(American, b. 1950)
Jim Eppler is an artist in the truest sense – he takes the world around us and recreates it for our participation. He has been praised for his lifelike recreations and his gentle interpretations. It is Eppler’s respect and appreciation for nature that allow his art to flow so freely. His wildlife art captures Naturalist Henry Beston’s beliefs about the grandness of the creatures of nature - “In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.”
Eppler developed this appreciation for nature at a young age. Before becoming an official student of art, he unknowingly had been preparing to be an artist. As a small child growing up in El Paso, he would spend many hours outdoors, observing animals to sketch and paint. After moving to Lubbock, Texas, he took his first art class in high school. Eppler continued his official studies at Texas Tech University, earning a BFA in Studio Art. But Eppler has never limited his studies to the classroom. He has always been a keen observer of nature and has spent many hours capturing on film every aspect of nature – movement, landscape, and light, to name a few. In his paintings, Eppler particularly uses light to underscore select components of movement and landscape. In his bronzes, it is the minute details of movement that are subtly emphasized.
As accomplished as Eppler is in wildlife art, he does not limit himself only to that realm. He is an accomplished portrait artist and skilled musician who was able to meld his gift for song and portraiture by creating commissioned portraits for the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. He has done other commissioned pieces for MCA Records, Mercury Records, Chappell Music, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and numerous private collectors.
Eppler has studied with Bob Kuhn, Robert Wood, Bill Worrell, Raymond Froman, Charles Reid, and Paul Milosevich. He is represented in galleries from California to New York, and has been featured in the book, “Wildlife Art, 60 Contemporary Masters and Their Work” (Joan Muyskens Pursley, Portfolio Press), and in numerous magazines. His public installations include the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Frederik Meijer Gardens, Booth Western Art Museum, South Plains Wildlife Rehab Center, National Exhibits Foundation, National Ranching Heritage Museum, West Texas Museum Collection, and the Benson Sculpture Garden, along with numerous private installations.