The Art of

James Yale








 James' Biography


 Original Paintings & Limited

 Edition Prints

     Mythological and Fantasy

     Surrealistic Portraits

     Cosmic Space Portraits


Commissioned Portraits

 Pen and Ink Drawings & Limited

 Edition Prints

     Fantasy & Mythological



 Small Unlimited Prints & Cards

     Fantasy & Mythological

     Nature & Landscape


 Contact / Order


 M.A.P. non profit art foundation


 Current Exhibits and Links





James created this smaller 16" x 20" portrait of Don Tyson for his own personal collection.








Connie and Ian Evans

Full sized pencil sketches



A new commission for a large fantasy painting of a mother and child.  She wants to be painted as a mermaid, with her little boy, that has been transformed into a small Elfin creature.  He is combing her long hair as she sits at the waters edge.




























"Humming Bird"

To the Greatest Parents in the World  "Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary"

James Yale - Nov. 24th 1990












































































































































































































































This is a painting of the late Carl Totemeier.  It was commissioned by his wife Jean, for the "Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks" in Fayetteville, Arkansas.


Carl is shown tending his garden Hostas.  He was painted with his old shovel (in the back ground), hand spade and garden hose.



























"Girl in Red Velvet Dress"

20" x 24"

This was commissioned by her grandfather.  She was painted in her Christmas dress of red velvet, with a white lace collar and pink rose on her sash.


Yale has painted portraits spanning four generations of this same family.





















































Francis and Herb Phillips

16" x 20"

James Yale's grandparents. 

He painted this portrait for his mother from his grandparents old black and white wedding photo.



































































Original Oil on Canvas

Commissioned by Bill Cotner

in 1975 - 1976

Bill also commissioned a life sized portrait bust of Sequoyah and both were put on loan to the Cherokee Indian Nation
























































































































This was the first commissioned portrait of Erin


Later Yale painted the second portrait of Erin in the middle column and the same client purchased it as well.






























































"Elys Coming"


I was at a Christmas party in December of 1975 and I saw this man carrying this walnut log to be thrown on the open fire. For some unknown reason to me...I got up and ran over to him and asked if I could have the log to make a sculpture with.  I didn't know what I was going to do with it at the time.


The following summer I was inspired to carve out a human embryo out of the knot just above the fork in the wood.  Then I mounted it on a wonderful piece of stone I found on our property in Madison county.  Later...I added the Walnut and Maple chopping block as the final base


The day I finished it I was playing an old Three Dogs Night song - "Elys coming"...and that's what I titled it. A few minutes later my wife came in and told me she just found out she was pregnant. Our son Ely was born December 14th...exactly a year after I rescued the walnut log.





















































Photo of original wax sculpture in progress of being modeled to create 

"The Hunt"





















































































"Miss Havisham"

life sized sculpture with full color oil and pumice finish.


Personal Collection of the Artist



Life Sized Portraits are made from making sketches and taking photographs and measurements of the models. When possible live mask are made from the model.  From there a rigid plaster cast is made in sections. The cast is reassembled and terra-cotta clay is worked into the mold. It air dries to a consistency that can easily be removed from the mold. It is reworked by opening up the eyes and changing the facial expression. Hair is styled.  Clothes are added. Sometimes even eye glasses are added to complete the persons look. The finished piece is then set to air dry for a few days.  From there it goes to a kiln and is high fired to set the clay like stone.  After the firing, the piece is removed from the kiln and a hand rubbed patina or finish is applied per the clients request. Finished wood bases are offered to finish the piece.













My apprentice, Richard Karnatz in 1980, working in our Fayetteville Studio.  Richard was working on the shims of the mould in helping to create Joyce Lambeth's bust.






















James Yale & Jon Schader


still having fun all these years































The hard hat below accompanied the bust of Leo Heckathorn.  It is a fired clay sculpture.  Note if you look will see a lion (Leo) on his hard hat.



































































All Artwork and Text

Copyrighted 2015

by James Yale

- All Rights Reserved -





Commissioned  Portraits



Don Tyson

Commissioned by Tyson Foods of Springdale, Arkansas. Original oil size: 30" x 40"



Yale has received commissions by clients and patrons around the world. His work is growing in demand the last fifty years. He continues to accept and paint commissions that interest him.  Some of the commissions have great enough appeal, from their subject matter and pose, that they are turned into limited edition prints and sold internationally.


