Jim Norton, CA
Jim Norton was born with a paint brush in his hand and a pigeon perched on his shoulder. His teenage years were spent taking art classes and playing high school football and basketball. He spent most of his life in the western states, but claims Wyoming as home, where he is building a cabin studio.
His education in the field of art began as a youngster watching his grandfather, Earl Fausett, paint in his basement studio. Jim continued his art education at Western Wyoming College and Brigham Young University. He has furthered his informal education by traveling to museums in Russia, Canada and the United States.
“If you want to be a great artist, you can learn from the masters themselves and the museums are full of them.” Jim was invited to become a member of the Cowboy Artists of America in 1989. At the 2010 CAA show Jim received the Stetson CAA Award for his body of work and a Gold Medal for Oil Painting for The Lifetime.
Source: Cowboy Artists of America
Indian with Fur Hat and Feathers
Artist: Jim Norton, CADescription: Charcoal | Image Size: 9”w x 12”h; Framed Size: 18.5”w x 21.5”h
A Shared Fire
Artist: Jim Norton, CADescription: Oil | Image Size: 36”h x 52”w; Framed Size: 49.25”h x 65.25”w
Artist: Jim Norton, CADescription: Oil | Image Size: 9”h x 12”w; Framed Size: 17.25”h x 20 1/8”w
In the Setting Sun
Artist: Jim Norton, CADescription: Oil (2001) | Image Size: 28”h x 40”w; Framed Size: 38.25”h x 50.25”w
The title of this painting perfectly captures its appeal. The whole scene of three Indians, skillfully postured at varying heights, peering into the setting sun awash in the reddish orange rays of the fading light. Jim Norton has caught just the right time of day when the light is at its peak. All of the colors of the canvas… the rocks, the grass, the robes of the Indians are tinged with this same orange light seemingly creating an otherworldly environment. The pale colors of the distant horizon and the wide expanse of sky only seem to enhance, by contrast, the brilliance of the fading sun. Norton’s composition which places one warrior on a large rock and the other two on horseback, but at different levels, adds to the visual interest of the painting. The warrior on the rock balances the remaining riders. The painting has a narrative quality that encourages the viewer to fill in the blanks concerning just what story is unfolding in this scene.
Artist: Jim Norton, CADescription: Oil (2005) | Image Size: 24”h x 36”w; Framed Size: 34.25”h x 46.25”w
Artist: Jim Norton, CADescription: Oil (1995) | Image Size: 24”h x 32”w; Framed Size: 33.5”h x 41.5”w
Artist: Jim Norton, CADescription: Oil (2002) | Image Size: 24”h x 36”w; Framed Size: 34.25”h x 46.25”w
Shown riding across a tall grass prairie, Jim Norton’s band of Renegade warriors chronicles a period of American History that was fraught with conflict and danger. Norton’s painting depicts a group of warriors who were not content to spend their days on a reservation and preferred to roam freely across the plains. Refusal to submit to reservation life often brought these people into direct conflict with U.S. Army troops. In some of those skirmishes the spoils included parts of cavalry uniforms such as the jacket the most prominent warrior in this painting is wearing. He leads a small band across a flat, barren expanse; each member has a look of caution and wariness on his face. The landscape and grass have been sun bleached to a golden brown. The horizon extends in an unbroken line to a pale blue sky filled with white, scudding clouds. These men lived a dangerous, day to day existence.
Norton grew up around artists in his family and first learned to paint and draw from them. He received art training at Brigham Young University, but is largely self- taught. He is a past president of the Cowboy Artists of America, an organization that elected him to membership in 1989.
The Sacred Water
Artist: Jim Norton, CADescription: Oil (1997) | Image Size: 24”w x 36”h; Framed Size: 33.75”w x 45.5”h
Trouble at the Old Homestead
Artist: Jim Norton, CADescription: Oil (2005) | Image Size: 30”h x 46”w; Framed Size: 40.25”h x 56”w
The Sacred Water
Artist: Jim Norton, CADescription: Oil (1997) | Image Size: 36”h x 24”w
Jim Norton’s skill as a landscape painter is on full display in this painting of an Indian warrior pausing beside a waterfall in a mountainous setting. Norton deftly mixes several surfaces and textures into his landscape: a rocky outcrop, rapidly flowing water, debris washed downstream, a forest and a barren sunny slope backdrop. The water and the multi-colored layers of mossy rocks closest to the waterfall were handled particularly well. The Indian figure has been backlit permitting the light to guide the viewer’s eye to the cascading water that literally flows off of the canvas. Although the scene has many different elements from the hard surfaces of the rock, to the soft textures of the green leaves in the background, to the shimmering water, the painting has a strong continuity that balances all of these disparate features.
Jim studied art at Western Wyoming Community College and at BYU. He became a member of the world renowned Cowboy Artists of America in 1989.
The Pony Express
Artist: Jim Norton, CADescription: Bronze | 15”h x 10”w x 4”d; Edition #31 of 35
On April 3, 1860, with 80 expert riders, 400 horses, and 190 relay stations the Pony Express began delivering messages, newspapers and mail. Every Wednesday and Saturday, one rider would leave at noon from Sacramento heading east while another would leave at 8:00am from St. Joseph heading west. Riders covered 75 to 100 miles per day, averaging 8 miles per hour. Every 10-12 mile, horses would be exchanged at a relay station. Its payload was 20 pounds and letters were tucked into a Mexican saddle bag, a mochila. When the Transcontinental Telegraph Line was completed on October 21, 1861, the need for the Pony Express was eliminated. As a result, its service ended on November 20, 1861, having covered 591,501 miles and delivered 30,700 pieces of mail.