We had the good fortune of connecting with James Bohling and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi James, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I began my artistic career late in life, around age 50. I’ve always loved painting but never gave it any thought as a career choice because it seemed risky. After friends convinced me to enter an art show I realize that it was worth the risk because my work was well received and painting was something that I truly loved.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve always had a creative side but until I was older I didn’t know how to express it. I discovered painting by accident, because I wanted something big for my home and couldn’t afford a “real artist”. I bought acrylics and painted a piece for the living room wall and never stopped after that. I’m very drawn to the landscapes of Colorado and Nebraska, the places where I grew up, so that’s mainly what I paint. I love the sky, the mountains and the plains because of the colors and feelings of home, family and a fondness for the past they evoke in me and others. It wasn’t an easy transition for me to become a professional artist, and that is really due to obstacles I put up myself. I never had formal training in painting so I was afraid to show my work. It takes a certain amount of self confidence to put yourself out to the world for all to see. I always appreciate people who have the guts to do that. One thing I have learned over time is to trust your instincts and to go for what you want. You are better at what you do when you love doing it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For a week long trip I’d start here in Denver with a stop at Brewery Bar II one night for some amazing Colorado green chile. I’d want to check out the rooftop bar at ART Hotel and hit some of the breweries in RINO. We’d take a walk around downtown one evening with stops for drinks in Union Station and the Cruise Room. Another dinner at ChoLon and a visit to Larimer Square is fun. If it’s summer a Rockies game is always a great time. And a concert at Red Rocks would be amazing. We would have to go on at least one hike, probably near Boulder and then spend some time on Pearl Street and lunch at the beautiful Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse with an art stop at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art next door. Of course we’d have to go skiing in the winter, I love Breck and Copper or even an overnight at Salida to ski at Monarch. In the summer an overnight trip to Breck is awesome also.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I probably wouldn’t be a professional artist without the help and encouragement of Dorene Oliver and Shawndell Oliver. Two artists that gave me the confidence I needed to begin selling work. Also Joseph Martinez, who listened to my doubts and still encouraged me.