Below are a few examples of his portraits, from simple pencil sketches ( that are primarily used as studies for client's approval for the finished oil portraits ) to large masterfully painted oils on canvas.



Close up detail of

Ian and Connie Evans


This process involves meeting with the clients and listening carefully to their initial ideas and concepts. The clients are asked to bring photographs, books or clippings of images they like, that show how they want their commission to look.  A great deal of time is spent just getting to know them and explore their dreams and fantasies, their wants and desires.  Notes are taken and small thumbnail sketches are made, so both the artist and client can agree on the direction and final design for the commission.  Digital photographs are taken, reviewed on the computer and selected all in the same session.  Size of the proposed painting and cost are finalized and a deposit is made and contract signed.  From there full sized layout sketches are made, for the client to choose from or make any necessary comments or changes, before work is started on the actual painting.



A Collection of Art Work starting with:

Conte`Sketches, Pastel Portraits, Pen & Ink Portraits, Water Color Portraits and Portraits in Oils. Also shown are Terra-Cotta Portrait Sculptures, a Wood Sculpture and Bronze Sculptures.



Conte` Drawings & Portrait Sketches




This is a conte' portrait sketch in the style of a Leonardo Da Vinci drawing of the 15th century.

The sketch is made on a 11" x 15" parchment paper with white, reddish brown and black French drawing crayons.





 Ray Yale

 The artist's father






Elva Yale

The artist's mother





Doctor Benjamin Spock


This is a detailed study of part of a larger composition. The painting was used as an illustration for an article Doctor Spock wrote for a magazine.




Cherry Brooks


She is the most fantastic Jazz, Blues and Rock vocalist and performer you will ever meet. Yale gave this sketch to her fo modeling for a painting.




Bill Clinton


Governor of Arkansas during his first term


The conte' sketch is simple and fun to do. Its the lowest price portrait that Yale produced in his studio _________________________________________________


Pastel Portraits

Yale started working with pastels in the mid 60's. For over 20 years he sketched Charcoal, Conte`and Pastel portraits from coast to coast.


This is a portrait of

Sam Walton

founder of WALMART, commissioned by his wife, Helen in 1979



Lady with glasses and a lovely smile

Its fascinating to watch your own reflection in another persons eye glasses as you try to draw or paint them.

Most pastels that Yale created were from live sittings.  Some were sketched in as little as 45 minutes, others took hours depending on the subject.


Mike Cline

owned a frame shop and gallery in Rogers, Arkansas.


Once in a magazine interview, Yale was asked how many portrait sketches he had done over the years, his closest estimate was over two thousand.


After years of breathing pastel dust and plastic spray fixative, Yale had to quit working with pastels.


Pen and Ink Portraits


Sam & Helen Walton founders of WALMART

Commissioned for the Walton Appreciation Day Festival in Bentonville, Oct. 8th 1983


Bob The Potter  

at work in his studio in Eureka Springs Arkansas Circa 1973.

Yale made a lot of pen and ink drawings of fellow artists, craftsmen and musicians. Most of them were commissioned to be used as their personal advertisements as brochures posters and music album covers.


Water Color Portraits


Charlie Parker

    ( Bird Man )

This started out as a pencil sketch on water color paper that was rendered with pen and ink and a water color was was being added when a Tyson Foods Executive saw if for the first time.  He commissioned Yale to finish the entire composition in water color. He is a big fan of the Bird Man and so is Yale.

Night Scene in the Rain


After finishing the Charlie Parker water color, the same patron commissioned Yale to paint this watercolor.  It shows 52nd Street in New York City and the famous "3 Deuces Club" with a sign below that advertised "Charlie Parker".



The General Lee Rides Again


This water color and several other originals were commissioned for the corporate collection of Ertl Toy Company. More examples from this water color series of little children and their pets or toys are shown below.







