Organizations* : CAA, NWR
Jim C. Norton was born on New Year’s Eve in the small coal-mining town of Price, Utah, the first of six children. Since his father was a miner, the family traveled around the western states, spending time not only in Utah, but also New Mexico and Wyoming. While each of these places left memories, Lyman, Wyoming was where Norton attended high school and first began to experiment with paint and color. It is also in Lyman that Norton began to learn first hand some of the ranch chores and incidents his paintings now depict.
However, his ranch experiences were not the only inspiration to the young artist. His grandfather, Earl Faussett, also motivated Norton, as well as his cousins Lynn and Dean Faussett, all of whom were 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, Norton attended Western Wyoming College in Rock Springs, Wyoming, where he began his formal art education. However, he became restless and left school before graduation, traveling to Australia as a Mormon missionary for two years. When he returned home, Norton attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah for two additional years of formal study, working under artists such as William Whitaker and Conrad Schwiering. Afterward, he followed the advice of a teacher who told him to go out and paint, paint, paint. While his wife taught school, Norton worked for a food broker and painted when he could, and then finally quit his day job to paint full time.
In 1989, Norton’s skill at depicting the cowboy and his activities earned him membership in the Cowboy Artists of America, an organization dedicated to the painting tradition of Charles Marion Russell and Frederic Remington.
Currently a member of the Northwest Rendezvous Group, Norton was presented with the prestigious Juror’s Choice Award by Lowell Smith in 1986. In 2002, Norton’s work was selected for the Masters of the American West show, held by the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles. His work is found in several major collections throughout the United States and Canada.
Norton lives in Utah with his wife and four children. He also owns seventeen acres in Wyoming where he paints wildlife and landscapes. Norton is convinced that painting from life is what lends authenticity and vitality to his paintings. He paints ten to twelve paintings a year, often working on several at a time. A perpetual student of nature and art, Norton can turn any trip into a cultural and educational experience, and frequently packs into the Canadian and U.S. Rockies, searching for new material and inspiration.