Artist Spotlight: Jim Guenther

Artist Spotlight: Jim Guenther

Ketchikan, Alaska

Photo credit: Ketchikan Daily News



At this year's Celebration of The Sea Art Walk we will be welcoming Ketchikan artist Jim Guenther to the gallery to show his original paintings.

Simply put, Jim Guenther is inspired by water. He says, "It has captured my imagination far as far back as I can remember. I live beside the sea on a rocky coastline...I awaken to the crashing surf or to the gentle lapping of ripples on gravel. We are all born of this water and we are composed of it. In Ketchikan it falls from the sky 285 days a year. We pray with water. It is in our very breath."

His painting process begins with sprinkling water onto synthetic paper. He then paints his surfaces with washes of acrylic ink pigments. As in evident in his work, he splashes, sprays, swirls, and melds the colors, seemingly mimicking the motion of water itself. For solid structures such as land forms or coastlines, he paints with broken glass or pieces of wood dipped into paint. The synthetic paper allows additional manipulation of the pigment once it's initially applied.

His ultimate hope with his work is that it will elicit an emotional response from the viewer. He has exhibited his work in multiple individual and group shows in Ketchikan and even authored a book titled "Short Stories and Poetry From The Last Frontier." He is a retired schoolteacher and lives in Ketchikan with his family.