Each year brings forth a new crop of art books to tantalize us into choosing the best among them. We have selected Jim Wilcox's "Canvassing the West" to offer as one of the best of the season. Not only does it have full color plates on virtually every page, but the writing by the artist is a form of poetic prose. An introduction by son Mark Wilcox gives a personal glimpse into this artist's life and how it affected the lives of his family. It begins with a quote from Mark, "Jim Wilcox's interests are diverse. That's what has led magazines and newspapers to call him such things as artist, innovator, Renaissance man, inventor, architect, and dreamer. I just call him Dad."
He has won many prestigious awards, among them the illusive Prix de West and the National Art for the Parks top awards. An entire section of the book is devoted to his award winning paintings. There are other sections in the book devoted to Plein Air paintings, and one on Brush Mileage showing his prolific output. Again, I must say that the comments he makes on every painting give its size and location and notes on each place make every plate a personal experience to view.
Wilcox is known for his paintings of the mountains of the American West, most particularly the Grand Tetons in his home state of Wyoming. He has lived in the shadow of these mountains for over 40 years and has recorded their many faces and seasons for as many years. His home and gallery are located in scenic Jackson Hole, where he faces the ever changing Sleeping Indian mountain each morning and afternoon. This familiar landmark is the subject of the painting which won him the Prix de West award in 1987, confirming his status as one of the premier painters of the Western genre.
This is one of the best coffee table books you will ever own, and one that can be enjoyed again and again. I highly recommend it for your library of art books.