Wisnowski graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a degree in Physics and Mathematics. His personal goals shifted after working briefly as an engineer, and then a computer programmer, when he decided to become an artist. Having grown up in the Midwest, he was always involved with the outdoors and nature. He found that painting would be a way that he could share with others, his personal connection with the trees, fields and mountains.
In order to pursue his new passion, Wisnowski attended and graduated the American Academy of Art. He has since become a signature member of the American Watercolor Society, and the Transparent Watercolor Society of America. In addition, he is a member of the Oil Painter’s of America, California Art Club, Laguna Plein Air Painter’s of America, Chicago Artists Coalition, and the Palette and Chisel Fine Art Arts Academy. For thirty-six years, he has taught his technique in weekly classes at the Palette and Chisel Fine Art Academy in Chicago, the Old Town Art Center in Chicago, the North Shore Art League, Winnetka, IL and, presently, at the Palos Verdes Art Center, CA. Additionally, Wisnowski leads workshops in inspirational locations throughout Europe and the USA.
Wisnowski works with a modern impressionist realist view of his subjects which he recreates in watercolor or oil mediums. His inspiration for forty years of painting has always been his environment. Following in the footsteps of trailblazing landscape artists of an earlier era, James Wisnowski finds both his spiritual, and artistic inspiration, in the quiet beauty and serenity of nature. Yet these surroundings do not create a passive, sentimental imprint for Wisnowski. Instead, out of these slowly disappearing landscapes, he finds his mission of capturing and documenting this ever ephemeral environment for future generations. He shares there discovered beauty that may be lost or forgotten in every day subjects. Wisnowski invites us to take an active part in the nonverbal communication between artist and viewer, by allowing ourselves to participate in the conversation that the scene on canvas evokes. Thus, for a fleeting, magical moment, both artist and viewer come together to absorb the simple majesty of nature itself. Wisnowski gets the most reward when the viewer of his painting “gets” what he saw in the subject. Living in Chicago for much of his art career gave him a unique feeling for the urban landscape. After relocating to California, the rocky coastlines, colorful fishing villages, national parks, and vineyards, as well as the urban scenes, continue to expand and inform his artistic horizons.
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