James Best's film and television career spans over 50 years and includes over 80 movies and 600 tv appearances. He is best known as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane from the hit show The Dukes of Hazzard. He, his wife, and several members of his family currently run a film production company, Best Friend Films.
James, on his painting...
"I guess I always wanted to draw or paint, even as a young boy in grade school. I never had lessons nor the opportunity to take them. It was just at the end of the depression and money (what there was of it) was better spent on just things as food and clothing. I lived in a little rural town in southern Indiana.
In grade school, during some of the more boring classes, I had a tendency to draw cars, airplanes, and shapely girls not unlike some of the Famous Varga girls. My teachers discouraged me from continuing that sort of activity and strongly encouraged me to put my mind to better and more productive activities.
I finally got to High School, and there I had the opportunity to take an art class. I really didn't care so much about the course, but there were about five to one girls that made up the class and that helped me overlook the obvious lack of artistic talent of the instructor who taught the class. I was thrown out of art class.
Years later I visited my home town and sold one of my paintings to the very teacher that had tossed me out of her art class. Being raised in a small rural town, surrounded with trees and clean fresh sparkling creeks and springs, it was a natural inspirational setting for an aspiring artist.
I remembered the fishing trips with my father when we waded the streams in the fall with all the splendor of colored leaves washing about our feet. I have painted those memories many times and I guess I am never happier than when I face a chalk white canvas and fill it with the brilliant colors of those memories.
For painting to me.... takes me home again."
A WORD ABOUT ACRYLIC PAINT. . .
Acrylic paints have been the choice of many fine artists for a long time. The reason is their having an advantage over other painting mediums, They are very stable. Acrylic paintings resist oxidization and chemical decomposition, and will not yellow over time. Acrylic paints also have shown no signs of changing, yellowing, or cracking in over fifty years since they were invented.
The history of Acrylics began in the 1950's. These mineral based paints were called Magna, and then the water-based paints were invented for house painting. Artist found that using the Acrylic Paint gave them a freedom to express themselves that was not offered before.
I find a wonderful advantage using Acrylic paints, over oils, is that they can be diluted with water, but become water-resistant when dry. Depending on how much the paint is diluted (with water) or modified with acrylic gels, mediums, or pastes, the finished acrylic painting can resemble a watercolor or an oil painting , or have its own unique characteristics not attainable with the other media.