James Reynolds

A prominent Western painter for the last forty years, Jim Reynolds was known for his impressionistic paintings of the life of Old West cowboys.  His works are in museum and private collections throughout the United States.  Traildust: Cowboys, Cattle and Country: The Art of James Reynolds by Don Hedgepeth chronicles Jim’s Western paintings.

Born in Taft, California, his early childhood led him to a love and respect of the cowboy.  He spent summers at his grandmother’s hotel in the old mining town of Washington, where he heard stories of the Old West and where he fell in love with the art of Frank Tenney Johnson.

After serving in World War II, Jim attended art school at the Kahn Institute of Art and the School of Allied Arts in Los Angeles. He went on to work as a commercial illustrator, first in the aircraft industry and then in the movie industry.  From 1954 to 1967 Jim worked on 150 films, many of them Westerns.

In 1967, Jim left the movie industry and moved to Sedona, AZ where he met Joe Beeler and Charlie Dye, founding members of the Cowboy Artists of America. He was invited to join their group and throughout the years he exhibited with them, he won numerous awards for his art.

He was also a proud member of the National Academy of Western Artists.  In 1992 at an exhibit at the (then) Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, OK, he swept the awards with his painting “Arizona Cowboys” —the only artist ever to win the prestigious Prix de West purchase award, the Nona Jean Hulsey Buyer’s award and the Gold Medal for Best Painting.

Known as an artist’s artist, Jim dedicated his life to mentoring younger artists. In 1983, he was instrumental in helping establish the Scottsdale Artists’ School, which is recognized as one of the countries foremost art schools.

Additional Artwork