Jim was born in 1939 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. He started his artistic endeavors in the ‘50’s with painting, pottery, and stagecraft projects.
The realistic paintings of Jim Schleis have won him recognition for his detailed reproductions of photographs he has taken of his subject matter. He likes to include texture in his paintings adding depth and liveliness to each canvas.
Although his first painting was a watercolor painted in 1957 while studying under Walter Colton in Wisconsin, he now paints exclusively using acrylic medium. Unless doing a commission, Jim only paints subjects he has personally seen and photographed, most often using landscapes or tourist subjects observed while traveling. His paintings portray subjects found in the United States, England, Germany, Holland, and Turkey.
For many years his artistic endeavors were channeled through Community and semi-professional theatrical productions and his career as a commercial decorator. His theatrical experience includes well over 100 productions including scenery design, scenery and set construction, scene painting and decoration, lighting design and execution, and technical direction.
During his career of more than 30 years as a commercial decorator and sales consultant, Jim developed, manufactured, and sold extensive Christmas decoration programs to large regional malls and commercial facilities around the country. He has designed and executed corporate events, commercial displays, special events, and trade shows, among other things.
After his family was grown and gone, he again took up painting and enrolled at Arts Umbrella art center in Bothell, Washington and has studied under Liana Bennett ever since.
Jim has participated in many workshops becoming a mentor and tutor to art teachers and young aspiring artists along the way. He has shown his work at the Bothell Arts Fair and in the High Country Artists associates members art shows at the Carpenter House Museum in Cle Elum and various other venues in Kittitas, King, and Snohomish counties.