Jim Ball (James Ross Ball) March 25, 1933 - Nov 29, 2010
Jim was born in Boulder, CO to Fred and Nola Ball. He spent his youth there and always maintained a love of the Rockies and Flat Irons just outside of Boulder. During WWII as a teenager he and his family moved to Honolulu, HI where his father worked as a civil servant. These years were a testing ground for him as a slender white boy amongst racial gangs. It built his self confidence and awareness. The last several years of high school were spent back on the mainland in Port Orchard.
Jim lived in Port Orchard for many years. He was married, had two sons, and worked for the WA State ferry system. During this time he started his first art work. He carved wood busts of people whose faces were life worn. Some of them he cast and others remained wood. He had a life-long love of wood and stones. These natural elements he used in designing his home and gardens. There was a particular Asian feel to the gates, dry river beds, and plant selections he chose.
After several years of carving Jim visited a gallery showing of Paul Horiuchi's collage work. He was greatly inspired by this work and began to create his own version in this style, using metal leaf, rice paper, and calligraphy. He honed his sense of composition and soon entered the gallery world showing at the Wilma Haines Gallery in Ballard. Over time he showed at the Kiku Gallery in Seattle, the Maveety Gallery in Salishan, OR, the Lawrence Gallery in Portland, OR, the Kimsey/Miller Gallery, Seattle, SAM Sales/Rental Gallery, Seattle, and many others. At one period from 1984-1988 Jim sold his work through the Winn Corporation, a national show room to the interior design trade.
In 1980 Jim married Jan Hoy and they remained together for the rest of his life. They moved from Port Orchard to Port Townsend, where they lived until 2008. They spent the last two years of Jim's life living on Whidbey Island.
In the early 1990's Jim was drawn to abstract acrylic painting. From his many years of collage work his eye was well honed to shape, color, and composition and so his painting career developed rapidly.
Throughout the rest of his life Jim would continue to paint on a daily basis. It was both his love and his nemesis. He has been called a quintessential abstract expressionist and that title suits him well.
Over the years he moved through various series of work, each with a different emphasis, but always identifiable as Jim Ball. Each series had a name, starting with "The Old Japan Series", followed by "The Analect Series", then "The Parallel Universe Series", and finally "The Lunar Series". He was working on pieces for the Lunar Series up until his death in 2010.