Jim Wodark is an award winning plein air artist who was born and raised in Colorado. Throughout childhood, his parents, both artistic in their own right, were incredibly encouraging of his creativity, but drew the line (so to speak) when he filled his 2nd grade teacher's shoes with paint. He went on to earn his Bachelor's degree in Marketing from University of Northern Colorado and attempted to fulfill his passion for art by taking an art class each semester. After several years of working corporate jobs, and trying to fit art around his schedule, it occurred to him that he either was or was not an artist. Luckily for his many fans and patrons, he chose the former.
He started out putting his keen observation skills and humor to use as a cartoonist. Fourteen years later, attracted to the attitude and economy, He moved to Southern California. He found true love in Julie, now his wife of 23 years, and in fine art, as he began to explore the plein air technique, originally using watercolors and acrylics. "When you grow up in Colorado, it's hard not to love the outdoors. For me, being outside and capturing the light, mood and atmosphere on a canvas for other people to enjoy, is just an incredible feeling."
His next breakthrough came with the birth of his first child, and his discovery of oil paints as his medium of choice. As his family grew (twin girls!!!) so did his commitment to being a great father, husband and prolific painter, painting out in the field or in the studio every single day. "I paint to express myself. I am compelled to share the inspiration that I feel when I see a beautiful scene, to be inspired and inspire in return. I want to translate the beauty around me -- a fleeting moment -- into something permanent and timeless that brings those same feelings to life for each viewer.
Having dedicated himself to art for the last 30 years and counting, Jim continues to challenge himself creatively by approaching each painting as an opportunity to try something new. "My intention is to paint my masterpiece every time I paint a picture. This gives me never ending room to grow and experiment with my art."
And whenever he hits the inevitable rough patch, he just thinks back to that moment when he decided to commit himself to art. The power of that decision, and the path it created, never fail to get that paint brush moving again. "I am doing what I love and hopefully that joy is reflected in my work. I strive very hard to make each and every piece reflect the person that I am and the artist I am becoming."
Jim is a member of several painting groups: Oil Painters of America, "Signature Member" of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, and an "Artist Member" of the prestigious California Art Club.
Shows and awards:
Grand Prize Winner Plein Air Salon's Yearlong Painting Competition 2017-18
3rd Place Boldbrush competition for February 2018
Honorable Mention Oil Painters of America Fall 2017
Artist Choice Sedona Plein Air 2017
Third Place in the Plein Air Magazine's 5th Annual yearling painting competition
Best of Show Borrego Springs Invitational 2016
American Impressionist National Show 2015 Award of Excellence
Best of Show at the Laguna Plein Air Painters 11th Annual Best of Plein Air 2015
4 Paintings in the Finals for the Plein Air Magazine y\Yearlong Painting Competition 2011-2012
Included in the Hisrtoric Book "Califonia Light, a Century of Landscape" By Jean Stern and Molly Siple. Celebrating 100 years of painting from the California Art Club.
Best of Show in the BoldBrush Painting Competition September 2011
Top 12 Finalist in The BoldBrush Painting Compeition May 2011, March 2011, July 2010, May 2010, June 2009
"Morning Bread" 12x16 On loan to the Department of State Art Exchange Program. Showing at the U.S. Embassey in Sarajevo
Juried into the "Signature" Membership group in the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association 8/2009
2nd Place at the National Yearlong Raymar Painting Competition 2008-2009
"Lily Pond" 36x36 was accepted into the California Art Club's Prestigious Gold Medal Show 2009
"Mission Bench" 24x30 was accepted into the Oil Painters of America 18th annual National Juried Exhibiton
Best Mission Painting at the SOCALPAPA Paints the California Landscape Show 2009
First Place at the SOCALPAPA Paints the California Landscape Show 2009
"On the Edge" won the top prize "Artists' Choice" Award at the Torrey Pines Plein Air Painting Invitational 2008
"Mission Fountain" won First Place in the LPAPA "Best of PLein Air" Show 2008
Fremont Canyon Sundown" 16x20 won Best of Show at the San Marino Art Matters show 2008. Held in the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens Pasadena, Ca.
"Damn Barnacles" 12x16 was accepted into the California Art Club Gold Medal Show 2008
"Sunset on Morning Light" 24x30 accepted into the Oil Painters Of America National Juried Exhibition 2008
Artist Choice award SOCALPAPA Painting the California Landscape 2008
Anthony Forster Memorial Award "Best Mission Painting" SOCALPAPA Painting the California Landscape 2008
Fourth Place Raymar National Yearlong Art Competition 2007 out of 1,400 entries
First Place University of Redlands Plein Air Painting Competition 2007
Second Place The Lodge at Torrey Pines Plein Air Invitational 2007
Best Of Show SOCALPAPA Newport Peninsula Plein Air 2007
Honoraable Mention SOCALPAPA Newport Peninsula Plein Air 2007
Second Place "Quick Draw" SOCALPAPA Newport Peninsula Plein Air 2007
Honorable Mention Heritage Art Show Irvine Land Trust 2007
Honorable Mention LPAPA "Best of Plein Air" 2007
Two paintings Juried into the California Art Club's Gold Medal Show 2007
Second Place in the Raymar National painting competition out of 1,700 entries 2006-2007.
9th Place in the Raymar National painting competition 2006-2007.
15th Place Honorable mention in the Raymar National painting competition 2006-2007.
28 painitngs of the final 144 in the Raymar National yearlong painting competition 2006-2007.
Second Place in the LPAPA Members Show 2006
First Place LPAPA "Best of Plein Air Show" 2006
California Art Club "Artist Member" (Juried into membership 2005)
Art-a-fair Poster Artist 2006
Honorable Mention Crystal Cove Show 2005
Second Place San Clemente Plein Air Painting Competition 2005
First Place at the San Clemente "Quick Draw" Competition 2005
Honorable Mention LPAPA Members Show 2005
First Place at the SOCALPAPA Best of the Back Bay 2004
First Place at the San Clemente Plein Air Painting Competition 2004
First Place at the San Clemente "Quick Draw" Competition 2004
Artist Choice Award SOCALPAPA Best of the Back Bay 2003
LPAPA members show 2002, 2003, 2004,2005