Jim Foster, 2017
North of Fort Collins, on a sprawling ranch property nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains is a studio with ceramic works, oil paintings and copper sculptures. A cat wanders about the concrete building that houses the equipment and supplies needed to make the pieces of art. Paintbrushes, sticks of charcoal, chisels and other instruments of his trade lay strewn about the industrial building that used to be a calf roping school.
Since 1973, Jim Foster has made this little piece of northern Colorado landscape the source for his creative works.
Jim Foster is a sculptor, painter and steward of the land who specializes in abstracts that communicate his connection with the wide-open spaces of northern Colorado, southern Wyoming and the plains that stretch to Nebraska. He has also taught, traveled, studied and worked in distant places across North America and Europe but the wide-open spaces of Colorado are what draw him home and fuels his inspiration.
Painting, in particular, is a way for Jim to think in pictures and layers, and then put those images down on canvas with paint. It is a way of thinking and caring and showing your feelings in the painting.
“The Boom Painting hangs on the west wall of my studio,” said Jim. “I have never enjoyed a painting so much.”
Jim describes this piece as one ground cover over another until the original ground cover is no longer visible.
“I feel the image of Boom, the final form, is an exact picture of me being in the middle of an explosion,” said Jim. “But the first layer, the unseen layer, was more a feeling of steel girders in a high-rise building, now barely seen.”
“My travels in art have come from long ago being a student of many really great public servants who taught art and were artist who made a living in some strange way and their training was magnified by my going to my studio to work everyday – of their training – on into my daily life and having a full time studio which I fed and controlled and produced art works to see and share and collect as my own till I die. I feel like a rich man beyond all wealth because it is other artists and myself over fifty years”
“Now with many famous works by more than famous artists and my own evolution of forty-five years of work. My wife Lola and I feel we have been filled to the top with adventures and escapades and works that live with us forever. And we live so happy and count our many blessings every day.”
In addition to the beauty of the landscape, Jim pulls his inspiration from training in theater, a bachelor’s degree in fine art education, a Master of Fine Art degree in sculpture and drawing, and from jobs as a welder and heavy-equipment operator. Above all he is a family man dedicated to the love and support of his wife, Lola, and his children.