Faulkner, Our Teacher

Jim Faulkner painting on site, Delaware County, IN. 2012

Jim Faulkner painting on site, Delaware County, IN. 2012

Jim Faulkner is an exceptional painter of watercolor scenes. He is also an exceptional teacher, friend, and human. Soft spoken – except for the time the guy in NYC tried to get rough asking for money – generous with teaching, time and favors, Jim has demonstrated to those of us who adore him, that kindness, tenacity, talent, good humor and a steady, consistent pace will lead to a Life Well-Lived (and much admired). Mention his name in any Muncie-area group that has any interest in art, and you’ll hear, “OH, I LOVE Jim Faulkner’s work, ” or the shortened version, “OH, I LOVE HIM!” Like icing on the cake, Faulkner’s rugged good looks helped elevate the talented artist to Local Hero status in Delaware County, Indiana. For years, he and his just-as-lovely wife, Eleanor, trained and boarded dogs on their small farm west of Muncie. That experience was also charmed, as everyone felt like they were dropping their dog-kids off at camp, instead of the typical kennel situation. Beautifully maintained, the farmhouse, kennels, and barn were all part of an idyllic country scene. Jim’s studio in the barn was the envy of other artists toughing it out in corners of bedrooms or family rooms. He just seemed to do everything “right.” Painting scenes of our Indiana was one of those right things. Jim sets up in fields and alongside country roads to paint old barns, farmhouses, rolling fields, less-than-tidy barnyards. He paints them in a way that lets you know he loves them – just the way they are. And then, you love them too.

I am not embellishing a bit when I say that Jim Faulkner helped direct our lives -Brian’s and mine – first, as our professor at Ball State University, later, as friend, comrade, and someone we are proud to represent in our gallery. Jim Faulkner is a local art icon, and he deserves the praise. In our opinion, Jim is all that and more.

To close, I hope that others recognize how lucky we all are to have an artist like Jim Faulkner in our midst. The one who keeps at it, drives others’ paintings to distant exhibits, shares, picks up works after exhibits for others, wins awards regularly, painted the length of the Wabash River with friend Dave Dale, never quits, encourages others always, is very kind to humans, dogs, and undoubtedly, other beings, and has given us all a life to aspire to.

P.S. The story about the guy asking for money? It happened when Jim and Brian went to New York  and were walking around looking for painting spots. A rough guy aggressively tried to get money out of them. Brian remembers it as a very tense moment. Country boy Faulkner handled it. He simply pulled himself up to his full 6’3″ height, stepped in closer and told the guy he wanted money from him! A very tense few seconds passed, and the man turned and walked away. Moral of the story: Don’t mess with the quiet-natured artists of Delaware County!

Please come to his opening on Thursday, August 1st at our downtown Muncie gallery. Jim will exhibit new paintings, about which he offered, “I was primarily interested in wonderful images all around me, and my futile attempt to capture those, but with the added beauty of watercolor paint on rag paper.” He is simply in love with the act and the materials of painting. Amazing.

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