Simple, Quiet, Still: Paintings and Drawings by James Moore


Black Plums and Banner, 1988, Oil on LinenPaintings of Humboldt County and figurative works emulating the great masters of the High Renaissance headline the summer exhibits at Humboldt State University’s First Street Gallery.

The realist paintings of HSU art lecturer James Moore depict the subtle landscapes of Humboldt County, Scotia’s vanishing ways of life, and the ethereal essences of America’s Southwest Desert.

Moore’s works, which also include figurative art and still life, embody what he calls “an absolute delight in seeing.” Painting and drawing from direct observation, he strives to portray complex meanings that are “more subtle and universal than statements about our time, politics, social conditions, or even current art trends.”


His paintings of Scotia glimpse the fading cultures of the fishing, timber and dairy industries once so prominent on the North Coast, enshrining the ethos of hard work and sense of local community that invigorated the region.

Peak and Crevasse, 1987, Oil on LinenOf his desert landscapes, Moore says they gave him a sense of calling. “You realize a new purpose for being, and suddenly everything has new meaning. I view physical being as a confirmation of spiritual experience.”

Moore’s figurative works, both paintings and drawings, apprehend the high water mark of the Renaissance tradition. They reflect the period’s celebration of the individual intellect, and express what Moore describes as “admiration of human form as a manifestation of divine harmony and grace.”

A lecturer in art at HSU since 1999, Moore says his tabletop still life paintings best express his own personality. They form the bulk of his later works (the exhibit covers the period 1980-1992). Refined and unassuming, they picture what Moore assays are the main attributes of his personal character and of the “dignity of being” in the cosmos: simplicity, stillness, and quietude.


Laurie Against a Wall, 1988, Oil on Linen“Simple, Quiet, Still: Paintings and Drawings by James Moore” will run July 1 to August 3 at the First Street Gallery, 422 First Street, Eureka. The gallery is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from noon to five p.m., and admission is always free.

School groups are encouraged to call ahead to reserve tours. The phone number is 707/443-6363.


A public reception for the artist will be held during Eureka Main Street’s monthly “Arts Alive” on Saturday, July 5, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Assisting in the production and curatorial duties of the exhibition are the students in HSU’s Museum and Gallery Practices Program.

Bell, 1989, Oil on Linen

Black Plums and Banner, 1988, Oil on Linen
Peak and Crevasse, 1987, Oil on Linen
Laurie Against a Wall, 1988, Oil on Linen
Bell, 1989, Oil on Linen