Jim Carson was born July 8, 1942 in Little Rock, Arkansas and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. As a boy, an extended camping and hiking trip at Philmont Scout Ranch in the mountains of New Mexico filled young Carson with a passion for the western landscape that has never left him to this day. After college, graduate school, and careers in science and business, he decided to change his direction to what he always loved most, art, and what more likely a subject for a lover of the West than the Western American frontier. After two years intensive study at the Art Student’s League in Manhattan, he continued his art education in private study with several well-known illustrators and painters, and in 1974 began a career illustrating western novels for major publishing houses in New York. In 1980 he traveled to Scottsdale and joined the May Gallery and began painting and selling historical paintings. Over the next few years he divided his energies between illustration in New York and historical painting out west. In 1984 he was nominated for the prestigious Spur award for best western cover. He participated in numerous group shows in Scottsdale, and in 2000 had his first one man show, which has become a yearly event. He joined Mountain Trails Galleries in Jackson, Wyoming and Park City, Utah, Heritage Gallery in Scottsdale after a long and successful stay with the May Gallery, Tierney Fine Art in Bozeman, Montana, and Mountain Trails Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Stuart Johnson invited him in 1997 to participate in his American Miniatures show at Settler’s West Gallery in Tucson. Carson has been featured in Southwest Art and Western Art Collector. Jim has been a yearly invitee to The Russell sale and auction at the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana. His paintings are in numerous private collections including that of the late Stephen Ambrose, the prestigious Pearce Western Art collection in Texas, and the excellent and comprehensive Peterson collection devoted to the mountain man and the Lewis and Clark expedition. Recently, he has begun a series of large paintings on the Spanish Conquistadors, a new subject for Carson which complements his expansive oeuvre encompassing mountain men, Western and historical figures, and Native Americans. Jim and his wife Marguerite, also a painter, reside in Saluda, North Carolina.
Artist's Work (click on an artist image to view larger)