James Morgan


James Morgan was born in 1947 and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Utah State University.  A resident of Mendon, in Utah’s rural Cache Valley, Morgan became a full-time artist in 1980.  Morgan often ventures into the nearby Wasatch Mountains, along marshes around the Great Salt Lake, and to other places throughout the Rocky Mountain West in search of landscapes and wildlife.

Morgan’s oil and watercolor paintings are characterized by an honest, unstudied quality and a style that is concerned with accuracy without being obscured by detail.  Morgan strives to capture his subjects in situations which reveal something about their innate character, finding the precise lighting and setting and circumstance.  Light, the artist has said, is the most important element of his works, along with the shapes and patterns provided by nature itself.  Painting for Morgan is an intensely personal process; the conception and execution of each work is unique, but all are rooted in his love of nature.   Morgan paints places that he knows, finding his subjects in the wild areas he loves -- the mountains, marshes, and high deserts close to his home.  Morgan aims to create works that engage his audience emotionally, expanding their awareness of nature’s most intimate aspects through the depiction of quiet, tranquil moments.

I need to paint with my own unique personal vision…I need to feel emotional about my subject.  If I don’t paint with strong feelings, the painting won’t come through for people.


James Morgan

Morgan is a regular participant in the Prix de West, Northwest Rendezvous, and Artists of America, and a member of the Society of Animal Artists.  His paintings have been featured in the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s Birds in Art show numerous times, and his works are part of the museum’s permanent collection, as well as many other private and public collections.  His work has also been exhibited at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming, the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the C. M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana.  His artwork has been profiled in the book Leading the West: OneHundred Contemporary Painters and Sculptors (1997) and Modern Wildlife Painting (    ). 

His awards include the Robert Lougheed Memorial Award from the National Academy of Western Art in 1994, and the Ben Stahl Artists’ Choice Award at the Northwest Rendezvous, in 1993 and 1994, and the 1996 Red Smith Artists’ Choice Award from the National Museum of Wildlife Art.