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Born in 1929, I grew up in New York where, I became an apprentice bricklayer in a vertical city. Four years later, I was that third generation journeyman; who traveled to work wrapped around a sketchpad; came home to a wonderful wife and eventually enough children to move my easel into the kitchen.
Portrait of James R. Harrington, contemporary impressionist painter.

There was a brief stint at the Art Students League, but the scheme of working on Manhattan's high-rise buildings by day and taking classes at night, gave way to independent study as the road to self expression. This was a turning point for Harrington because, it was here that I was introduced to the teachings of Robert Henri, (1865-1929). Henri had distinguished himself as an instructor at the League, and was the mentor of those urbanized painters later dubbed, "The Ashcan School".

Adhering to the tenets of Henri in his book, "The Art Spirit", I was both determined and destined to forgo participation in juried exhibits during a painting adventure that has spanned more than six decades. Henri's book is a verbal painting of the stepping stones to his perception, that I share with artists, collectors and friends.

Henri's approach to art and my allegiance to his philosophy often lead to questions about the drawback of being out of step with one's peers. There is that, of course. However, the empathy conveyed in my work and the recognition it has established, are for me, the "pedigree" that couldn't be earned in exhibitions I chose to abandon. Harrington remains the one artist I compete with and daily, I challenge him to express himself in indelible, penetrating ways. To do less, would be to forsake the roots and the route of my journey.

Harrington Paintings have been featured in a number of publications, please visit the "publications" page
James R. Harrington painting in his studio in Sebastian, Florida
© James R. Harrington