I love to step into a painting, Jack says. I like the foreground sharp, so it invites you to walk in.
J. N. Jack Swanson, who raises and trains horses and keeps a stall in his studio for live models, feels strongly about the role of landscape in western art.
In western painting, the landscape and the action of the horses are almost equal. Every part of the painting should be done with the same care and attention to detail. Swanson doesnt work from photos but, as he rides, he notices everything from the way the light reflects on the underside of a fallen log to a rats nest of twigs in a thicket. He even crawls under sagebrush to sketch the roots.
His work has won numerous awards and is in collections including the C. M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Mont., and the Cowboy Artists of America Museum in Kerrville, Texas.
Jacks work in bronze sculpture and oil painting captures fleeting moments in the life of the western horseman, past and present. He breathes life into his subjects as only one who has lived the life can do.
Swanson can be reached in Carmel, CA, at 831-659-2616.