Meet The Artist – Jim Osborne
Jim studied figurative painting under Ian Gordon, on his return from the UK in 2001, opening his first solo show in The Harbour Bar, Downings, Co. Donegal, Ireland, in 2004. In this same year his work formed part of a collective exhibition at The Glebe Gallery, Churchill, on the site of Derek Hill's house and grounds.
Errigal Arts Festival 2006 featured Jim's painting in the Fleadh Ceoil international traditional music festival. Ramelton "Awash With Colour" at the Greer gallery featured Jim in a group show 2007, along with Clooney gallery Sligo. The Workhouse, Dunfanaghy in 2008 was host to Jim's next solo show, and also the Framemasters, Letterkenny that year, with the RNLI Arts exhibition, Greencastle.
In 2009 Jim was invited to make a large-scale outdoor sculpture work by local group An Cosan Glas, making environmental installation art on a beach out of bamboo, willow, paper, PVA glue, LED lights and car batteries. The sculptures were illuminated at the fall of dusk and over 3,000 people viewed the entire installation over two nights at the close of the Errigal Arts Festival. This was to be repeated every year up till 2015 and Jim is still a member of the group. The show also tours to local county town Letterkenny where it is hosted in a local park.
A further solo exhibition in The Workhouse, Dunfanaghy in 2010 was a complete sell-out in the first week and saw an Arizona art dealer buy 9 of Jim's originals over the phone.
In the Fall 2013, things got all shook up. Jim trained for and completed the Dublin marathon and a new conceptual work was born, surfacing at first as a present for his brother's 50th birthday.
Steamy Windows was a departure in medium, message, and manifesto. Drawn on the condensation on his kitchen window with only his finger, it's ephemera of light and water vapour depend on careful camera positioning and is captured digitally for limited edition print. There is NO original, as the image evaporates after a few seconds, therefore each reproduction carries more weight.
I'm a visual, minimal artist; it’s what you leave out that makes my artwork. I use only condensation to draw on my figures, using natural light as the background to create these visual effects.
The camera is the only visual record of what I do. Seconds later there is nothing but vapor and light, as my work fades once again on my window.
Proof that all and artist needs is imagination to be creative, my work is not Photoshopped, the difference between each piece of work is down to the light, weather, and time of day...nothing else.
I believe this purity in my artwork is what distinguishes me from other artists.
2013 also saw the launch of Jim's web site osborneart.com and sales of the new Steamy Windows Collection took off. The Glebe Gallery Derek Hill Easter Exhibition that year was the first time Steamy Windows (Handbags and High Heels) was shown in public exhibition.
An Gríanan Theatre, Donegal played home in 2014 to "Not Only But Also", the first full solo show of Steamy Windows, which was picked up by national tabloid newspaper The Irish Daily Star in a review by Patrick O'Connell, leading to a radio interview on the Ray D'Arcy Show by the nation's broadcaster RTÉ1. The same year Jim's submission to Saatchi Art was accepted and is now hosted alongside his own web site, along with a collection on Fine Art America. Also of note is a shortlisting (out of 3,500 artists down to 300) for the Royal Ulster Academy Summer Exhibition.
Jim's third major web update in 2015 saw the integration of new hashtag #WildAtlanticWay and he was interviewed live radio outside broadcast by Ryan Tubridy of RTÉ2. He constantly added new work to the Steamy Windows Collection and was approached by a global PR agency for a Christmas social media campaign.
Jim is now in training (2016) for the Cork Half-Marathon, and negotiating a solo exhibition of new work for An GrÍanan Theatre called "Abstracts of My Mind".
Steamy Windows Art – Method
I combine the view outside my window, with all its changing natural light and nuances, and the condensation on the window pane, into which I draw my figures. The glass panel, when exposed to condensation, creates an out of focus backdrop for my figures, which are drawn in one single hand movement on the condensation which quickly evaporate and fall apart.
The fleeting juxtaposition is captured by the careful positioning of a digital camera but photography is not the medium, only the messenger. Every print may be treated as an original, as the original is nothing but transient contrasts in water and light.
Everything comes together to create these works: the light outside, time of day, the Donegal weather. The work is made on a very thin, flat, translucent surface yet shares an affinity with the depth of the scene beyond. Condensation has many varies textures and consistencies and no two condensation canvases are the same.
Printed on environmentally friendly Panama cotton, with archival digital ink, heat sealed and framed, no Photoshop is used in the process it is entirely spontaneous and natural, frozen in time.
I am a people watcher. I use the idiosyncrasies of everyday characters I meet to inform my drawing. I process movement, interaction, the way the figures portray emotion through posture. All these observations are then abstracted and internalised. When it’s just me and the glass, I use nothing but water vapour and light to bring to life shorthand prototypes of the human form.