Born in 1956, Jeff grew up in Alabama watching Gene Autry, The Lone
Ranger, The Rifleman, and Flipper. He always wanted to be a cowboy (or
dolphin wrangler) as a kid. In 1977 he got the opportunity, sort of. Jeff took
a job as a cowboy in a living history program on a large ranch in Northern
New Mexico teaching thousands of young people and adults about the
history of the cattle industry in the 1880s American West. That living history
program was 24/7, teaching about everyday working cowboys, cattle barons and all characters in between. He worked the job for six years and learned a lot about the details of everyday life on an 1880’s Northern New Mexico cowboy. That experience was the real foundation for Jeff’s passion for cowboy art.
During the same period, Jeff began painting professionally, particularly cowboy subjects. He signed on with galleries in Ft. Worth and Santa Fe and began doing shows around the Southwest.
Over the years Jeff maintained his relationship with that ranch in Northern New Mexico. To this day, he participates in their cattle drives to the high country, brandings, roping and rodeos. It provides continual inspiration for his paintings. Jeff, his wife and two children split much of their time between the family ranch in West Texas and their main home on the edge of the Nambe River north of
Jeff’s art inspiration and influences include N.C. Wyeth, Frank Tenny Johnson, Sir Frank Brangwyn, Frederick Remington, and the action of Charlie Russell. A few of the Taos Painters: Victor Higgins, W. Herbert Dunton, and E. Irving Couse have also been a continual influence. His technique is a traditional approach employed by any of the old European Masters, beginning with a good drawing, then a monochromatic underpainting to establish patterns and values. Next, he lays in color and finishes up with some glazing. Jeff’s paintings
are technically involved and usually take days or weeks to complete. According to Jeff, each image needs to be developed around a tight drawing, good composition and design principles, a little atmospheric romance, hopefully a little action and drama, engaging color, good strong brushwork and a little bit of storytelling. And as Harvey Dunn would say, “a little less about the details and a little more about the spirit.”
In 2015, Jeff became the Official Artist of the Boy Scouts of America.
For the past three decades, Jeff has been working to become a better painter. He has taken a few detours, but never stopped painting. His experience teaching young people about the history of the American West, as well as the family ranching activities has given him a unique opportunity to develop as a cowboy artist.