Spotlight: Jim Stevens

“I see in empty space, and I paint in the way that I see.”

Jim Stevens was recently featured by PBS Arts District and Stevens’s  monofilament painting “Ember” won first prize at the 2015 juried exhibition of the Best of the Art District on Santa Fe on November 20, 2015.

Stevens calls his art medium “polymorphs,” a type of scrimshaw art.  Thousands of strands of monofilament fishline are individually painted and layered to an effect that can only be described as stunning. As each strand in an 8 layer composition is a slightly different. This causes each viewing angle to produce a slightly different result.

“Art can be done quickly and look brilliant. My kind of art can’t be done that way. The work that I do, does require patience because one wrong line–one wrong dot, one misplaced scratch–and it can be ruined,” said Stevens.

What is most amazing about the art of Jim Stevens is that this award winning international artist is legally blind, with only a pin dot of vision remaining in both eyes. He lost his sight as a result of combat wounds suffered while serving in the U.S. Army. His loss of vision forced the artist to rethink his approach to the art he loves. Today he uses a combination of visual lenses along with his sense of touch to complete each of his works of art, and custom scrimshaw creations. Jim is the master scrimshaw and ivory craftsman for Fenton, the international jewelry design studio based in New York City, and he also teaches the art of scrimshaw at Trinidad State College in Colorado for the National Rifle Association Gunsmithing School. As an author, Jim has written three comprehensive illustrated books on the art of scrimshaw published by Schiffer Books, “Scrimshaw Techniques,” “Advanced Scrimshaw Techniques,” and “Powder Horns Fabrication & Decoration,” to help others learn scrimshaw, inlay, carving, and more. Jim believes strongly in education to help keep the art form alive.

Jim Stevens currently serves as a board member of A3 Colorado: Adapt, Adjust, Acheieve. We are so proud to have such an amazingly talented individual on our team.

For more info, you can visit Jim’s site at or read his profile in Westword here.

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