James Shay

Born in the heart of Midwest farmland, Jim loved the plains and enjoyed the cold winters of northeast South Dakota, before being dropped into the amazing desert heat of Yuma, Arizona, at age thirteen when his father bought a Phillips 66 gas station outside of town. While fixing flats and pumping gas in the family business, he dreamed of the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, Mark Rothko’s paintings and the California coast.

After graduating from architecture school he hit the road, working for excellent architects in America and abroad. Along the way he discovered a link between painting and architecture through the work of the French architect le Corbusier. To explore this great revelation, Jim took two years away from architecture to study at the San Francisco Art Institute in the late seventies.

From 1979 onward Jim’s architecture office designed commercial and residential modernist projects in western America and Asia. Published in America, Europe and Asia, his work received wide recognition in the professional worlds of architecture and art.

In the mid-nineties Jim’s focus shifted from architecture to painting, and he has never looked back. He has had numerous one-person shows and is represented by many galleries nationwide. Jim lives in beautiful Lucas Valley, north of San Francisco, in a home he designed and shares with his gorgeous wife, Karen, and their daughter, Genevieve. He likes to ski, play tennis, and study the construction and painting techniques of ancient Egypt. He does occasional architectural projects, including homes, studios and interiors.