Jim Walther has been painting the environment for 50 years and has drawn inspiration from the beauty and light of the landscape in New Mexico for 20 years. A trained studio artist, Walther works in both watercolor and oil.
Born in South Charleston, West Virginia, Walther studied under noted painter John Hudkins, and received his BFA in Painting from West Virginia University. An early career in the Art Museum field lead to focus on museum exhibition design and museum administration serving in four museums. With 42 years in the museum field, Walther has been Executive Director of The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in Albuquerque since 1996. Walther continues to work as a painter and creates views of landscape full of light and color.
My early work held the complex shades of early academic painters such as John Singer Sargent and Andrew Wyeth. These subdued hues in greys, sepias, softer blues and greens are found in the flat light of eastern landscapes where brilliant colors are less prominent. After moving to New Mexico in 1996, I had to adjust my palette to the harsher light, bright whites, washed out reflective brilliance and deep shadows of the landscape in the desert southwest. Capturing this overstated color palette continues to inspire and intrigue me in my work as an artist. Now I look for the vivid hues of the desert, its stark beauty shown in deep shadow and almost blinding brilliant light. Capturing these hues without overriding the color saturation is a challenge that I constantly enjoy and learn from.
The landscape of New Mexico is varied and beautiful. Its awesome presence commands attention and examination. Reflecting on the complex light and shadow of the mountains, valleys and desert is always exciting and inspiring.