In the Eye and Heart of the Beholder 14

Jay Moore’s Western Landscape and Wildlife Paintings Create an Emotional Connection – ‘I’ve been there!’ or ‘I want to go!’

How long have you been an artist? 

Back in sixth grade, my classmates were buying my drawings for 25 cents. In high school, my art teachers bought my drawings. I have literally been drawing every day since high school. I was a graphic designer for 10 years but was hired because I was also an illustrator. I painted in my off hours and sold a painting for $50. It was a gradual process, but I knew that was really what I wanted to do. I have pursued fine art full time since 1997, about the same time I moved to Parker. I realized that if I wanted to compete with the best, I had to do it all in.


What makes your art and your studio unique?

My primary focus is Western landscapes, and I have been doing more with wildlife. The animals and birds are part of the landscape, so I like to leave them in the painting. It is important to be very intimate with the landscapes. Landscape artists often move to a place that inspires them—they can look out the window every day and see a painting. I grew up in Evergreen and hiked every day. I have lived in Parker for 21 years, and a lot of my paintings are not far from here. It has to be personal—you have to expose a little of bit of yourself and be vulnerable. That’s where the best paintings come from.


My studio is a retail gallery and an actual working studio. In addition, I collect books and have an extensive library that includes preliminary drawings and biographies of Spanish, Russian, Canadian and European artists. If a collector wants to commission a painting, I can pull a book from the shelf as a reference. People can find me, meet me and see a display of the work right here. If my work is in a gallery, the owners rarely know the story or inspiration for a painting. I can share that with people and hear why a painting has a special meaning to them, too. If I can bring a tear to their eye or give them goosebumps, I was able to take them back to a special moment when they visited that place. I don’t paint to make money; I paint to have an interaction with someone. I have even helped people find the perfect spot in their homes and helped hang paintings.


Why did you decide on this space in the Victorian Peaks building?

I was attracted to this space because of the feeling of openness and the high ceilings. I am inspired by what you see out the window. It was important to be in the historic part of Parker because of the ambiance. It is quaint, and the architecture mimics the Victorian era. I look out the window and see a Norman Rockwell painting.


What is your connection to the community?

My brother lived in Parker before we moved here 21 years ago. He said, “You need to come to the promised land.” We have raised both of our boys here, and I have gotten to know the mayor and business people. I try to patronize local businesses and have a cooperation with Parker Garage. I also attend steering committee meetings for the Creative District.


What are you working on now?

I’m softening the edges in the shadows (of trees and the ground next to a painting of Lake Odessa in Rocky Mountain National Park). It’s an Italian word for “smoke,” and Leonardo Da Vinci used this technique. I am always learning.