Artistically a late bloomer, Jim began painting at the tender age of 65. His initial efforts were wildlife presented on barnwood. About six months later while exhibiting at the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in Charleston, SC, he was visiting his booth neighbors, master bird carvers Euyless and Aurora Holcomb. Jim mentioned that he’d like to carve but had tried it and it just took too long. When asked what he’d carved with, Euyless laughed and said “come with me.” In a little back room that he’d never seen before in the past years he’d done that show was every carving tool known to man, and the books to show you how. He went carrying an arm load back to the booth singing “happy birthday to me.” Wanda, his wife, looked dubious but didn’t balk, – – – the sawdust has been flying ever since!
Jim Wiley is a lifelong outdoorsman. His passion is fly fishing in general and trout fishing in particular, thus his initial artistic efforts were trout! States Jim; “I guess I just know what they are supposed to look and feel like, besides the trout and its habitat must surely be one of God’s finest works.” Continuing, Jim says, “my hope is when one is viewing my work, that for a moment they remove the clutter of daily thought from their minds, and go to a place where cool mountain breezes and tumbling waters rule.”