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James Paterson

PMs for Christian Courier 057A message from James Paterson, the artist who creates Green Teacher’s cover images.

I didn’t realize it’s been 19 years since I started creating the covers for Green Teacher Magazine and as a former school teacher I’ve enjoyed having this opportunity to participate in environmental education in my work as an artist.

When I create a cover for Green Teacher I have two goals in mind. One is to visually convey the thrust of what is being discussed in the lead article and the other is to grab the viewers attention causing them to pick up the magazine look at it and draw them in (pun intended).  For long time readers, you may have noticed stylistic transitions over the years but I feel I’ve found an approach that is: illustrative and easy to interpret, child like in its look reflecting an inquisitive audience and singular in style so as to stand apart from other publications. My hope is that you have come to identify this distinctive visual look with Green Teacher magazine, and that it serves as a door way welcoming you into the good stuff inside.

9. Land of the Silver Birch, Home of the Beaver- James Paterson- 184x92x40cm- mixed media- 2008

In the other work I do I paint, make prints and create three dimensional objects. I like to create situations in my pieces that expose the underlying humanness of what happens in life, of who we are and how we represent ourselves. Regardless of how earnest our cause, dire our circumstances or the way we try to disguise who we really are I find that there is always, somewhere a crack in our armour  that allows our irrepressible humanity, to leak out.

11. WE'RE HAVING THE TIME OF OUR LIVES  1992  122 x 244 cm  mixed media moving parts

As I’ve created my art pieces over the years I’ve tackled such themes as: national identity, the Mounties’ and ice hockey.   I’ve used the Bible in which I took a quirky, contemporary look at stories from the Bible and did as series of illustrated watercolours; and kinetics in the whimsical moving constructions that come alive when the viewer touches them turning the drive crank. I also do representational work with subjects like the 400 series highways in southern Ontario, suburban landscapes and industry; all the things that surround me, that I see and engage with everyday. These elements make up the environment that I live and move in everyday which often engender a simple sense of wonder about it all and my art is simply an attempt to give expression to its mystery.

6. THE PILGRIMS PROGRESS - HIGHWAY 403   J. Paterson   acrylic on board   28 x 39 cm  2012

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