Jim Junger

Being an artist is all about play. To me, you need to have a childlike excitement about everything. There is a freedom that comes from picking up a crayon and saying F-it, I don’t care what it looks like, I just need to make it. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to make something. I am a very tactile person so for me the stimulus to make art starts with touch. I can remember letting sand fall from my fingers and watching the grains move, feeling the glide of a pencil and stacking blocks into odd shapes; being devastated I had to put them away. 

My preferred medium is oil paint or any writing implement. I find a gorgeous richness to lines on paper. As a painter and printmaker, paper and surface are incredibly important. I am a paper hoarder in fact, envelopes, paper bags, cardboard boxes, etc are all part of my “books” that are filled with lists, sketches and ideas. The simple art of breathing is my inspiration. There is so much art out there to see and touch that I want it all. The need to make is a bit of an obsession; being able to fiddle and play allows me the ability to make and remake things how I see fit. 

I am grateful for my family for giving me freedom within limits. My father measured his life in microns and millimeters as a toolmaker and my mother was a kindergarten teacher. My grandfather taught me you could be brash but still have class and my grandmother taught me there is beauty everywhere. Artistically I hold Dutch Masters and the Renaissance greats in equal esteem. Helen Frankenthaler, Cy Twombly and their ilk. However, little kids playing with crayons trumps them all.

I run hot and cold. Much of my art is a closely guarded secret. I have to be careful only to make things in their intended media. If I do a sketch of a painting, the painting never gets done - the sketch is now the painting. I have decades of work that still only lives in my head.