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 William Scott Jennings  (1952 - )

About: William Scott Jennings
 

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Lived/Active: Arizona/New Mexico/Louisiana      Known for: western landscape painting, illustration

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Beginning his career as a commercial artist in Dallas, Nashville and Sacramento, Scott Jennings became a noted plein-air painter of western landscape.  He was born in New Orleans, and was raised as a child of an Air Force doctor, which meant many moves across the country.  He spent his early years in Florida, did high school in North Carolina, studied for two years at the Harris School of Advertising in Nashville, Tennessee, and then worked for commercial art studios in Nashville.

Not liking to work for somebody besides himself, he moved to Sacramento, California where he opened his own graphic design business and began painting outside, especially in national parks.  Later he said he was "hooked" and was especially responsive to the instant gratification of painting en-plein air.  He says . . ."the West is where the color is.  The weather's better and there's something besides six shades of green.  It's where the big landscapes are." (99)

In his mid 20s, he inherited his grandmother's house in Dallas, Texas, so he moved there, quit all commercial art, converted the garage into a studio, and dedicated himself to fine-art painting.   He found gallery representation in Scottsdale and Santa Fe, and in 1981, he moved to Taos, New Mexico for fifteen years, and then to Sedona, Arizona. 

Completing about 150 plein-air paintings a year and 15 to 20 ones too large for that method, he uses both studio and outdoor painting locations and works with a palette knife as well as brushes.

William Scott Jennings has won the Gold Ink Award for soft cover book jacket design and was the first official "artist in residence" at the Rocky Mountain National Park.

He earned the Award of Excellence for Master Signature Members at the 14th Annual Oil Painters of America National Show in May 2005.

Sources include:
Devon Jackson, "As Big as the Mountains", Southwest Art, May 2006, pp.96-99

Biography from Knox Galleries:
William Scott Jennings has been a professional artist since 1973. He began his career in commercial art; gallery exposure began in 1976; and by 1978 he was showing his work in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. After residing in Taos, New Mexico for 15 years, Scott relocated to Sedona, Arizona in January 1996.

Exhibitions include being an invited artist in the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 “Quest for the West” show at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana. Scott won the Zion NP Foundation’s ‘Award of Excellence’ at the 2010 plein air invitational held at Zion National Park. He is an invited artist at the Grand Canyon Celebration of Art to be held at the Kolb Studio in Grand Canyon National Park.

The 2005 Oil Painters of America National Show awarded Jennings the Award of Excellence for Master Signature Members for his painting, Mystical Canyon. Jennings participated in the national museum exhibition, "From Sea to Shining Sea”, a nationally touring exhibit of 15 museums across the United States that ran for a period of three years and opened at the Haggin Museum in California.

Scott was chosen as the show poster artist for the Sedona Plein Air 2005 and the Telluride Plein Air 2004. He was the guest speaker at the 2004 Desert Plein Air show in La Quinta, CA and taught a plein-air workshop as part of the event.

Jennings was part of two national invitational shows in 2001: "Grand Canyon Expressions" at the Forbes Gallery in Manhattan, NY and Burlingame, CA. Fifteen artists made an eight day painting expedition down the Colorado River into the Grand Canyon. He was also invited to participate in "Contemporary Artists Paint Yosemite" at the Haggin Museum in California.

His painting The Red Wall was chosen as the cover art for America West Airlines’ in flight magazine for the August 2001 issue. The Oil Painters of America’s 10th Annual National Show awarded Jennings the Founders’ Award for his painting Winter Sun and in 2004 he received the Masters Merit Award. The 2001 Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational awarded Scott an honorable mention for his painting Sunset on Crystal Cove. Scott also received best of show at the 1999 Impressionaire Show at the PGA West Country Club in La Quinta, CA and honorable mention in 2000. The PBS television series, The Artists Workshop featured Mr. Jennings as he produces a plein-air painting for the fourth episode in the 2001 line up.

The 1998 Arts for the Parks Show named Jennings as the Best of Show Gold Medal and Grand Prize Winner for his painting Timeless Beauty. The show receives approximately 2400 entries annually. In the 1994 Arts for the Parks Show, his painting Sunset on Isis was region II winner, an award for best painting of the southwest region of the United States. It was recipient of a Silver Medal and reproduced as part of the 1994 National Park Stamp. Jennings’ work was in the top 100 show for five years in a row before retiring from competition after his 1998 win.

Two of Jennings’ paintings have been used as cover art for books: A Roadside Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park and most recently, Physical Geology, a college textbook. In 1989, Scott participated in the first of several group shows in the major cities of Japan. His work consistently sold throughout the country. The 1988 festival celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act commissioned Jennings to produce a poster for the event. Scott spent a month as the guest artist of Rocky Mountain National Park and the first painter given the honor of ‘Artist in Residence’. Scott won three top awards at the 1984 New Mexico Professional Art Exhibit and the painting is now part of the collection at the New Mexico State Capitol in Santa Fe.

Jennings is a Master Signature Member of the Oil Painters of America (OPA-M) and Plein Air Artists of Colorado (PAAC), as well as a Signature Member of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) and the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters (RMPAP).

Feature articles about Jennings’ work have appeared in Southwest Art magazine, Art of the West magazine, Focus magazine Santa Fe, Art Business News, American Artist magazine*, International Artist magazine*, The Artist’s magazine* and Western Art Collector magazine. (* denotes cover art for the magazine)

Notable collectors include Ford Motor Company, Christopher Forbes, William Shatner, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell and Congressman David Dreier.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.
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