Jim has long been noted for capturing the serenity and charm of the Carolina low country and southern coast. He also has spent time and painted the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Jim is also noted for bringing to life in his art some of the greatest golf courses in the country. His work can be found in private and public collections around the world.
Palmer gained fame at the age of sixteen when then President Dwight D. Eisenhower acquired a painting of his that was on display at the Master’s Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Later the President wrote him a personal letter commissioning him to paint scenes of Augusta National on neckties that the President then gave to his cabinet members.
Jim received his education from the University of South Carolina and the Atlanta College of Art in the 1960s. Afterward he and his wife Barbara moved to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina where he began his career as a professional artist. In 1995 he moved to Saint Simons Island, Georgia where he currently resides. His work continues to be highly sought after and collected.
Jim Palmer was born in Columbia, S.C. After leaving art school and marrying he moved to Hilton Head Island, one of the first professional artists to reside there. In those early years he was asked to do many of the magazine covers for local publications and his work became highly sought after and collected.
Jim was commissioned to paint the golf holes at Jack Nicklaus's Signature Course at the Colleton River Plantation even before the holes were built. He worked with Nicklaus to capture the vision he had for each hole.
Jim is probably best known for his beautiful soft skies. People are often amazed to learn that he primarily works in acrylic paint. The soft muted layers are a technique difficult to achieve with the fast drying acrylic paint but he does.
Jim tells a story with each of his paintings. The viewer gets to see nature up close and what a day must be like for an egret on the marsh or a gull on the beach. The title of each of his paintings also gives a clue to what they must be doing and thinking.
Art runs deep in the Palmer family lineage. Jim's grandfather Harry Palmer was a nationally known cartoonist and one of the first animators in the U.S. in the early 1930s. His mother Jacqueline Lynch Palmer had an eye for art and design and was Jim's biggest influence to pursuit a career in art. His brother Walter is a well known sculptor. His son Addison is following in his footsteps. Also included are a talented daughter, granddaughter and nephews and more.
Ask Jim to tell you his stories about the 55 years that he has lived and worked in the low country. Stories about Big Foot, environmental protests, golf rounds and more.
Wherever you live if you visit even just once the shores of South Carolina and/or Georgia you're going to want to find a pathway to there again. Take home memories and create new ones as you experience life in the low country through Jim's art.
In 1969 Charles Fraser, the original developer of Sea Pines Plantation on Hilton Head Island, began construction of Harbour Town. At Christmas that year, the lighthouse was still in scaffolding and unpainted. Charles requested I come up with a Christmas card design of the lighthouse even though it was not completed. To make it look festive I came up with the candy cane stripe design. Charles liked it so much he decided to make that the permanent and now iconic look.