James Hollins Patrick

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"The Factory Worker"
Oil on canvas
18 1/4" x 36"

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James Patrick was born in Cranbrook, British Columbia on September 14, 1911. He studied at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and was a member of the California Water Color Society. James Patrick grew up in Southern California, and attended high school in Hollywood. In the late 1920s, he received a three-year scholarship to study at the Chouinard Art Institute.

During the 1930s and 1940s, he was considered an important figure in the development of the California Style, a movement from the 1920s to the 1950s focused on bold watercolor painting.

His paintings were exhibited with the California Water Color Society as well as many juried and one-man shows both locally and nationally. In 1942, he served as the California Water Color Society's president.

After graduation, James Patrick taught figure drawing and landscape painting at the Chouinard Art Institute. He often took groups of students to various locations in the Los Angeles area and taught them to do spontaneous watercolor paintings of local city scenes. He also worked on several large mural projects with painter Millard Sheets, and was involved in pre-production animation for the motion picture industry at Walt Disney Studios. Among his projects were Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio.

During World War II he worked in collaboration with Phil Paradise producing a book for the United States Army Air Corps on the art, detection and recognition of camouflage. He and Paradise served as civilian instructors for the Air Corps as well, training fledgling bombardiers in aerial target recognition and concealment deduction. In addition he was assigned "Chief Camoufleur" by the Western Defense Command for the Pacific Coast. He was tasked with the planning and concealment of all the facilities vital to the war effort that could possibly be targets for enemy attack.

Perhaps less known was that Patrick was a passionate print maker. He excelled in pre-printing techniques involved with producing lithographs and prepared his own stones. He produced a large number of limited editions on various subjects. His most illustrious is a suite of six lithographs of the "Native Trees of California" that were used as covers for WESTWAYS Magazine in 1940. California Big Tree and another litho entitled This is Your Enemy are in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress.

Examples of Patrick's art in mediums of oil, watercolor, and lithography are found today in private and museum collections across the nation. He was frequently invited to exhibit in many prestigious shows during his lifetime. Included are the Corcoran Institute of Washington, D.C., the Chicago Art Institute, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the National Gallery of Art of the Smithsonian Institution, American Water Color Society in New York, and the Riverside Museum.

Considered a high tribute was that Dr. A. Avinoff, director of the Carnegie Museum, personally bought two of his watercolors.

For a career cut short in its prime he managed to create a fair representation of his talent and craft. Unfortunately while still a young man, age 33, he succumbed to tuberculosis on November 8, 1944.

Exhibitions: LA Co. Fair, 1933 (2nd prize), 1936 (3rd prize), 1937 (2nd prize); Painters & Sculptors of LA, 1933-38; Calif. WC Society, 1935-45; Foundation of Western Art (LA), 1937; Zeitlin Gallery (LA), 1937, 1940 (solos); Padua Hills Theater (Claremont), 1938; Calif. State Fair, 1938, 1939 (prizes); All-Calif. Show (LA), 1939; GGIE, 1939; Chouinard Gallery, 1940 (solo); LACMA, 1942 (solo); Nat'l Print Show (Washington, DC), 1943 (2nd prize).

Works Held: LACMA; Library of Congress (lithos); South Pasadena High School (frescoes, done with M. Sheets); State Mutual Loan Bldg (LA); J. W. Robinson Co. (LA).