James McGrew

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, James McGrew grew up making frequent backpacking trips to Yosemite, Tahoe and other beautiful locations in Northern California and Oregon. He fell in love with Yosemite at an early age and often tried to capture the natural beauty through various artistic media including pastels at the age of 8 and using his father’s oils by age 10.

Although he took every art class available up to and throughout college, in effort to learn more about his favorite place and artistic subject, he earned degrees in Biology, Chemistry and Geology then went on to study Environmental Education in Graduate School. James relies on his background in science with art as a vehicle to communicate the natural beauty that inspires his work.

James hikes/backpacks several hundred miles each summer, always with a tripod, pochade and cameras. He uses his plein air paintings as references for larger studio works. James has worked as an interpretive naturalist in Yosemite for over 15 summer seasons.

His work hangs in collections around the world and has been exhibited in many solo shows, prestigious competitions, museums and events. At the 2013 Grand Canyon Celebration of Art he won both the Peoples’ Choice Award and the Plein Air Magazine Award. Winner of the 2014 Carmel Art Festivals Peoples Choice Award. In April 2014 he was featured in Southwest Art Magazine as an emerging artist.

His website is jamesmcgrewfineart.com.

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View this artist's archived work

Thunderstorm Sunset on Half Dome

Oil on linen mounted on board, 12″ x 16″, 2016. Framed in carved compound slope in quartersawn white oak. $2,595.

Ahwahnee Snow Storm

2011. Oil on canvas, 6″ x 8”. Framed in No. 1.2 CV—2-1/2” in quartersawn white oak (Weathered Oak stain). $935.

Windswept View

2012. Oil on linen on board, 14″ x 18″. Framed in No. 2.3 CV—3” in quartersawn white oak (Medieval Oak stain). $2795.