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Artist
James Nyika Upper Marlboro, Maryland

Artist James Nyika paints the glowing atmosphere of cities across the world. As a child growing up in Kenya, he found art materials at the student bookshop and also borrowed just about every art history volume from the British Council library in Nairobi. "I checked out the same books over and over just to stare at the art, to try and understand how it was created," says James. With family encouragement to study engineering, James moved to the U.S. and immersed himself in science studies at Boston University. Several years after embarking on a tech career, he set a goal to create at least one painting a week, never throwing away any works and learning as much as possible in his off hours. Today, James still balances his full-time career designing large software systems with his prolific output as a painter. "Painting is a great antidote to the regularity of a computing profession and I really value it for the uncertainty that it brings - something frowned upon when writing code."

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    About The Artist

    Artist James Nyika paints the glowing atmosphere of cities across the world. As a child growing up in Kenya, he found art materials at the student bookshop and also borrowed just about every art history volume from the British Council library in Nairobi. "I checked out the same books over and over just to stare at the art, to try and understand how it was created," says James. With family encouragement to study engineering, James moved to the U.S. and immersed himself in science studies at Boston University. Several years after embarking on a tech career, he set a goal to create at least one painting a week, never throwing away any works and learning as much as possible in his off hours. Today, James still balances his full-time career designing large software systems with his prolific output as a painter. "Painting is a great antidote to the regularity of a computing profession and I really value it for the uncertainty that it brings - something frowned upon when writing code."

    Artist Statement

    I have been creating artwork consistently as a semi-professional for the past seven years in the amazing and frustrating medium that is watercolor. I feel very strongly that we need a much stronger push of watercolor to support the existing portfolios of oil and mixed media artwork. Watercolor is magical, transparent, glowing and very interactive to perform. Nothing gives me more joy than to create the works I create. I enjoy picking subjects of the everyday - channeling the original Impressionist painters who strongly believed that the everyday was also worthy for portrayal.

    My pieces are designed to avoid truly replicating an existing reference. The goal is to bring out an aspect of a reference that interests me - and is almost always a reference photo from many years of travel, and a value sketch. I paint from a value sketch sometimes and work from light to dark using lots of water to saturate the paper. I apply color in my second pass and dry brush in the third.

    Artist Background

    Boston University
    Bachelor of Science, 1997

    American University

    Master of Arts, 2005

    Hear What Collectors Say About James's Work

    This artist is beloved by many collectors across the country, however they do not have any comments here yet. Questions? Email us at info@ugallery.com.

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