Born in Nashville, Tennessee and making his home in the sunny south, David James Bromley keeps his studio on his property in Chesterfield, Virginia – he never wants to be far from his work. In graduate school, he slept and ate in his studio, only returning to his shared apartment for necessities. After earning his MFA, his lodging included a large spare room in which to paint. Upon settling in the county, property with a separate building for making art was a necessity. Like so many artists, for Bromley, his art is his life.
Travel into Richmond and other locales to visit the arts scene is a weekly journey. There are various districts representing numerous galleries and styles – a perfect influence for an eclectic artist who likes to keep his mind open to various influences. A firm believer in versatility, Bromley alternates in his bodies of work between realism and the non- representational. While some critics have compared his abstractions to the Nabis and Fauves, he is also a skilled draftsman who taught Anatomy for Artists in cooperation with the Gross Lab of the Medical College of Virginia’s Anatomy Department. A recognition that tradition was once innovation compels this artist to look forward while not forgetting the masters. His philosophy is that history is a living teacher and should not be ignored.
Long an established educator in his region, David has taught art from the general public to the Freshman to Graduate levels at community colleges and University. He has watched many of his students go on to prominence of their own, providing a genuine feeling of satisfaction for this artist that strives to remain involved with the success of others. Now teaching only limited classes on the weekends, Bromley continues his involvement in the gallery cooperative scene, sometimes in leadership positions, always as an active participant in bringing art to the community at large. For this creator, art is not a rare commodity to be limited to an educated few, but a process by which to educate the many.
Learning the technical craft of cameras early in his career, David’s photography resume continues to expand as both fine arts photographer, and, particularly, as portrait and event photographer. Although art is his life, his primary love is people and he uses his personality skills in an artful manner to either compose a group portrait or make a crying baby start to laugh for the camera. A recognition that interaction with people makes a fully developed personality drives this artist to use his full capacity. Studio time is crucial, but it must be balanced with public interaction beyond mere socializing. Art is truly for the people, and the fact that photography has supplanted certain aspects of fine art is not lost on Bromley, nor does he wish to lose that connection.
Noted for his sense of humor, Bromley finds time each morning for cartooning at the drafting table in his drawing studio. Always seeking new avenues of expression and audiences, David works on his own comic drawings and collaborates with like-minded graphic artists. Perhaps the most popular visual art form, cartoons offer an avenue of communication through print and the internet not available in the world of the fine art gallery. Less time demanding than his lithography or painting, these simple yet clever works of this unique artist are garnering increasing press attention.
Always seeking a direct avenue to reach his public, David sought the immediacy of performing as an actor. Another form of artistic collaboration, Bromley is known as a strong ensemble player. Beginning in middle age as an impassioned self-taught thespian, his first role was with a professional theatre company and earned him positive newspaper mention. Advancing to workshops taught by some of the top casting directors in the field, David is now involved with the film industry and has a growing IMDb web page. Trips to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore may include a day of shooting as often as a trip to the National Gallery. As television reporter Glen Porter said in his WRIC news interview, “For Bromley, Art is Life.” Embracing the opportunity of each day either in the solitude of the studio or the active participation in activity larger than him, whether as part of a two person comic strip team or a stage cast, David James Bromley constantly seeks to fulfill the maxim of “To thy own self be true” – a life committed to art is guaranteed a satisfaction and breadth of experience not found elsewhere.