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 James Douglas Brantley  (1946 - )

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Lived/Active: Alabama      Known for: watercolor figure, nude

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James Douglas Brantley
An example of work by James Douglas Brantley
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted July 2004, is from the artist James Douglas Brantley, of Alabama, not to be confused with James Sherman Brantley, of Pennsylvania.

James Douglas Brantley was born October 10, 1946, in Montgomery, Alabama. He has five siblings, all brothers, none of whom are artists. He began drawing at an early age. As early as five, he was seeking advice from his mother on how to improve his drawings. He sold his first painting to a 6th grade classmate for ten cents. It was a watercolor of an Indian man paddling a canoe. He continued with his artistic development, graduating from Auburn University in Alabama in 1970 with a BFA.

He began teaching high school art in Florida, later moving to Opelika, Alabama. He retired as a high school art teacher in 1998 to pursue a full-time career in art. Since 1998, he has been awarded signature memberships by the Watercolor Society of Alabama, Southern Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, and the American Watercolor Society. He has also served as president of Watercolor Society of Alabama and the Southern Watercolor Society.

Brantley has received over 40 national and international awards, including the Dagmar Tribble Memorial Award from AWS in 2001, and the Winsor & Newton Award from AWS in 2004.

Although he paints a variety of subject matter in several media, he is best known for his detailed watercolor paintings of people, in a style that many people say is similar to the work of Andrew Wyeth. His models are usually people that he knows and happens to find interesting. None of his work, however, resembles a stereotypical portrait. Usually employing strong lighting and deep darks, he paints figures, some nude, some not, and head studies, which he often says are influenced more heavily by Caravaggio and Rembrandt than by contemporaries such as Wyeth.


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