1927 – 1994
James spent his early years in London and at a young age showed a keen interest in drawing. He studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and the Sir John Cass College. He began his career as a commercial artist with an emphasis on magazine design and illustration.
He left London in 1967 for Essex to devote himself to full time painting. His growing achievements and recognition for his work spurred him on to move to Hadleigh, Suffolk in 1978 so that he could live in the countryside that gave him his inspiration.
He was first and foremost a painter of land and seascapes and all his pictures demonstrate his interest with the light as it permeates the sky, land and sea. His love of the land took him to the West Country, the Lake District, Scotland, the Netherlands and the Sultanate of Oman. It is his East Anglian Pictures for which he is best known, although his exquisite pastels of flower studies and his animal studies are also widely acknowledged.
James was a frequent London exhibitor with the Royal Society of Marine Artists, the Pastel Society and the British Watercolour Society as well as several highly successful one man shows. His paintings are hung in private collections in Britain, North America, South Africa, New Zealand, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Oman. He was an eminent member of the East Anglian Group of Marine Artists and the Suffolk Art Society.
In 1981 one of his marine paintings was included in the published authority of marine art entitled Twentieth Century Marine Painting.
In December 1982 he was a co-exhibitor at a very successful exhibition held at the Hadleigh Gallery and opened by Maggie Hambling. (Works by her father Harry Hambling, Winnie Hanrahan, James Chambury and Bill Whitsett.)
To celebrate 10 years of twinning with French town of Rousies, Hadleigh took a painting of Hadleigh by James Chambury to France
In December 1991 he held an exhibition in the Sultanate of Oman which was a sell out and resulted in the interest and patronage of one of the senior members of the Omani government. This led to a commission for an unlimited number of paintings to be hung in universities, hospitals and government offices and for the family’s new villa. He was still working on this commission at the time of his death.