James Ayers works in oils, applying thick impasto paint with palette knives, brushes, and brayer rollers. To give depth and movement to the image, he uses techniques such as scumbling (dragging paint with a brush across the canvas), sgraffito (scratching out wet paint to expose the underpaint colors), splattering and intentional drips of paint. Ayers often employs pencil and crayon atop the finished work to amplify the visual impact.
"It may seem like a contradiction, but I developed my style as a result of two decades as an award-winning painter of highly representational images. Through the years, I loved to experiment with the abstraction of realistic images and was thrilled to discover how less detail often had more power to captivate viewers.
The secret to my work is to balance planning and execution with a playful openness to unconventional ideas. It’s this unrestrained freedom that allows me to elevate my paintings with energy and spirit." - James Ayers