James Atherton

I’m always looking for ways to re-imagine the commonplace. My camera work is hopelessly unplanned and unfinished, with new episodes anxiously waiting in the wings to surprise me.

My subjects are diverse: portraits, flora, male and female models, maternity, landscapes, urban architecture, figure studies, nightscapes, and coastal wildlife. Sometimes I’ll also flesh out stills with video.

For some years I’ve been a volunteer and docent at CPA. With those gallery connections I’ve taken in visual stimulation from many talented artists. The volunteer positions also involve the public, creating unexpected fellowships with strangers and their storied backgrounds.

Speaking of volunteering, I should add that my mother was an early docent at Tor House and Hawk Tower, the poet Robinson Jeffers’ hand-built stone structures in Carmel. I’d like to believe that as a docent at CPA I’m continuing with her selfless contribution to the arts.

Artist’s Statement

Some of my favorite things:

Platinum-palladium prints, whispering their faint 19th-century secrets;
The hubbub from people filling the CPA gallery on opening night;
The lambent glow of the Milky Way over Spanish Bay;
The moist, enveloping neutral gray of morning fog;
My heavy, but fast, Leica f/1.2 Nocticron lens;
Bars of 100% dark, organic chocolate;
Mo, my black and white tuxedo cat.