Jim Keo is an American artist and architect living and working in Colorado. As a child, Keo practiced drawing and sketching daily, and continued to develop his artistic skills as he grew up, studying painting and studio art. His love of drawing and his eye for detail led him to build a successful career in architecture, a field in which he has spent the past 25 years. In 2008, Keo was given the opportunity to select a public sculpture for a building he had designed in Snowmass, Colorado, which reignited his passion for studio art. Since then, he has dedicated himself to painting and calligraphy, while balancing his career and his role as a single father.
Keo has developed a significant number of influences in his artistic journey, each of which has shaped his skill and style in unique ways. His painting practice and process was largely shaped after learning the East Asian art of Shodo Calligraphy, under the tutelage of artist and Zen scholar Kaz Tanahashi. As a longtime practitioner of meditation and internal martial arts the calligraphy influence integrated seamlessly into his meditation practice and painting. Another significant influence was Jim's encounter with artist Tadashi Haywakawa while on an architectural tour of an arts center, who has become a friend and mentor.
His employment of bold colors and the movement of his effortless brushstrokes transpire the freedom and spirit of positive energy, influenced by ancient eastern philosophies. In each of his acrylic and sumi ink canvas works, Keo uses Shodo inspired gestures layered with colors and spontaneous movements, resulting in contemplative compositions for boundless discovery.