I have three brothers, two older and one younger. Apart the usual sibling rivalries and occasional scuffs, we all got along pretty well. As a family, we did a lot together, enjoyed many Christmases with international guests, went camping, and were brought up with the strong values of our parents; including respect, love, loyalty, honour and the value of hard work.
My eldest brother James was always tremendously artistic. Generally he had some incredible invention or amazing piece of art on the boil in his quaint little attic room overlooking the railway line. I’ll never forget the day when he proudly presented the blue prints for his “pancake making machine”. The details were intricate and intelligent, carefully dabbed with nuances of colour, but most of all the connection of steam power, cogs, belts and bolts lingers in my mind. In retrospect, it reminds me of something out of “Wallace and Grommet”, just like the famous toast making machine that does it all without Wallace having to get out of bed.
The way I looked up to James was in the classic way a little sister admires her big brother. Nevertheless, he was often very focused on his own hobbies and interests that were particular to him and not necessarily inclusive of me. Having said this though, we always had a strong and loving relationship and always will.
It’s no surprise that James concentrated on the Arts in High School and upon leaving, James went to study Graphic Arts at Chisholm Institute of Technology. He was terrific at what he was doing but his passion wasn’t ignited by the rigidity of the rulers, angles, lines and perspectives of that exacting vocation. James was always more suited to Fine Arts and applied to do just this at the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney where he was able to enhance the talents that he was obviously born with.
James’ desire to travel has since played an important part in his career. After Julian Ashton, he purchased a “berth” on an historic ship called “The Bounty”. One of the many routes he sailed was the First Fleet re-enactment and he has documented his travels along the way with detailed journals that are punctuated by his skillful drawings and fascinating insights. James (aka Jimmy Parbuckle) is Relief Master at Sydney Harbour Tall Ships, marine artist and entertainer. He has worked on the Bounty, The Southern Swan and The James Craig and his eccentric character has always been a draw card for the passengers and crew; whether he’s telling salty sea tales to guests, leading vigorous team building events, or playing pirates with the children. Recently, James has chanelled much of his artistic flare into his music and has recorded two albums with his band The Reeelers.