blue and white lines

James Reynolds

Birth place or City of origin: Taft
State of origin: CA
Last known City: Sedona
Last known State: AZ
Start/Birth date: 1926
Death/End date: 2010

James Reynolds is known for his realistic landscape paintings of the American West. He was born in Taft, California in 1926, and has had an affinity for the West from an early age when he visited his grandmother each summer in a remote area of the Sierra foothills. He spent years on ranches immersed in his subject matter and gathering experiences to last a lifetime.

After serving in the Navy during World War II, Reynolds went to art school on the GI Bill. He attended the Kahn Institute of Art in Los Angeles, CA and then the School of Allied Arts in Glendale, California. Reynolds’ first job after art school was as a technical illustrator in California’s booming aircraft industry. He then found a job as a sketch artist for the film industry working for studios such as Columbia, Fox, and Disney. His movie credits include The Diary of Anne Frank, The Long, Hot Summer, and My Fair Lady.

In 1967, Reynolds moved to the wilderness of Arizona to pursue a career in painting. He met Joe Beeler and Charlie Dye, two founding members of the Cowboy Artists of America, and they invited him to join the group. Over the next decade his reputation grew as his work improved. In 1979 he decided to withdraw from the CAA, and worked alone in his studio.

During this period of solitude, Reynolds’ paintings continued to improve, and he began to receive honors and awards. In 1992 he became the first artist in the history of the National Academy of Western Artists to win the show’s three highest honors: The Prix de West Purchase Award, the gold medal in the oil category, and the Nona Jean Hulsey Buyer’s Choice Award. The following year he was honored with a retrospective exhibition at the Gilcrease Museum and also rejoined the CAA.

Most recently Reynolds was the recipient of the 2000 Thomas Moran Memorial Award at the Autry Museum Show and the 2001 Masters of the American West Award at the Autry Museum Show.

“Broad realist” painter of contemporary cowboys at work, born in Taft, California in 1926 and lived in Sedona, Arizona since 1967. “Critics don’t bother me a bit,” he declares. “I’m just doing my own thing, with no phony nonsense. I just like to paint cowboys. I’m a realist in every sense of the word, but in painting I lean toward impressionism. As far as my goals are concerned, I just want to be a good painter. And naturally, I want to leave something behind.”

Biography courtesy of


High Noon  |  9929 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90034  |  |  (310) 202-9010

© 2014 High Noon Western Americana
If problems with website occur, please contact the webmaster. Site designed by Ireland Graphic Design.