Selfie Portrait

Hi!  My name is Jim, and I am slightly obsessed with pencil drawing.  Sometimes I think I am possibly possessed because I am typically gripped by an idea for a piece, and the only relief is to “exorcise” the idea by using pencils to bring it into reality. 

I love photorealism for the challenge of capturing all of the subtle details that reveal the distinct personalities of the subjects. I have a theory that a visual artist is a kind of illusionist, and there is something magical about using mere pencil and paper to fool our brains into seeing what it thinks is a photograph.  For that reason I also love hyperrealistic drawings, creating images and adding effects that our brains know can’t exist but are coerced into seeing as reality.  While my artwork may not be for everybody, most people appreciate the technical side of it and enjoy how I add a little bit extra to my pieces, whether that’s humour, darkness, an underlying message, or a visual effect.

My biggest passion is to create my own reference images and infuse my work with a subtle theme. Sometimes it’s dark or philosophical, sometimes light and humourous (why should cartoonists have all the fun?)  However, I also fell in love with working on commissions for those who have honoured me by requesting a customized piece.  Very few things are as rewarding as when I see a client getting lost in a drawing’s details, and sharing in the magic of creating something meaningful to them or their loved ones.  It’s also not uncommon that the reveal of a commission is accompanied by a few tears (the good kind!)

Born, raised, and living in Alberta, Canada, I almost literally stumbled into this drawing endeavour, although “limped” is more accurate:  a hip surgery in 2013 had me step back from an active sports life and rediscover my childhood love of shading with pencils.  I can be found from time to time at pop up markets in southern Alberta, so be sure to follow along on social media to receive updates about those events. I was also honoured to join the Pigeon Lake Artists Society in 2022, so you may see me at events around the lake!

Thanks for taking the time to visit me here, I sincerely appreciate it, and hope to hear from you soon!


Send Me A Message!

If inquiring about a commission, please attach a high-quality photo, or even a few, with your ideas, wish-list items, and any questions.

2023 Commission Prices

*** Commissions now booking for October ’23 start dates ***

5×7 inches: $300
8×10 inches: $600
9×12 inches: $800
11×14 inches: $1,250
13×19 inches: $2,000
18×24 inches: $3,000

(These are rough estimates: final estimate may vary up or down depending on many factors. For example, please add 25% per additional subject in a drawing, or expect a lower quote if there will be significant white space in the image. Prices exclude framing.)

7×10 inches Custom Animal Headshot: $400

Commission Testimony

“So many tears, Jim, so many. I can’t even begin to put to words how grateful I am for this precious gift. I keep walking past it and welling up with tears of joy. (My husband) and I keep finding reasons to walk past it, then we steal emotional glances at each other. Our journey has been unbelievable to this point, and this image is a continual reminder of how it started and how we still have so much to look forward to, even after these 10 years. You brought to life a very special moment for us. Thank you! Your talent is truly amazing. This image will hang on our wall in our home and I will get to be reminded daily of what I am grateful for. Years from now our children will look at this image and be amazed at the talent behind it, and be reminded of the love their parents had for each other and they too will cherish it.” – D.G., Dec 2022

Awards and Recognition

– ‘Best in Section’ for Drawings at the 2023 Calgary Stampede Western Showcase
– ‘Best of Show’ in the Colors of Humanity Art Gallery 2023 ‘Red’ Show
– Selected as a finalist in the ‘The 49th International Artavita Artist of the Year’ online contest in December 2021
– Selected as contributor to ‘World Wide Art Magazine #6’, published in 2021
– Selected as contributor to ‘The Best of Drawing: 11th Annual Strokes of Genius Competition Winners’, Artists Magazine Winter 2020 special issue
– ‘First in Class’ for Drawings at the 2019 Calgary Stampede Western Showcase
– ‘Best in Section’ for Drawings at the 2018 Calgary Stampede Western Showcase
– ‘First Place’ in the Colors of Humanity Art Gallery 2018 ‘Black and White’ Show
– 2nd place in the Federation of Canadian Artists 2017 ‘Limitless’ Online Exhibition and Competition
– ‘Best in Section’ for Drawings at the 2017 Calgary Stampede Western Showcase
– ‘Best of Show’ in the Colors of Humanity Art Gallery 2017 ‘Black and White’ Show
– 3rd place in the Federation of Canadian Artists 2016 ‘Limitless’ Online Exhibition and Competition
– Selected as contributor to ‘Strokes of Genius 8: Expressive Texture’, published by North Light Books in 2016