home | the project | the portfolios | IAP tours | what's new


 2000-2001 and beyond
~ traveling through the US, 
exchanging artwork for hospitality

To see Jim's latest work: www.jimmott.com


The Project

How You Can Participate

Being a Host

How it  Works

The Art

Personal Background Information

Contacting Me

Sales and Commissions



Periodically over the next few years, I will be working as an itinerant painter, traveling through various parts of the United States by car, staying with a series of hosts, painting landscape studies wherever I go, and trading artwork (small paintings) for hospitality (2-4 days room and board).  

The Itinerant Artist Project (IAP) officially got under way on March 30, 2000, when I set out on a cross-country drive to visit people and places in about 30 locations--from the Chesapeake Bay to the California coast--where I’d been invited to paint.  My hosts were an even mix of acquaintances and strangers, people who had heard about the project by word of mouth, e-mail announcements or through a classified ad I posted in the Nation.  I’ve met many people I never would have known and seen places I’d never expected to see.  For the most part, the painting went well, and sharing my art with people interested in opening their homes to a traveling landscape painter created a rare opportunity for mutual enrichment and exchange.

With this project I am exploring a unique strategy for surviving as an artist, while extending my work to a wider audience.  In addition, the itinerancy framework allows me to investigate, through practice and conversation, issues relating to art, value, connection and communication that I've been thinking about lately.  I see the project as a cultural experiment; a revival and reformulation of an old American tradition; a welcome chance to practice gift exchange instead of marketing; and an opportunity for me to visit with old friends and new patrons while painting a lot. 

I plan to do my IAP work--in separate stages--on three geographic scales: national, regional and local. The location and shape of a given tour depends on where I am able to locate hosts.  Unlike the itinerant painters of earlier times, I arrange most of my stops in advance, although I try to keep my schedule flexible enough to allow for unexpected developments.

In 2000, I successfully completed a national tour and a New England regional tour (see the IAP TOURS section).  For 2001, I am considering a local itinerancy through upstate New York, as well as further regional tours. Because of its unique challenges and rewards, I plan devote some time to itinerancy each year for the foreseeable future.  


This project depends on the participation of others.  You can participate by telling people about it, becoming a host or contacting me with any thoughts or feedback.  With the project now under way, there is also the possibility of purchasing artwork done on tour.  Please see the note below on sales and commissions.


I will only go where I am invited and, for the most part, will travel to parts of the country where I have enough invitations to make the travel economical.  Once I have a list of potential hosts and the times of year they would consider hosting, I can begin to shape my travel plans.  So please let me know as early as possible if you are considering being a host! 

I will want to know:  where you live and a little bit about your surroundings; what times of the year you could consider putting up an itinerant painter for a few days; whether a shorter or longer visit appeals to you; how far in advance you would like to establish a definite visiting date; and any other points that seem important to you.  Email is the most efficient means of communication, but if you do not have regular access to email, please include a phone number or mailing address in your  message. I welcome the chance to answer any questions and establish some rapport through correspondence before establishing any plans. 

My primary requirement is a quiet and private room for sleeping and working.  Besides basic room and board, I do not need much more than a chair and a light.  When working on small-format paintings, I do not use solvents or splash paint; it's a tidy process requiring no special facilities.  I do not need to be entertained but look forward to getting to know my hosts and the landscape they live in. 

I will gladly furnish an extensive list of personal references on request.



There is an element of the unknown to all of this.  So far, however, the "gift exchange"--art for hospitality--has been a pleasant and mutually-enriching thing.  I should note that the paintings traded for hospitality are typically not commissioned scenes but small studies of subjects that catch my interest.  They have been comparable to paintings I regularly sell for $150 -$400.  Please note that most of the painting I do while touring will be directed toward a series of exhibits documenting the trip (and will be for sale to offset project expenses).  While some people have been happy to put me up simply to support the project, my hosts at each stop are entitled to a painting and may choose whether or not to make the painting available for inclusion in any exhibitions. 



The digital portfolio at this site should give a rough sense of my range and overall approach to landscape.  The paintings I make during the Itinerant Artist Project will be mainly small landscape studies executed in oil on panel.  Exactly what I will paint in each location and how I will paint it remains, of course, a mystery until I get there.  In general, my work is quite accessible, effectively conveying a sense of place, light and a sense of personal relation or emotion.  Since my purpose here is to generate interest in my work, I hope I will be forgiven for quoting briefly from three favorable responses to my smaller paintings:

An art reviewer:  "...paints with an energy that persuades us to look at the familiar and everyday with renewed appreciation."

An expressionistic abstract painter and art teacher:  "beautiful little landscapes..."

A friend and critic:  "...I find that the power of his work comes from its ability to evoke loss and hope collectively--the one incapable of surviving without the other.  There is a purposeful, thoughtful dialogue at work in all of Jim's pieces, elegies to time, distance, memory."



Born: New York City, 1960.  Current Residence:  Rochester, NY.

I have been a practicing artist for most of my life.  I exhibit regularly, mainly in upstate New York and New England.  Over the years I have received

several awards for my art, including the Ames Award, from Dartmouth College, for creative achievement; a New York Foundation for the Arts project grant for paintings interpreting urban landscape in Rochester, NY; and a Saltonstall Foundation painting grant.  My work has found its way into many private collections across the US, in Canada, and in Europe.

Education: B.A., Visual Studies, Religion, Dartmouth College, 1982;  M.F.A., Painting, University of Michigan, 1985; also... B.S., Environmental Science/Water Resources, SUNY Brockport, 1995

Other Pursuits:  natural history, musical composition, writing (I have published poems, essays and an article explaining the technique of painting on black gesso).


If you have any questions, comments or think you might like to be a host, please contact me at: jhmott@juno.com

57 South Main Street, Pittsford, NY  14534


This project’s reliance on “gift-exchange”--art for hospitality--has been a welcome, enriching and instructive change from conventional economic arrangements.  I have not, however, escaped the need to earn a living. 

If you are interested in purchasing artwork or commissioning a landscape painting (or set of studies), please contact me at the above e-mail or conventional mailing address. 

Paintings done on tour, IAP greeting cards and other reproductions based on the tour art will be available for purchase beginning January, 2001. 

images by jhmott shown:
Barn in Fishers, oil on prepared paper 1999, 7" X 10"
Flowerbox, Bethel (detail), oil on panel 1999, 7" X 7" 
Railroad Bend, Summer, oil on prepared paper 1994, 9" X 12"
Portrait photo by Andy Smith © 2000
Work boots photo by Kate Rooney © 1999

email: jhmott@juno.com

Copyright © 2000-2007, 
Jim Mott, unless otherwise noted,
All rights reserved.

site design / host by 
Peter Pappas | edteck