James loves to hike in forests where he searches for creative ideas. "I love this environment; my senses are sharper and although hidden energy is clothed in secret, it can be felt. Ideas were found through hiking trips into Monongalia County, West Virginia, Bear Mountain State Park, Kaaterskill Falls, the Catskill Mountains, Peaks of Otter in Virginia and others. Rough, visual ideas are found and photographed in nature. The photos are never dwelled upon in the woods. Through the process of painting, the imagery becomes more defined and the painting develops. James' landscape paintings serve as a metaphor for an encounter - an encounter with the secluded, the mysterious, the spiritual, rich with feeling.