Ainslie was born in SA in 1950, graduated in art from the South Australian School of Art and has exhibited throughout Australia and overseas since 1975. Sand and water have always inspired his work, harking back to a childhood in South Australia, spent playing around the Coorong and exploring the huge sand tracts around the Murray River. Now living in Noosa, he has turned his attention to the undulating dunes of Fraser Island and the many beaches along the Sunshine Coast shoreline.
Annual visits to Broome ensure that Kakadu and The Kimberley remain strong influences. Ainslie was regularly an artist in residence at Ayers Rock, and was invited to represent South Australia in London with 6 other artists, and showed at the Museum of Fine Art in Pasadena, U.S.A. with Ainslie Roberts and Garry Duncan. James won the prestigious Camberwell Flora & Fauna Prize in 1990 and was co-winner of the Barossa Valley Heritage Award. His preferred palette is acrylic paint on paper, with the occasional use of mixed media. His forte is modern realism, although he also produces abstract art.
Ainslie’s paintings resonate with an inherent passion for the country’s unique beauty, particularly the sandy dunes and reflective waters of Queensland and South Australia.
His work is featured in prestigious collections such as Artbank; BP Australia; Reserve Bank of Australia; Mobil Australia; William Hancock collection, San Francisco; Banker’s Trust; Diamond Merchants, South Africa; and many public and private collections worldwide
1981-84 Four one man shows, Jolly Frog Gallery, Adelaide, S.A.
1984 Trio with Russell Pick and Darrell Coggins, (titled Survey Three), Adelaide Festival of Arts.
1987 /88 /89 /90 /91 /92 Reade Art
1994 Southlands Gallery, Canberra ACT.
1994 Mulgara Gallery Sails of The Desert, Yulara, NT.
1994 Kimberley Kreations, Broome
1995 Mulgara Gallery, Yulara, N.T.
1995 Framed Gallery, Darwin
1995 Duo at Dridan Fine Art, S.A
1996 Kimberley Kreations Broome, W.A.
1996 Mulgara Gallery, N.T.
1997 Pearl Fishers Gallery, Broome, W.A.
1997 Fleurieu Centre Gallery, S.A. 1998
1997 Framed Gallery Darwin, N.T.
1997 Trio with Peter Coad and Bill Buter “The A.B.C. of Art”
1999 Matsos Gallery, Broome, W.A.
2000 Pearlers Row Gallery, Broome, W.A.
2001 Frances Reilly Gallery, Eumundi, QLD
2002 Hyatt Coolum, Qld.
2002 Pearlers Row Gallery, Broome, W.A.
2002 Mulgara Gallery, Ayes Rock, N.T.
2003 Netanya, Noosa, QLD
2003 Pearlers Row Gallery, Broome, W.A.
2003 Overton’s, Adelaide, S.A.
2004 Pearlers Row Gallery, Broome, W.A
2004 Without Pier Gallery, Vic
2005 Pearlers Row Gallery, Broome, W.A
2005 Dridan Fine Arts, Adelaide
2006 Pearlers Row Gallery, Broome, W.A.
2007 Monsoon Gallery WA
2008 Monsoon Gallery WA
2009 Framed Gallery Darwin
2009 Without Pier Gallery Melbourne
2010 Studio 7, Queensland
2010 Gallery Eumundi QLD
2010 Without Pier Gallery Melbourne
2011 Gallery Eumundi QLD
Frampton Real Estate Pty Ltd
Mobil Oil Australia
Diamond Merchants South Africa
Media Escape Pty Ltd
Kernewek Lowender Collection
Myles Pearce & Co. Pty Ltd
St John Council of S.A. Inc
State Bank Collection
Reserve Bank Collection of S.A
Reserve Bank Collection of W.A.
Barossa Valley Heritage Collection
William Hancock Collection, San Francisco U.S.A.
Samphire Resources Perth
Glen Fryer Melbourne
Bankers Trust Australia
2013 Highly commended for Mortimore Prize
2013 Finalist for Inaugural Tatiara Art Prize
2012 Finalist in the John Villiers Waltzing Matilda Outback Art Show
2012 Finalist in The Gainsborough Greens Art Awards
2012 Finalist in The Brisbane Rotary Art Prize
2011 Winner of the John Villiers Waltzing Matilda Outback Art Show
2011 Winner Of Woolam Waltzing Matilda Outback Art Prize
2011 Selected For Finals Of Waltzing Matilda Art Prize (2paintings)
Winner Of Peoples Choice At Waltzing Matilda Art Prize
2011 Selected For Art For Art Sake
2010 Selected For Waltzing Matilda Art Prize Finals
2010 Selected For Brisbane Senses Art Exhibition
2010 Selected For Tattersals Landscape Art Prize Finals
2010 Selected For Finals Of Mortimore Art Prize
2008 Selected For Tattersals Landscape Art Prize Finals
1993 Co-Winner Barossa Valley Vintage Festival Heritage Award
1990 Winner Camberwell Flora & Fauna Art Prize Victoria