I do works on paper because I am intrigued with the idea of formally embedding the drawn image within the ground of the paper. Through staining and glazing, layering and sanding, these drawn elements are subjected to an additive and subtractive process that further integrates them into the paper surface. Though the paper is fragmented and at times punctured, the tearing also presents a more physical reality of both the drawn image and the paper support. I enjoy this spatial paradox of perceiving the illusionary while sensing the physical. A spatial irony is at play where areas of light and dark modulation imitate observed reality at the very point at which their tactile and gritty matter reinforce the surface ground. Though associated with growth; these overworked drawings of pine cones, root structures, and microscopic cells are caught in a stage of dormancy, weighted with references of struggle and survival.
James Bockelman is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska where he earned his Bachelor's degree. His graduate work in art was completed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has had numerous solo exhibitions in Nebraska including the Sheldon Museum of Art, the Museum of Nebraska Art "Nebraska Now" and Peru State college. Bockelman has also been involved in many group exhibitions. Awards include Best of Show in the Fred Wells National Juried Exhibition at Nebraska Wesleyan University. In 2007 he had a solo show in 2007 entitled "New Works on Paper" at Kunstoffice in Berlin, Germany.