Ski Trail Map Painter
James Niehues, 60, resort and panoramic illustrator, Loveland, Colo.
Interview by Armin Harris

(FORTUNE Magazine) - Since I was a little kid, I've been enthralled with landscapes. I have to first be a mapmaker, but I'm really a painter.

I do about 12 to 20 illustrations a year. I've probably done 75% of the large resorts. My fee is based on the size of the ski area, the difficulty of it, and the time I spend doing it.

When I receive a commission, I'll go on location and fly the area. I photograph closeups and sections of the mountain as well as an overall view. Then I work with topographic maps and make a sketch that shows all the shadows, trees, and buildings. I try to give every area an individual look or feel.

For instance, for Taos I painted in a lot of reds for the desert conditions. I enjoy New Zealand because there are fewer trees. I like painting trees, but they're time consuming. I spend probably 80% of my time on trees.

I always hoped people would want my originals. They're now going to be for sale through an art dealer, brosterman.com. It is kind of a crossroads for me. Before, I did this to make a living. But I'm hoping that I can sell some of these and can get on to the projects I'd really like to do: the national parks. I've got everything I need to do Mount St. Helens, I just haven't had time to get on it. Top of page

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.