James Tatum, painter, photographer, and poet, was born in 1944. He showed early interests in drawing, writing, photography, and architecture. After his formal education at first in English, History and Philosophy and later in Economics, Business Law and Management, he began what turned out to be a long career in industrial design, engineering, and manufacturing in Canada. He still found time to draw and paint during his travels. He moved from Canada to the U.K. in 1987. In 2007, he moved from London to Devon in order to paint full time. Although largely self taught, he has been and continues to be a pupil of David Tress.
James primarily paints expressionistic landscapes of the West Country or wherever his travels take him. All of his paintings begin en plein air and the larger works are then completed in his studio which is a 14 century barn of the edge of Dartmoor. His paintings are concerned with balancing close observation and structure with his emotional, visceral responses to the landscape. His goal is to make paintings which are physically exciting and therefore, involve experiment and risk taking.
He has exhibited with the South West Academy and is represented by several galleries from Kent to Cornwall. He was invited to become an Academician in 2014.