February 21, 2020
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Artist Alan James was recently filmed for an episode of Put Some Colour in your Life in his studio. Photo courtesy of Alan James

Artist Alan James was recently filmed for an episode of Put Some Colour in your Life in his studio. (Photo courtesy of Alan James )


Manhattan Reflections, watercolor by Alan James

Manhattan Reflections, watercolor by Alan James )

Bringing Art from Connecticut to Australia

Published Oct. 02, 2019

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With the click of a button on his computer’s keyboard, award winning impressionist watercolor artist and North Haven native Alan James was able to fulfill one of his bucket list experiences.

A fan of the Australia-based art show Put Some Colour in your Life, Alan looked up the show’s website and lo and behold, the site had a section that prompted, “if you want to be on the show, push here.” So he did.

After filling out additional information and sending along images of his work, Alan was chosen as one of six artists to be featured on the show’s Hot August Nights tour, which will air in late October. The other artists are from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine, and California.

On Aug. 31, show host Graeme Stevenson, along with a professional film crew, visited James at his Deep River home and studio to film the 24-minute segment, which focused on his Impressionist art, the tools he uses, the sources of his inspiration, and his unique technique. No stranger to talking about his art, Alan teaches classes at the Lyme Art Academy as well as at his studio.

“It was a very exciting process,” Alan says about the taping of the show. “I prepared quite a bit for it and I feel like my preparation paid off, because I was very relaxed. It also helped that Graeme and his crew were consummate professionals.”

Alan, who has spent his life working as a musician and an artist, grew up in North Haven, though he now lives in Deep River. During the past two years, he said, art has completely taken over and become his main focus.

Around town, he’s likely better known as a musician than a visual artist. He spent a large chunk of time from the late ’70s until around 2012 pursuing his music career as both a solo artist and as part of band, playing a variety of instruments including the guitar, drums, and mandolin, among others.

According to his music website, he has performed in Connecticut, Nantucket, Virginia, Florida, Chicago, Nashville, and Arizona and his act has opened shows for performers including Joan Jett, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Michael Bolton, Jefferson Starship, and Rick Derringer.

A self-taught artist and musician, Alan says he has loved art since a young age and was often found perfecting his first self-portraits in school, when he should have been focusing on other studies.

He was drawn to Impressionism because it allows an interaction with the viewer and the use of imagination rather than just presenting a replica of what the artist sees.

His favorite subjects to paint are city street scenes in the rain because of the reflection of light created by the water and the overall feeling the paintings create.

Being self-taught poses its own set of challenges, and Alan has done his part to help others along the path through publishing two instructional videos, Watercolor Secrets and “Letting It Flow.

His advice to other artists? Follow your heart and work at it every day to become better.

“Art is constant learning,” Alan says.

To see Alan James’s television segment, visit or His episode will be aired on Nutmeg Public Access Television in late October. To order DVDs of his instructional videos, email

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