Dearly loved friend, father, and fine artist extraordinaire, James Siebert, swiftly and peacefully passed away in Santa Barbara on the evening of June 3rd, surrounded in the loving kindness of family and close friends. He was 75 years young!
Colorful, unwaveringly positive, and ever-cheerful, James could regularly be seen on Sundays at the Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show, on the lawn near the skateboard park at East Beach, displaying his beautiful, vibrant, flowing, large abstract paintings. This was his signature style of art crafted and refined in a fine-art career that spanned 5 decades. He participated in this SB Art Show for over 35 years.
James was born in 1941, in Los Angeles, to an English mother and American Father. He was the youngest of 3 siblings. His loving sister, Sandra, passed earlier this year, and his elder brother, Bob, lives with his wife Ann in Southern CA. James is survived by his only son, Daniel, and his grandson, Oliver, who reside in Santa Barbara.
In his mid-twenties, James decided to follow his career passion to become a full-time artist. At the heart of this passion was his cherished philosophy: “live what you love and love what you live.” He attended the renowned Theodore Lukits Academy of Fine Art for 6 years, and refined the disciplines of representational painting and sculpture. In 1971, he turned his talent to stone carving. He continued to work in that medium for about a decade. During that period, he was primarily represented by the Fine Arts Sculpture Gallery at the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas. He went on to create an exceptional line of marine, figurative, and abstract sculpture, pioneering casting techniques in bronze and establishing the Siebert Art Studio. James sold thousands of editions of his sculptures, and many of these grace private and public art collections worldwide, including those of presidents Reagan and Clinton, as well as many Hollywood elite.
In the late ’80s James turned his focus to painting. When he debuted his unique abstract style at the Masters Gallery in La Jolla, this solo exhibit sold out! Over the many years of his professional career, James’ paintings and sculptures have been represented by numerous galleries throughout the United States. He truly loved making art, and worked at it diligently. He painted almost every day, creating an enormous body of work.
James lived life fully and deeply, and embraced a genuine spiritual appreciation and understanding of life’s meaning and purpose. He will ever be lovingly remembered as a truly independent and “free spirit” with a beautiful child-like smile and kindness of heart. One of his most favorite lines was “I did it my way” from Sinatra’s song “My Way.” Thank you, dear James, for fearlessly choosing to live your life your way: uniquely, passionately, and dedicated to beauty, truth, freedom, and well-being!