Jim Stilwell is a painter of visions. The images originated from some intense experiences he has had on Vision Quests. Hence the parental warning at the beginning of the audio. I wanted parents and other adults with children in their care to come here and read this post before deciding whether to listen to Jim’s interview in the presence of children.
The issue is that Jim very generously shares the details of his Vision Quest during the audio, including some events that could be frightening or confusing for children. Jim was out for four days fasting in the desert and describes feeling visited by a demon. He also alludes to his enactment of being in a coffin (his sleeping bag), and there area other references to death in the interview. Also, because Jim has collaborated with veterans to paint their visions, there are mentions of post-traumatic stress disorder in this interview.
Ironically, out of an experience that included intensely frightening events came work that many find extremely uplifting and beautiful. Some of the paintings do send strong messages about societal behavior and consequences (see below “Tipping Point” and “Welcome Home”). Others include Native American imagery and imagery involving the natural elements and spiritual world.
Like many artists, Jim began his career as a commercial artist. He became known for his architectural renderings and worked with developers and architects in Florida. Along with examples of his paintings, below you will also find one of his architectural illustrations.
Jim’s intention during his Vision Quest was to discover his soul gift. Surprisingly, the answer was not art, even though creative images flowed as a result of the Quest. A true highlight of this interview is hearing Jim reveal what he learned about himself and the purpose of his art.
To connect with Jim and see more of his work:
- SCROLL down the page
- visit his website http://www.jimstilwell.com
- visit his educational website for all his tips on drawing proper perspective
- follow his Facebook page
- Jim is available for hire to paint images others would like to see created as paintings, what he refers to as collaborations
- Jim also is available to create drawings of private residences (example below)
Other Highlights of this interview include:
- Jim walking us through what his Vision Quest was like
- what Jim refers to as “collaborations” in which he works with someone else to understand and then paint the other person’s vision. Jim has worked on collaborations with members of the military and generously donates his work to veterans organization
- Jim’s journey from architectural illustrator to creating the inspired types of paintings he does now
- Jim’s love of sharing his knowledge of perspective drawing via classes his website and workshops. He has a whole separate website dedicated to sharing his methods. He will be teaching an already-sold-out and wait-listed class at Olli (at UNC Asheville) called “Easy Steps to Creating Perspective in Art” beginning in January 2017. Other opportunities to learn from Jim will be posted on his website as they arise.
Links mentioned during this episode:
- Hero’s Journey Foundation (the organization that conducted Jim’s first Vision Quest)
- Animas Valley Institute (the organization that conducted the Vision Quest Jim describes in-depth)
- The Warrior Connection, a retreat center in Vermont which helps returning military veterans process their experiences and adjust to being back home. Jim plans to donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of his painting “Welcome Home” (the first one below) to the Warrior Connection and has also donated prints to them to sell.
- his class at Olli (Osher Lifelong Learning Center at UNC Asheville)
- Zapow Gallery, which carries Jim’s work
Other work by Jim Stilwell
(Some pieces are noted as available for sale. Prints of all of the pieces in this article are available: 11×14″ for $40 and 8×10″ for $15, and to purchase, contact Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-275-3214)
The below is the first collaboration painting created by Jim, discussed in the interview:
The next painting is also discussed during the interview:
The next piece, called “The Last Crusade,” is the collaboration piece Jim refers to in the interview as “The Crusader”