James was born in Scone, Perthshire in 1954 grew up in Lanark in the Clyde Valley and studied at Glasgow School of Art, under the tutelage of the late John Cunningham.
At every opportunity, he endeavours to capture his chosen subject 'plein air', be it in the peaceful hills of a Greek island, the light and colour of southern France or here at home in a coastal village or city square.
Since deciding to paint full time in 2009, he has established a studio and framing workshop in Lanark, and also a base near Beziers in the Languedoc in the south of France. His painting is now split between the UK and his nomadic travels abroad.
In France, working from an old campervan affectionately nicknamed Claude ( after Monet, his favourite artist ) he is inspired by the light and colour of the region, often capturing his subject in one outdoor session.