Colorful courtyard by Jim Sweida at Blue Morning Gallery

Sweida, James


Is it a Photo or a Watercolor?
You may wonder if the images you are looking at are really photos or watercolors. They certainly don’t look like photographs. The truth is, they really are photographs … with one big difference. They are not printed on traditional photo paper, but rather on watercolor paper. And therein lies the unique difference.

When printing on watercolor paper, the colors are softened, which produces a more subtle color tone and vibrancy. Plus, the watercolor paper provides a visible texture that is missing when printing the image on photo paper. The end result is an image that looks more like a painting than photography.

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I headed west in the mid-’70s to escape the snow and cold of the frozen tundra.
First stop was Phoenix, Arizona. It was there that I became interested in the history and the ancient Native American and Spanish archeological sites of the Southwest. For the next 10 years, I explored and photographed the area extensively.

From there it was on to California where he spent the next 21 years continuing my interest in the history of the area. Most notable are the historic 21 Spanish Missions of California.

Now located in the Pensacola area, I capture all of the beauty and history that is the Emerald Coast of Florida.

I have been a juried member of Blue Morning Gallery since 2008 and have exhibited in several local art shows, including the Pensacola Museum of Art’s Art in the Park, the juried members exhibition at the Pensacola Museum of Art, and The Art Gallery at the University of West Florida.

My work is represented and sold through several U.S. National Parks and leading retail outlets throughout the Southwest, West, Alabama and Florida.

If you wish to view my complete portfolio of images, visit my website at With every image on my website, I can provide any size, any color of mats, and custom framing to match the decor in your home or office. For more information and pricing for custom work, email me at, and I will be glad to set up an appointment to discuss your needs.