Jim Brune

“I love it when I finish a piece and it turns out like I envisioned. There is something completely satisfying about that. It makes me want to do more.”

Jim Brune

Watercolor on Hardwood

Jim Brune dabbled with painting in high school, learned how to paint with watercolors in college, and only recently tried his hand at watercolor painting on hardwood — a unique method that sets his work apart from traditional watercolor artists.

“I don’t know of anybody who does art the way I do,” Jim says of his watercolor-on-wood creations. “My art will never be duplicated by anyone, including myself.”

Using a realism technique that makes his artwork seem right at home in any family room, the Decatur artist carefully chooses what kind of wood to paint on from unused pieces of hardwood at his sawmill.

“Some can be very rotten and I fill them with tinted epoxy, which is evident in a few of my pieces,” Jim says of his paintings on wood, most of which capture birds in their natural habitats.

“I love the way the wood looks and smells when it comes off the sawmill, and thought I’d try my craft on hardwood,” Jim explains. “I have perfected the technique and am always in search for subject matter.”

Working in the graphic design industry for more than 30 years, Brune says he learned watercolor painting in 1982 under the tutelage of art professor Joe Bertrand at Ball State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in fine art and design.

Today, Jim proudly boasts of being happily married for 37 years, father to six, and grandfather to 13. “And I still feel like I’m 30 years old!” he says.

He considers the Indiana Artisan designation an honor and a privilege.

“I believe it separates artists from the ones who are, and the ones who are striving to be, completely unique,” he says. “It is the greatest artistic honor I have ever received.”

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