James “Jay” Young’s subject is endangered. The vast open spaces and farmlands that inhabit his paintings are disappearing at an alarming rate. Therefore, to create his unique imagery, he draws upon his experiences living and working in the Midwest’s agricultural valleys. An appreciation of open space, contrasted with his obsession with early architecture, drives Jay to find old barns and rural farmhouses to include in his work.

His working methods involve collecting his subject matter, reinterpreting it, and creating a reminiscent scene of a time or place. For instance, the creative process begins with a view that grabs his attention. Next is a quick sketch in Sharpie marker to capture value and light source, followed by a loose color study in watercolor or oil on paper. Additionally, a digital photo captures details for future reference. Most paintings are created using multiple views from different sources.

James paints mostly on wood panels or canvas, depending on the scale of the work.