Jim Daly is beloved by his many collectors. "Being an artist, he says, "was all I ever wanted to be. I've had no career decisions to make. I'm doing now exactly what I wanted to do when I was a boy. I'm really lucky - some people work so that when they retire they can take up painting." But before he could devote his life to his art, Daly, a soft-spoken Oklahoma native, spent three years in the army infantry, where, as an amateur boxer, he remained undefeated. After his discharge, he studied nights at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles on the G.I. Bill, while working at an aerospace company to support his family. His love for painting children began when he started using his four young sons as models. He further developed his talent by studying the works of great artists. "The excitement I felt when I first viewed the art of Michelangelo, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, J.W. Waterhouse, Andrew Wyeth, and my hero, Norman Rockwell, inspired me to begin a never-ending search for the same truth in my own work." Daly believes in following the lead of his creative instincts and his emotions, rather than focusing exclusively on the technique of painting: "Creativity is never quite knowing what you're doing. The best things happen when you let go and let the spark that flows through all of us lead the way. It's as strong an emotion as I can imagine." The emotion that drives Daly to paint manifests itself in captivating subjects that take us on a sentimental journey, like treasured old photographs lovingly preserved in a family album. But unlike the solemn black-and-white photos of long ago, his paintings evoke emotions for which there are no photographs - emotions which are universal. His paintings of children from another time remind us of ourselves as children. They remind us of the unconditional love of our best friends (whether real or
stuffed), or of Mom, who could fix anything and always knew how to make us laugh. Though they command our eyes, the paintings of Jim Daly speak directly to our hearts.