Dory Sunset by Barrington Hills Artist James Root

The best thing about writing this blog is having an excuse to pick up the phone and call people.  This website is far from fancy, but it is one way to strike up a conversation and get to know neighbors who live right here in Barrington, like artist Jim Root.  Jim moved to Barrington Hills 23 years ago and also has a home in a small fishing village in Round Pond, Maine.  That’s where he found the scene painted in this beautiful work that he calls “Dory Sunset”.

Dory Sunset by Barrington Hills Artist James Root

Barrington Hills Artist James Root
Photo Courtesy of Jim’s Wife, Elizabeth Root

Jim Root grew up in Indianapolis. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in graphic design and he owns an advertising and marketing company called Condon and Root, which he and a partner founded in 1997. Root’s advertising agency is his business, but his art is his passion. Since childhood, he has been driven to draw or paint moments and places in time that have inspired or moved him.  He finds much of his inspiration in the fishing villages of mid-coastal Maine, where lobstermen bring lobsters in on colorful old rickety boats to be shipped out from the village docks and landings.

Jim calls boats “works of art” and is inspired by “their wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors and materials as well as the ever changing compositions they make as they swing on the ends of their ropes.  Some are so old and beat up, they look like they should not even float, much less hold a person or two.”

Jim Root - "Flat Bottomed Skiff"
“Flat Bottomed Skiff” by Artist, Jim Root

This painting is a piece Jim calls “Flat Bottomed Skiff”. He says, “It was a moment at low tide when, standing on the pier, all the boats were 10 feet lower than at high tide, hence the birds eye view.” He was enjoying a lobster dinner with friends by the water that night and the light was just right.

In fact, Jim says light is one of the things that he loves to paint most. “I love the sunlight early in the morning or late in the evening. The way it wraps around and lights things up, whether it’s a tree, a boat, a house or someone’s face.”

Most of his work is inspired by light, landscapes and the outdoors.

This third painting is a piece Jim calls “Stotz House”. It’s a lobsterman’s house just a few doors down from his home in Maine. Though they’re neighbors, Jim has never met this lobsterman because he’s long gone in the mornings before the sun comes up and doesn’t get home until well after dark.  Jim says he loves the worn textures of the white clapboard and natural cedar shake houses characteristic of coastal Maine. He says the “Stotz House” really stands out because of its unusual green color.

Barrington Hills Artist James Root

Jim Root is excited that artists from around the country are converging at the Barrington Art Festival this weekend because he says our community offers the most beautiful backdrop.  He says each time he comes home to Barrington, he’s amazed at how gorgeous it is, with its thousands of acres of forest preserves laced with winding horse trails.  Jim says the seasons change Barrington’s landscape so dramatically, with different things blooming, growing and happening.  But that’s another story for another day here at  Thanks for your time and for sharing, Jim. It’s truly a pleasure to meet you.

You’ll find Jim Root’s artwork on display and for sale in the main dining room at Wool Street Grill and Sports Bar during this weekend’s Barrington Art Festival and throughout the summer.  Wool Street is at 128 Wool Street in Barrington and is one of THE places to be for food, drinks and fun during this weekend’s festivities.

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