James Kessinger’s Bio

With clay dug from the ground, James created the toys of his youth, firing them in the kiln used to make bricks for the family farm. Using paint leftover from the household and barn, he completed these early “works of art.” An inquisitive child, the question “What?’ was James’ mantra throughout the days of his childhood. Being blessed with a natural curiosity about all things of meaning around him, this internal question eventually turned to “How?” as he grew in to adulthood. Today, having spent a lifetime as a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, the burning question of his life has become, like many men his age, “Why?” With the creative urge of his youth having once again surfaced, James has begun working with his hands in the creation of art pieces. To be honest, the admittedly unanswered question of his own life and all things of special influence around him is not only “Why?” but in some cases perhaps more accurately “Why not?”
James has had to more or less internally create the images that he “sees” for quite some time. In essence, he has painted for the better part of the past 30 years albeit in his mind. In 1972, due to the onset of macular degeneration, he began to slowly lose his sight and has been legally blind since 1978. He now views the world primarily through a 1″ round glass monocle, visually distinguishing only what he can place within an inch or less of his “looking glass.” Nonetheless, he “sees” as well as he ever did according to his way of thinking. When asked how he manages to create such works of beauty with virtually no sight, he responds with “I’m a bit like the old Kentucky fellow who makes dulcimers – claiming he starts with a piece of wood and cuts away everything that’s not a dulcimer. I believe that fellow lets the piece of wood talk to him as he goes through the process and like him, I just let the individual canvas talk to me, my paint, and my brush….the rest is pretty easy.”
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