Jim Booth a self taught artist, has become widely known for his life-like realism. Jim reaches into the viewers’ minds and touches their positive and pleasing thoughts. A very prolific artist, he uses a wide range of themes to communicate with as many people as possible. Jim is constantly seeking compositions and mentally working out colors and lighting wherever he might be. He says, “At times object or scenes seem to jump out and ask to be painted.” My greatest problem is trying to decide what not to paint.” His art recreates the history of Charleston’s lowcountry. With works that span the millennium, Jim paints scenes of the Civil War, antebellum Charleston, the early 1900’s and into the present with the Citadel, Hurricane Hugo, and the Morris Island Lighthouse. Jim’s exquisite details are a time machine that guides guest through Charleston’s heritage.
Born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1945, Jim has been drawing and painting as long as he can remember. From the time of Jim’s youth he gravitated towards the world of art. Inspired by Norman Rockwell’s cover of Boy’s Life. Jim knew that art was his calling but denied himself formal training because he felt that art was not the way to make a living. While majoring in architecture at Clemson University, he decided that art was where his future lay. In order to fulfill his military obligations, he left school and joined the Marine Corps for four years of service, including combat in Vietnam. During the war he drew, making pencil drawings of the scenery. These sketches can be found hanging in his gallery. The war cemented Jim’s dedication to art, and he returned from to the United States determined to begin a career as a painter.
Jim started to master the workmanship of “painting everything he sees”, a trait he believes to be very important for all artist. Jim estimated to have done at least 10,000 paintings thus far in his career, and looking at his work, the viewer appreciates his dedication to the craft of painting. Because Jim worked so diligently in his art, he is able to paint a variety of subjects beautifully. His most famous painting is entitled “The Storm”. The painting shows the Charleston battery around 10:00pm September 21, 1989, just before the lights were extinguished by the violent storm. Hurricane Hugo devastated the lowcountry so he felt the need to capture its fury. He was sure no one would want to buy the reminder of disaster. Today, over 100,000 copies of the painting have been sold. He reaches viewers on an emotional level, and they responded.
In 1977 Jim opened his own gallery. With a client list now in the thousands, it is easy to understand why Jim’s published original sold for five digit figures. Now he has decided to keep the originals, selling only canvas prints as amazing reproductions of the originals. His collector prints, however, have made his work available to everyone.
Jim now lives in Johns Island, South Carolina with his wife Virginia and two daughters Diana Lynn, and Tracey Jeanette, who are his greatest boosters.