Jim Wyatt follows his instinct to a 45-year career

Susan EspirituNorth Knoxville

Jim Wyatt was that individual who embarked on his college journey with high hopes but realized he was pursuing a career that was not aligned with his true passions or interests, and his is a story of self-discovery and pursuit of hidden talents that should inspire us all to look for our own.

Jim was majoring in marketing until the quarter prior to graduation when he rediscovered an interest in art and leaving the university, joined friends in Phoenix to take watercolor classes at the Kachina School of Art.

Jim says he learned a style of painting principles he still uses from his instructor, master watercolorist William B. Schimmel. He recalls Schimmel as quite old but charming to the ladies and in the process of his sixth divorce.

One of Wyatt’s favorite quotes, “You are better than no one and no one is better than you” has been lived out in the evolution of his business, creating murals for individuals and businesses throughout his lifetime.

One of Wyatt’s first clients was what he described as a “leader of a group of characters engaged in unlawful work.” Wyatt created several murals in this client’s residence before it burned down, and after it was rebuilt before it was burned down again. Wyatt recalls the client telling prosecutors at his client’s trial that he wouldn’t have burned his house because he had the “esophagus” of King Tut on his wall. Of course, it was a sarcophagus that Wyatt had painted and the district attorney found the response so humorous, he had him repeat it.

Wyatt moved on to painting murals in various homes in Tellico Village after opening an art/frame gallery and then later to Rarity Bay for three murals in the clubhouse/restaurant and multiple murals around Rarity Village.

During this period, Wyatt was invited by Arnold Schwarzbart, nationally known ceramics artist, to do underglaze tile painting, collaborating on donor wall backgrounds for Jewish synagogues around the country. The first image on his website is his presentation in acrylics of Schwarzbart’s idea of a donor wall for the Jewish congregation of Oak Ridge: Great Wall Mural Co: Murals by Jim Wyatt.

Around the year 2000, Wyatt left the confines of the gallery to operate as a free-lance artist, working several years as muralist and faux finisher, primarily with the design team of Charlotte Brakebill and Stan Cox.

After a 45-year career, he now claims semi-retirement, doing projects periodically that are by word-of-mouth from former clients.

Jim Wyatt also favors the Golden Rule and claims he has seen it exemplified throughout the art world as he declares artists and their clients of real integrity. In fact, in his entire career, he only received one bad check for $8.

All of us have a story and I want to tell yours! Send them to susan@knoxtntoday.com


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *