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Fading, Fleeting, Retreating by James Eads

Limited edition of 50 (signed & numbered)
Fine-art Giclée print on cold-press Italian watercolor paper

24" x 18"

Printed by Paragon Press

Artist Statement

“Fading, Fleeting, Retreating”, an illustration about the endangered Salt Marsh habitat, focuses on four blue herons and the variety of plant and animal life primarily associated with Salt Marshes. When I began working on this piece I knew that I wanted to illustrate the density of life in the habitat, it’s something that I think is easily overlooked especially in salt marshes, where at first glance look to be just sprawling wetlands. Many of the residents of salt marshes are small and easy to miss and even in the illustration I’ve scattered them throughout the image, some nearly impossible to see without careful examination. I chose to focus in on a small patch of a salt marsh habitat and explore the magic within that space in an effort to highlight the density of life. A lot of the salt marsh life exists underneath the changing tide so I found it crucial to depict both aspects of the habitat.  In much of the work I create I rely heavily on color and motion to form a scene that comes to life. The motion that I employ in this piece is extremely important to it’s meaning as it both exhibits the intense sense of life in the salt marsh habitat but also the ecosystem’s fragility; without care the salt marshes will fade away. I wanted the habitat’s risk of endangerment to come across in the illustration, but not for it to dominate the scene. In the image the blue herons are starting to disappear - the lines of motion morphing with the surroundings. It only takes a single species disappearance to cause an entire habitat to come crashing down, and sometimes it is all too subtle. 

The title of the illustration is also something that is very important to this particular piece. While I am working on an illustration I often begin to title it in the early stages and the title develops as the illustration grows. “Fading, Fleeting, Retreating” speaks to many aspects of the salt marsh: more obviously, it is a shifting habitat and as the tide retreats certain species thrive, likewise, when the tide is high others dominate. The physical appearance of a salt marsh can look drastically different depending on the time of day. The title is also about the quality of an endangered habitat: if it is not cared for it will soon just become a fleeting memory, only to exist in those that remember.

About The Artist

James R. Eads was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA and began drawing at a very young age.  After graduating from high school, James went on to study art at Skidmore College in Upstate New York. While there he was honored with several awards and graduated with a focus in printmaking and painting and the juried award of best senior exhibition in his class. James then migrated to Brooklyn, where he held onto a variety of artistic internships and jobs before moving back to Los Angeles to pursue art full time.

In the past two years James has combined his love for printmaking and painting into a single art form: digital painting with an emphasis on high quality limited edition prints. James now runs his own (very small but suitable) printshop where he can print his own high quality giclees and retain maximum control over color and quality.

When everything collides perfectly, he can use his artistic background to illustrate for musically related projects and has since begun to take on gig poster illustration. James has worked with clients such as Phish, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Andrew Bird.

About Salt Marshes 


Salt Marshes are coastal wetlands that are flooded and drained by salt water brought in by the tides. They are marshy because the soil is composed of deep mud and peat. Peat is made of decomposing plant matter that is often several feet thick. Salt marshes occur worldwide, particularly in middle to high latitudes. Thriving along protected shorelines, they are a common habitat in estuaries. In the U.S., salt marshes can be found on every coast. Approximately half of the nation's salt marshes are located along the Gulf Coast. These intertidal habitats are essential for healthy fisheries, coastlines, and communities and they are an integral part of our economy and culture. They also provide essential food, refuge or nursery habitat for more than 75 percent of fisheries species, including shrimp, blue crab, and many finfish.

Salt marshes also protect shorelines from erosion by buffering wave action and trapping sediments. They reduce flooding by slowing and absorbing rainwater and protect water quality by filtering runoff, and by metabolizing excess nutrients.

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