The Lake

James Walton Bruce

The Lake was commissioned especially for the third floor great room of the Oklahoma Judicial Center and completed in 2011. The painting measures 48 x 96 inches. Rather than a specific lake, the scene is intended to conjure that Oklahoma weekend pastime of “going to the lake.” The state has more than 55,000 miles of shoreline along lakes and ponds, more man-made shoreline than any other state in the Union.

A native Oklahoman, James Bruce took his first art lesson at 14 with Faye Burnett Baker in Ardmore. The following summer he took a workshop with noted artist Richard V. Goetz. This workshop sparked a passion for creating art that continues to this day. “Dick taught me basically how to see – how to see color and the beauty of putting objects together in harmony and design to create the overall mood I wanted to achieve.” Bruce said the focus on ‘painting what you see’ inspired by Goetz sets the creative tone for his work. “For me, the challenge of painting is to set the mood of the scene through close values, color, temperature, form and edges, all working together in harmony to convey that mood to the observer.”

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