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Jim Norton

Birth place or City of origin: Price
State of origin: UT
Last known City: Santaquin
Last known State: UT
Start/Birth date: 1953
Death/End date:

To fashion his highly successful career as an artist, Jim Norton has combined his natural talent for painting, his formal university training, and his keen eye for the work of the masters of American painting. He also brings to his work an authenticity that he gained by actually living and working in the West. Norton grew up in Utah, New Mexico, and Wyoming. He has experienced ranch and cowboy life and has made pack trips into the mountains - all of which has inspired his work. He has lived in the modern West that he paints and has merged those experiences with an in-depth knowledge of Western history.

Norton was born in Price, Utah, and grew up in the mining towns of the Western states. For two years, while on a church mission, he lived near Perth, Australia. This experience in the outback territory gave him the opportunity to explore cowboy life in a region other than his Western homeland. It also strengthened his love of cowboy culture.

Norton has always lived around art and artists. As a boy, he watched his grandfather, Earl Fausett, paint in a basement studio. He is related to artist Lynn Fausett, whose work is well known throughout the country. Norton acquired his formal art training at Western Wyoming College in Rock Springs and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

The Cowboy Artists of America influenced Norton long before he joined the group in 1989. As a teenager, he had seen framed prints of the work of CAA member Tom Ryan in a country store in Wyoming. He returned to the store to study the prints on several occasions. Later, while in college, he came across a catalogue from the group’s show in Phoenix and was once again impressed by Ryan’s work and the work of the other CAA members.

In October 2001, at the completion of his year as president of the Cowboy Artists of America, Norton received high praise from his fellow members. They awarded him the Best of Show honors.

Reference: Cowboy Artists of America, by Michael Duty


Jim Norton was born on New Year’s Eve in 1953, the first of six children in the small coal-mining town of Price, Utah. Since his father was a miner, the family traveled around the western states living in Sunnyside, Utah, Carlsbad, New Mexico, Moab, Utah, Rock Springs and Lyman, Wyoming. While each of these places left memories, Lyman was where Jim attended high school and first began to experiment with paint and color. It is also in Lyman that Jim helped his friends with ranch chores, learning firsthand some of the things his paintings now depict.

His grandfather, Earl Fausett, inspired Jim, as well as his cousins Lynn and Dean Fausett, all accomplished artists. They were generous in sharing their knowledge with the young painter who continued to be intrigued with color and form.

After graduating from Lyman High School, Jim attended Western Wyoming College in Rock Springs, Wyoming, where he began his formal art education. He became restless and left school before graduation to go to Australia where he lived for two years. In his Australian experience, many “modern” cowboys’ ideas are hard to find in present day America.

When he returned home, Jim attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah for two additional years of study. He also took instruction from William Whitaker and Conrad Schwiering. A perpetual student of nature and art, he can turn any trip into a cultural and educational experience. He frequently packs into the Canadian and US Rockies searching for new material.

Currently a member of the Northwest Rendezvous Group, Jim was presented with the prestigious Juror’s Choice Award, in 1986. His work is found in several major collections throughout the US and Canada. He lives in Utah with his wife and four children. In 2002, his work was selected for the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage show in Los Angeles.


Jim Norton was born in Price, Utah in 1953 where he began a lasting affection with the American West of today. Not only was Jim born with a gift, he was also surrounded by talented relatives. The artists that he grew up with in his family include a grandfather, who Jim watched paint and mix colors beginning at a young age, and two cousins from whom Jim learned the basic art of oil painting. Growing up around ranchers and ranching helped Jim capture the essence of his works. They are not simply paintings; they tell a story and capture a scene where the viewer actually feels what he/she sees. Jim paints emotions, senses of sight, smell and taste.

Biography courtesy of


Born in Price, Utah, Jim Norton is known for his paintings of real-life cowboys and their horses. He also paints Indians and has a collection of authentic Plains Indian costumes.

He spent most of his youth in western Wyoming where he gained a working knowledge of ranch life. His skill at depicting the cowboy and his activities earned him membership in 1989 in the Cowboy Artists of America, dedicated to the painting tradition of Charles Russell and Frederic Remington.

He was raised in Lyman, Wyoming, and showed art talent from childhood. Following high school graduation, he spent two years as a Mormon missionary in Australia and then studied art briefly at Brigham Young University under William Whittaker. Mostly he followed the advice of a teacher who told him to go out and paint, paint, paint. While his wife taught school, he worked for a food broker and painted when he could, and then finally quit his day job to paint full-time.

He and his wife raised their four children in Santaquin, Utah and his studio has a view of mountains 11,000 feet high. He also owns seventeen acres in Wyoming where he paints wildlife and landscape. He is convinced that painting from life is what lends authenticity and vitality to his paintings. He paints 10 to 12 paintings a year, often working on several at a time.

Source: Art Talk, November 2002


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