James Cogbill with Still Standing in 2014 (above)

James Cogbill with Still Standing in 2014 (above)

  Welcome to my website. Let me tell you a little bit about myself.

   I was born in Evanston, IL, just north of Chicago, into a small family of artists, art history teachers, and history buffs who made sure that I was immersed in countless art classes and museums. I ate it up, and spent all of my free time drawing, coloring and creating all kinds of things as I grew up. 

  I knew I wanted to do something art-related with my life. When college time rolled around, I made my way to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, RI. After the Foundation year, I chose to major in Illustration where I learned to paint. I fell in love with oil painting, but the department program was not the best fit, so I transferred out.

   I wanted to go into RISD's Painting department, but I fought the desire because it didn't seem practical. I transferred into Industrial Design (ID), instead. I didn't know much about design at the time, but it was attractive and mysterious. Choosing ID over Painting was not easy though, and I often questioned what I was doing. ID was completely different from Fine Art. It was simultaneously grueling and fascinating. I developed new skills and perspectives, and benefitted from experiences that I probably wouldn't have had if I had stayed with Fine Art. For example, being in ID included allowed me to take some courses in RISD's Architecture and Landscape Architecture departments, experiences that shaped what I do now. All the while, I kept making art, and everything I absorbed in design influenced my paintings. 

   I graduated in 2008 with a BFA in Industrial Design and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where I lived and worked for 3 years. In 2011, I moved to New York City; where I currently live and work. I'm a full time project manager for a design / fabrication studio in Long Island City, Queens. Whenever I'm not occupied with work, I paint in my home studio, and exhibit my work when I can. This website displays a collection of my paintings, and some side projects, from the last 12+ years. 

   I consider myself an artist first and foremost, even though I work in the design field. To me, Art and Design are not dissimilar or antagonistic. Artists can design, and designers can make art.

   I don't feel the need to justify painting. I do it because I love it. My favorite thing to paint is landscape, or things I see as landscapes. I especially enjoy looking at human-made spaces and objects urban areas. I often focus on how light falls on constructed forms to create repeating shapes, patterns and shadows.

   Recently, I've been inspired by the work of Carmen Herrera, Helen Lundeberg and Stuart Davis. Enduring favorites include Giorgio Morandi, Philip Guston and Richard Diebenkorn. 

    Thank you for visiting. Please feel free to send feedback to jamescogbill@gmail.com. I'm always eager to discuss ideas, collaborations or commissions.