James was born in Ayr in 1937 and has continued to live in Ayrshire all his life. He taught Art for many years and was an inspiring teacher with many of his pupils going on themselves to develop successful careers as artists.
In recent years James has spent time in the West Indies and in Brazil but he never tires of painting the landscape and coastline around his Ayrshire home and elsewhere in Scotland. He is known mainly as a landscape artist but his landscapes are almost invariably informed by a human presence and day to day activities, a sense of life being lived. This may be actual figures or it may be a suggestion of human life through buildings, gardens, and boats. He is an expressive painter working mainly in oils, using the rich, luscious quality of the paint to great effect.
James exhibits widely and has work in many collections including those of the House of Lords, Glasgow University, P & O Cruises, Wigtownshire Education Trust and the Maclaurin Gallery. He is a past winner of the prestigious Laing Landscape Competition and the Scotsman Art Competition.