For my children, family, loves, friends, and now you.
James Goodchap. September, 2016
CHAPTER ONE. Wales.
James Goodchap was born and raised in Wales, daily drawing everything from “aeroplanes” to castles at the behest of school mates, teachers, uncles and aunts and his beloved mother and grandmother. Art was the obvious direction, and The West of England School of Art and Design, Bristol, was attended to with brio, resulting in a BA (Hons) Degree and Diploma Membership of the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers (SIAD).
Through college years, many drawings (mostly pen & ink) were produced of Caerphilly Castle–a Norman fortress conveniently located just a couple of miles from his home town. Goodchap also took several mural commissions, from hand-colored photo murals for cafes and restaurants in Bristol, to hand and spray-painted movie star portraits for night clubs and bars in the Welsh capitol city, Cardiff.
A passion for photography became evident in late college years, and persists to this day. James became beguiled by the work of Edward Steichen, Eugene Atget, Julia Margarete Cameron, Henri Cartier-Bresson… and outstanding contemporary photographers (mostly working in people/portraits and landscapes) like Bill Brandt, Erica Lennard and Bruce Weber. He and a fellow student organized a group photography exhibition which was followed by a tutors warning to, “stay out of the darkroom and get designing for your degree show.” This put a pause on the art photography passion for a while, but only for a short while.
Post-graduation saw the launch of his first professional creative enterprise. Home photo portraits, dogs included free of charge. It paid the bills, but long hours of color photo printing in the dark(bed)room, weekend door-to-door canvassing and the powerful itch of a post-grad’s feet, suggested it was time to move on. “Go West” someone said. And West of Wales was…
CHAPTER TWO. America.
New York City and a long cross-country drive to Southern California provided exciting new material for many photographs and drawings. Settling into the then eclectic scene of Venice Beach was all a young artist could wish for, and opportunities for sign painting, poster drawings of visiting rock stars, and just about anything that would put a meal on a traveler’s plate were taken, as he thawed his British bones out under the warm California skies. A sketching trip to Southern Mexico was made in 1985. This adventure in the Americas lasted almost three years before a design career called again with a fresh allure.
CHAPTER THREE. London.
Four years in the UK later, plush with a portfolio of graphic art generated in a few of London’s leading design / multi-media agencies, and after many many trips to every corner of the Britain and Europe, it was again time to step things up…
CHAPTER FOUR. America Part Deux.
In 1991 James emigrated back to the US and immediately founded his own graphic design agency in Sacramento, California. The search for the essence of a subject, simplifying content to what really needs to be said, with an aesthetic both desired and distinct, has been a constant thread in the creative graphic art of Goodchap. It was no surprise therefore, that eventually his career led to specializing in brand identity design, and he enjoys helping clients “look as good as they are” to this day: goodchapbrand.com
CHAPTER FIVE. Now…
A series of urban landscape paintings have recently emerged as a result of working out of a beautiful office in the Wells Fargo Center building, downtown Sacramento: Large diptych and triptych canvases, dozens of oil and watercolors, geometrically-composed landscape views (from the 11th floor) of the Sutter Buttes (smallest mountain range in the world) which can be seen on a rare clear day. California landscapes of the Sierra Nevada and coast are being painted weekly, along with portrait and commissioned projects.
In 2017, the show goes on the road again. A two-year painting trip is planned, beginning in Nevada, then Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and on to the Eastern United States. Shows will be scheduled en-route and in Sacramento. Blog updated weekly for followers and new art available every step of the way.
ABOUT THE ART…
Most of the art on this site is available for purchase.
Watercolor / gouache paintings are framed with acid-free mats and acrylic / glass glazing. Frame style and materials vary (see artwork pages for details). Oil and acrylic on canvas paintings are sold unframed or framed upon acquisition, thus facilitating individual patron preferences.
A current PDF list of available art and prices is available upon request.
Art and mural commissions inquiries very welcome. Big is beautiful.
James can also be reached via EMAIL at firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com
“The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.” -Auguste Rodin.
ALL IMAGES AND ART COPYRIGHT JAMES GOODCHAP 2016.
No images may be reproduced or sold or re-posted without written consent from artist. Links to this site most welcome however. Art is to share.
Artist retains all reproduction rights, pre and post-sale of originals.