James Kitchens' paintings on relief sculpted copper are a unique and powerful fusion of two and three dimensional artwork. Using raw pigments on loan from the Earth and manipulated only enough to mate with bare copper, Kitchens’ paintings are as much alchemy as artwork. Using only the ancient elements of fire, air, earth, and water, these natural materials are bonded to the copper surface and sealed with a natural non-toxic varnish.

This art is old science: indigo extracts mixed with white clay– a Mayan recipe which has proven its colorfastness; hematite reds and purples with a foot in prehistoric Egypt and present-day Moroccan iron mines; pure gold in a powder form to best temper consistency and hue with its innate brilliance. There are ochres, umbers and siennas, excavated from the ground and roasted to deepen their color; vegetable pigments and charcoals – derived and collected directly from nature.

It is with these terrestrial elements that Kitchens creates art. It could be done easier, with lesser materials or more efficiency… but there is nothing frugal about his process. It is the synthesis of nature and the artist’s hand. It is art made with a respect for materials and techniques which represent ages of chemical, agricultural and geological human history.