Wills, working predominantly in acrylic and pencil on canvas, studied painting under highly respected Northwest artist, the late Frank Okada (1931-2000) – who himself was influenced by the East Coast Abstract Expressionists as well as the “Pacific Northwest Mystics” like Mark Tobey – at Oregon University where he graduated with his BA. His work was also deeply influenced by his professional relationships with Northwest masters, Mary Henry (1913-2009) and Francis Celentano (1928-2016). Employing intuitive automatism, Wills’ line is often gestural, sinuous, and calligraphic in nature. His eye is drawn to both the macro and micro in his observations of the world around him. His paintings have been featured in numerous group and solo exhibitions in the Puget Sound region, Southern California, and in The Netherlands.
Wills states that his work is about the “…exploration of ideas and the magic of that idea’s visual performance.”
James Wills is a native of the Pacific Northwest and has lived in Arizona, Oregon, and Great Britain. He currently resides on Whidbey Island.