I had never heard of James E. Reynolds until three weeks ago. Bill Yermal had brought up his paintings in Digital Illustration and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of his work.
James Reynolds was born in 1926 in California and grew up hearing the stories of cowboys and the Wild West. These stories and where he grew up inspired his paintings later in life. He had decided to become an artist after he was discharged from the Navy during World War II. After working several art positions he moved to Arizona to embrace the Western/Ranch lifestyle. Eventually passing in 2010, James Reynolds left many pieces of art that encompass how much he embraced the Wild West.
A large part about both his landscapes and cowboy paintings is the use of color. He applies unique color choices all throughout the canvas. For example, this painting, he uses the vibrant colors of the sky to reflect onto the landscape, the cowboy, and his horses. This use of violet and pink creates unity and is warm and pleasing to the eye. Take a look at the color swatches below to see the variety of colors used, there is a combination of warm and cool colors. This partnership permits the eye to view this painting as a sunrise/sunset scene, especially in the sharp placement of the highlights.
Another great example of this is the painting below of a river with a mountain in the background. If you look closely, the entire painting has cooling blues and purples throughout it. It is especially apparent in the “island” in the foreground and the mountains in the background. The harmony created, like the painting above, instills serenity in the viewer. Notice the earth-like tones in the swatches below and how they all go hand in hand. My eye moves from the bottom left corner to the trees on the right, then to the left mountainside, and finally to the mountain in the background. This is positive because the viewer’s eye will travel to each aspect of the painting, opposed to sitting in one spot.
The discovery of James E. Reynolds has brought new insight and has become another artist who will influence my work.
You can check out his biography and the majority of his paintings at http://jamesreynoldsartist.com/
Featured Image: http://jamesreynoldsartist.com/westerns/