Born and raised in Colorado, Jay’s family lived in Evergreen in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. “I always enjoyed the outdoors. It’s where I belong, it’s how I grew up. I’d just go in the mountains and climb trees and make forts and go fishing.” That deep love of the wilderness is at the very core of Jay’s being.
After graduating from art school, Jay worked in a graphic design firm in Denver for two years before working on his own as an illustrator. But it wasn’t until Jay participated in a workshop with a master landscape painter that Jay truly considered abandoning illustration for fine art. “After that week painting outdoors, that was it. I knew I wanted to be a plein-air painter.”
Jay firmly believes that any artist is an amalgam of artists who have come before him. As he progressed as an artist, he would seek out the masters of his genre and solicit critiques. “I have bugged most of them. I figure, if you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best.” He also finds inspiration from visiting museums and taking notes, as well as consulting his library of nearly 1000 art books.
Jay’s work can be seen in many notable publications, including the cover and featured article of Western Art Collector in March 2010, the cover and article in an instructional book, ‘Landscape Painting’ (published in 2009), and the cover and featured article of Southwest Art in December 2009. His work is part of several private, public and corporate collections, including the permanent collection of the Denver Art Museum.