James E. Faulkner (aka Jim) was born on April 1, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois. Son of a civil engineer and a maternal nurse, Faulkner never liked school during his childhood days although his favorite classes were those dealing with art and nature. All of his focus and interests were in the wilderness.
After graduating from high school, he found his dream job at the Brookside Zoo, taking care of the walruses and sea lions as well as being dolphin trainer. One year later, in 1965, he got drafted into the military and then served in the First Battalion, 7th Cavalry Infantry in Vietnam in 1966. He was trained as a military policeman and was shocked when told to pack up for an air assault. He was now in the infantry. Sleeping with mosquitoes every night, being surrounded by leeches both in the water and on the ground, suffering through two monsoons (lasting about a month each) and a typhoon, it's no wonder that Faulkner's love of nature and the outdoors vanished. However, it was only a temporary loss.
On his safe return to Chicago from war, Faulkner decided to go back to the Brookside Zoo and was disappointed to see they were rebuilding it and had lost the animals he had worked with before being drafted in the military. The four dolphins Faulkner had work with, Vicky, Robbie, Salty and Pepper, had all died from stress and pneumonia; he couldn't bare the pain of their loss for they were like his own children.
A Police Officer he knew from his hometown convinced him to join the Police Force. Having previous Military Police training helped Faulkner's entry into the Police Academy; he pursued this career for five years. During his "off time" as a policeman, Jim was attracted to art and commenced to self-educate himself in oil painting, a hobby he never envisioned to grow as well and far as it has. His mentor, fellow Illinoisan seascape artist, Charles B. Vickery, "hooked" Faulkner to the arts for life.
Being tantalized by the once pristine wilderness of Colorado's Flattops, James Faulkner moved to Colorado in 1975, and thanks to his wife's insistence as well as Mr. Vickery's 20 plus years of tutoring, he became a full-time artist in 1978. Faulkner goes out into the wilderness alone to study wild animals in their natural environment. He spends days, even weeks exploring the territory, animal behavior, sounds in order to paint wildlife in realistic style.
Faulkner was awarded with his first blue ribbon in the 1978 National Wildlife Art Show of Kansas. Other Best of Show awards earned by Faulkner include the Oklahoma Wildlife Art Festival and the Western Art Festival where he has won numerous blue ribbons at these and other national shows. He has participated in the Arts of the Parks Museum Tour and was awarded a silver medal for the top award in the Rocky Mountain Region. His work as also been featured on the National Park Stamp.
Faulkner has been classified as a Featured Artist at the International Wildlife Western and American Art Show, Oklahoma Wildlife Art Festival and Western Art Festival. His work has been shown at Gallery One's Mastervisions and Masterworks in Miniature. (Mastervisions is an exhibition featuring 50 of North America's contemporary artists.) His two most current shows have been the "Mountainside Miniatures Exhibit & Sale" at the Foothills Art Center in Golden, CO and the "Figures & Creatures" at the South Union Gallery in Lakewood, CO.
Faulkner's artwork has appeared during the 1990s in the publications of Southwest Art, U.S. Art News magazine, and Wildlife Art. He also had commissioned artwork for the National Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited, the Illinois Wildlife Federation, the Arizona Wildlife, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, Coors, The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, The Bradford Exchange and The Hamilton Collection. His limited edition prints have been collected in all 50 states and several foreign countries such as England, Australia, Canada, and India.
For a third time, Mr. Faulkner has been commissioned for an illustration to be used in McDougal's Littell's new high school textbook entitled, Language of Literature Grade 9. This textbook is currently being used in high schools throughout the United States. The expected circulation is to be over 1 million copies.
Faulkner's reputation has gained him invitations to judge art shows across the United States, including his now home state of Colorado. He has also been sought out for over 20 years for his master art instruction and artistic innovations of his own discovery in different organizations such as the Mountainside Art Gild and Lakewood Art's Council.
A couple of tidbits to know more about Mr. James Faulkner's personality are, for one, he has wanted to paint seascapes as Charles Vickery to no avail. He has tried hundreds of times but just can't get it right since it's almost impossible to paint wet (translucent) water. As Mr. Faulkner quotes: "There is a huge difference between being a very good artist and a genius" (in reference to Mr. Vickery). Since he is semi-retired, Faulkner dedicates his time to obtaining his private pilot's license as well as spending time in the wilderness alone, enjoying the photographical aspect of the sumptuous Rocky Mountains.