In the early eighties

Yale received more commissions to paint water colors of children than he could count. He was commissioned to do water color illustrations of small children for several advertising agencies and packaging manufactures. He used his own children, Ely and Allison, as his models for most of these.







Little Girl playing the Piano


Just a moment caught in time and we wonder if this little girl grew up to be a famous musician.


This was a commission in trade for her father, who helped build Yale Art Studio, over looking Beaver Lake in 1991.




Portraits in Oils on Canvas



"Carl Totemeier"

Original Oil: 24" x 38"

Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks



"Portraits of the Hodous Family Children"

Commissioned by their father

All children were painted in an outdoor vignette style 16" x 20" each



Formal Corporate Portraits





"John Tyson"

Founder of Tyson Foods

30" x 40" Corporate Portrait




"Randal Tyson"

Son of John Tyson

30" x 40" Corporate Portrait




"Gary George"

George's Inc.

30" x 40" Corporate Portrait




"Gene George"

George's Inc.

30" x 40" Corporate Portrait



Informal, Casual Portraits





"Dan Moody"

20" x 24"



"Sam Smith"

16" x 20"



"Ella Carnall"

24" x 36"



"Rayaak with the Unicorn in the Garden of Avalon"

30" x 40"




16" x 20"



"Willie Nelson 2005 concert in Eureka Springs"

22" x 32"




Sculpture in Wood





"Elys Coming"

walnut, maple & stone



"Elys Coming"

- Detail -



Bronze Sculptures




"The Hunt"

- Bronze from lost wax casting -



"At One With Nature"

- Bronze -


Below are three other views of "At One with Nature"




Terra-Cotta Portrait Sculpture





"E. Fay Jones"

life sized bust

natural wax and pumice finish



"Joyce Lambeth"

life sized bust

white glaze and hand rubbed oil and wax finish




"Jon Schader"

llfe sized bust

with hand rubbed red oil pumice & wax patina



"Leo Heckathorn"

life sized bust

Full color was applied to the fired clay

a final wax and pumice finish was then applied

He always wore his sun glasses so they were included




"Sherrie Hall"

life sized bust

antique copper and oil glaze patina with wax finish



"Eli Yale"

life sized bust

work in progress



James' painting of Albert Einstein surrealistically set in a cosmic space background.  "Einstein contemplates theories of time and space and its relativity to our universe.  He was always dreaming and working to find a constant or 'unifying theory' when the only constant is 'change'."





Yale working on the final touches of Don's painting







Usually several different sketches are made, for the client to choose from, that capture the feeling and mood t in the final painting.


These full sized drawings are used to create the  image on the canvas.  Sometimes the clients ask for them and frame them to go along with their finished commission.































Commissioned Portraits are a time honored tradition and a valuable treasure for generations to come. Every portrait has its challenge to make an accurate representation of the subject.  There are many things to consider and incorporate into each design.  This helps to tell the story an enables the artist to represent the subjects personality as well as their outward physical appearance.





















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































These are some of Yale's favorite portraits


These portraits are painted in oils on a high quality portrait grade canvas.


Each commission is appropriately framed to compliment the portrait and the client's decor, where the finished painting is to be exhibited.





































































































































































































































































This is a casual portrait of

Dan Moody.  He was standing in the studio garden and resting on his golf club, as if it were the 18th green and he had just finished a wonder day with a very good score.


Dan was the Police Chief of Bentonville, Arkansas when he commissioned his portrait.  He wanted to include his favorite wood club and his gold FBI ring, to add to the story told by the painting.


























This was my old friend, Sam Smith . Sam owned Chelsea's Tavern in Eureka Springs. Sam and his brother, Lou called themselves, "The Swingsmiths".  They played Jazz and Swing music all toured with big bands all over the world.  His home was Chicago till he retired and moved to Arkansas.


Sam loved you can see in the painting.





















This painting of Ella Carnall was commissioned by Joyce Lambeth for the foyer of Carnall Hall,  for whom it was named.  It is the second oldest building on the campus of the University of Arkansas.


