James Harrill gained international recognition for his acrylic paintings of sun-drenched Greek buildings and of New
Mexican adobes contrasted against expanses of clear, blue skies. His Southwestern art concentrates on
the soft mixture of the colors found in adobe houses, streets, and sky and is usually accented with a bright door or window.
Born in North Carolina, Mr. Harrill chose academic schools in Maine, New York, and Washington to further his artistic
experience. In the 1960's, he traveled to Greece to paint, to teach, and to exhibit. New Mexico was his home from the
1970's onward because he found the light, landscape, and the atmosphere conducive to the peaceful lifestyle that he
loved. He continued to travel to Greece yearly, thereby renewing his fascination with the architecture of that ancient part
of the world.
Harrill's work has been exhibited in galleries in Athens, Beirut, and Zurich. His work is widely collected and
distinguished because of a "fascination with the elemental forms of square, circles and triangles, the
cornerstones of my paintings" (quoted Harrill)" "The canvases themselves carry contrast to its most dramatic lengths. Two colors dominate
them: white and blue. But within those two colors, Harrill created vast ranges of subtlety. The white facades of his
buildings vary from a bleached lack of color, to cool blue-grey and warm beige-pink undertones. The hypnotic blue skies
range in shade from a pale tint associated with New Mexico to a deeper, more ultramarine blue reserved for depictions
of the Mediterranean. And punctuating these expanses are touches of red, umber,
orange and brown - reference points which rivet the eye, however momentarily, as it wanders over the architectural landscape (Southwestern Art, February
James Harrill spent his last years in his own domain, living out a peaceful existence, in touch with the past and positive
about the future. Although the painting has concluded, his images are timeless, as are the feelings they evoke.