Biography, Transformation & Statement

Biography

My life and work developed in three stages. 

Born in California, very quickly my family moved to Colorado where I lived until I moved to Ireland in my late 50s.  I earned a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art from the University of Colorado and for many years I was the art department for Lyons Jr Sr High School, Lyons, Colorado. My early career focused on images of life in the United States, using a variety of media.  My most notable work during this time was the Zappa Quilt that now hangs in the Biloxi Miss., Hardrock Café.  That decade was peppered with one person shows through the Spark Gallery in Denver, CO and some highlights in the competitive exhibition environment, all of which, except for the Zaapa quilt, were fun but unremarkable. 

 

Life then took me on other pathways, allowing me to dabble for years in digital media as the technology itself grew to become a true equivalent of what we could do “that hard way” with classical means.  My attention was divided between the academic and creative as I wrote books, did research and built a business that supported Masters and Doctoral students as they earned their degrees.

 

Currently I relaunch my artistic career fascinated by the power of human transformation and the Tibetan idea that the circle can contain that what is true about inner and outer realities. 

 

I can be reached be email at alana@ealanajames.com  and my work is shown online at https://ealanajames.com and on Instagram as ealanajames, https://www.instagram.com/ealanajames/

Transformation

I live in a small village surrounded by the Celtic sea on the southern coast of Ireland. While I am Irish now I was born and lived in the United States until 18 years ago. To me, living by the sea is paradise, well worth the move half way around the world.

 

I have always been someone who pursued big dreams. The art world will see that in my first major work – the Zappa Quilt, (which now hangs in a Hard Rock Cafe in Biloxi Mississippi) and the evolution of the human spirit, (with myself as the main guinea pig) has always driven my art. This was true even during the 30 years art went more of less underground while I honed the academic side of my life. which lead to four books, a digital training company and many many hours joyfully exploring research options with post graduate students around the world.

 

It’s important to me to blend cognitive, philosophical ideas with images – I see myself as a modern example of the evolution of what was religious art during the Renaissance. Translate Christian Iconography for modern open ended spiritual ideals, blend in a nod to the Tibetan mandala – which shows us the totality of our entire existence withing the boundaries of the circle, and move the collage-like process of merging time and space in a single piece of art into the realm of digital collage and you have the mashup that is my work.

 

I was classically trained in almost all media at the University of Colorado, but really appreciate being able to explore ideas quickly because of digital tools such as Procreate. My dual passions for human transformation and the awe inspiring experience of evolutionary change, merged with the joy I have always felt when digital tools make some of the more tedious aspects of art much easier, merge in these current works. Here you will find flowers from my garden and life expressing the feminine, nurturing aspects of existence, cityscapes from the great world centers standing in for the chaos of the modern workload, people exercising trying to bridge the two, in landscapes that carry the seasons of our lives. Some digital works include my oil paintings, reshot and used as digital backgrounds, others are printed on canvas and then enhanced with paint. Merging the two allows me to do limited print series of 10 or 20 in order to greatly reduce the price for the affordable art market.

 

I hope that those who find my work speaks to something inside of them will find it inspiring for years to come as we all work to “Find our Voice” or “Shed our Limitations.”  Whether it is through buying a canvas, or coming across one of the beach art pieces in Kinsale, my work aims to engender interest, introspection and a smile! 

Statement

Almost exclusively my finished works are contained in a circular format, At times the central theme will use some descriptive iconography of transformation such as butterflies, snakes, rural environments or the seasons.  These may be juxtaposed against urban landscapes, storm gathering clouds, or brilliant colors, which examine the fast pace of modern life.  I hope my work speaks to a viewer at a visceral level of the potential of life and that it can be seen both as beautiful and inspirational.

 

I see art as influenced by the cognitive and metacognitive aspects of life.  I was forever changed by my career in post graduate education.  Cognitively we are inspired by our curiosity and exploration of the unknown.  Metacognitively, we take that awareness inward to the richness of finding and expressing our own unique voice.

Alana's Art

I believe that to live a creative life is to have life sprit at my back – it is glorious and something I have always wanted… read more

Alana's Art

Work Pre 2020

From 1976 to 1990 I saw my future as a famous artist!  The Zappa quilt opening in 193 ended that and I put off my art career until later in life

Alana's Art

The Family Series

Sometimes my family feels dark and dangerous and I see people acting out of less than their highest or truest selves.  At other times it helps me understand the meaning and value of love across differences.

Alana's Art

The Personal Transformation Suite

A circle can contain all there is of our inner and outer life – This series branches towards the mandala series which I see as the mainstay of my work.

Alana's Art

Color & Emotions: A Research Project

I LOVE PROCREATE!  It is the tool I always wanted for art, a mix of digital and everything else I know how to do.  This series is for YOU to vote on – what brings up emotions or ideas for YOU?

Alana's Art

Beach Art

Drawn mostly on the Dock Beach at Castlepark, Kinsale, Co Cork this series progresses at the speed of one a month – LOL, in good weather.  The drone work gets better as well.

Alana's Art

Mandalas

Where the circle contains the TRUTH of our inner and outer work.  With a nod to Tibetan mandalas, this series contains my heart and my understanding of life.  Drawings, paintings and Procreate digital works.