Joyce's husband, James Lambeth, was originally going to do the painting but died from a heart attack.  He was the architect that was trying to save the old women's dormitory from being demolished.  They were converting it into a restaurant and hotel.


Yale only had one, black and white, old photograph of Ella's face to workfrom.  He had to research the correct dress of the period and add the rest of the elements in the composition.


The original painting hangs in the foyer / entrance to the restaurant.






























is a fantasy painting that was commissioned by

Cheryl Welch


She wanted the fantasy painting to illustrate the cover of a new book she was writing.  It was tentatively entitled "Rayaak". It is a story set in the time of King Author, in the land of Avalon.














































"Willie Nelson"

18" x 28"


These two paintings of Willie Nelson were originally commissioned for a benefit auction to raise money for one of Willie's favorite charities.


Yale worked from photographs taken by Richard Quick at the "Willie Nelson & Family Concert" in Eureka Springs, May 8th. 2005


Willie personally hand signed each painting in 2007

































































































I was commissioned by Don Leithleiter of Bentonville, to create several western art pieces for his new business, "Western Traditions".



Over the next few years we became friends and we had a whole lot of fun...


I did several drawings and paintings for him. Then He asked me to create this piece, shown on the left, entitled, "The Hunt".


I submitted several more ideas and sketches to Don for another bronze to add to his collection...and he was thrilled at the idea of creating an animistic piece tentatively named "At One with Nature". 


The original wax sculptures were made in my studio in Fayetteville in the late '70s to early '80s. They were cast at "Turkey Tracks Foundry" in Tulsa.


Don was handicapped with Multiple Sclerosis that was gradually taking its toll.  We were friends until he died in the mid '90s



























Life sized terra-cotta

sculpted bust of

E. Fay Jones

Internationally known and acclaimed architect.


This sculpture shows the color and texture of the natural reddish color of the terra-cotta clay. 


Fay requested that it have a natural hand rubbed wax finish with no color or other chemicals added.


This piece was purchased by William Underwood, a close friend of Fay Jones. He donated it to the University of Arkansas to be placed in the new Architecture Department building that was named after the late Fay Jones.




Yale sculpting Bill Underwood's portrait bust
















Bust of

Joyce Lambeth

commissioned by her husband James Lambeth.


James was a solar architect, artist, designer, writer, publisher and a good friend.











Several of these terra cotta portrait busts were part of a solo exhibit James Yale had at the Rotunda of the Arkansas State Capitol Building in 1980.










This is a bust of

Jon Schader

of Schader Productions in Fayetteville. It was made for the 1980 state catitol exhibit.









With much thanks to my friends, Linda Jacuzzi and Lynn Emery for helping install the exhibit at the Capitol.


Governor Bill Clinton came by to see us and the exhibit...It was a lot of fun!


















Leo Heckahorn


Commissioned by the president of the Bank of Fayetteville.


Leo was in charge of construction of the new bank.  He was a great construction supervisor and engineer.  He worked all over the world on large projects of all types. While abroad he contracted a type of cancer that literally ate away his flesh including his nose.  He wore a plastic nose and sun glasses and kept on working no matter what the odds were.


The bank wanted the piece to look "pretty" and how he use to look.  Leo simply said, "Hell no...I'm proud of who and what I am...and I want it to look just like me."



























This piece was part of eight life sculpted busts that comprised the solo exhibit of Yale's sculpture and drawings in the Rotunda of the Arkansas State capitol Building in 1980.






























Eli Yale


This piece was originally commissioned to be turned into a limited edition of bronze sculptures.  The first one was to be donated to the Yale University Library.


Harold Yale, the artist's uncle, modeled for the sculpture n 1981. He looked exactly like the original painting of his great ancestor Eli he was the pefect model.


Unfortunately as some things go in life and death and politics the person commissioning this work backed out of the deal and the person who was going to donate the finished bronze to the Yale Library, lost his re-election bid. Therefore the commission has never been finished, Hopefully some one else will see this and realize its importance and I can finish this long time project.