Contemporary realist Tim Cox (1957-) is a painter and perfectionist who explores and documents experiences of the modern working cowboy, capturing the glorious landscape, majestic skies, energy, hard work and romance of life on America's open range. Born in Arizona and raised in Duncan, a small farming and ranching community on the New Mexico border, Cox vowed at the age of five he "was gonna be a cowboy artist" when he grew up, a goal pursued with unwavering determination and a penchant for absolute accuracy. "If I don't know my subject, I don't paint it...I just cannot do impressionistic paintings, although I've been told by some successful artists to do so: 'Loosen up. Forget the details of ropes and spurs; use more splash-dash, make bold strokes!' Thank you, no." Although his evident skill was recognized early on and he was encouraged in his painting, Cox suspected that most art schools and colleges would not support his highly realistic approach. Instead, he studied formal drawing with William Whitaker at Brigham Young University and sought out cowboy artists he admired who provided sound advice and reinforced his principles regarding elements of design, composition and the importance of light. Painting professionally since 1975, Cox works at his easel at least ten hours each day, seven days a week, producing no more than fourteen meticulous oil paintings each year, all of which he has sold. Living with his wife Suzie, a former rodeo champion, and their two children in the remote ranching unity of Eagle Creek, Arizona since 1978, where mail comes just one each week and the nearest telephone, electrical pole or grocery store is an hour and a half away, Cox is completely engrossed in the life he documents on canvas. The Cox ranch includes several quarter horses, most of which are bred for cutting, broken, trained and sometimes shown by the artist as his spare-time passion, a small herd of cattle and several Longhorns. The artist regularly rides roundup with his neighbors and knows the imagery and camaraderie he paints from long hours in the saddle. Exactness in his portrayal of horses and riders, the cowboy's individual style, gear and relationship to each other makes Cox' work appreciated by ranchers and cowboys, earning him over 60 magazine covers including Western Horsemen, The Cattleman and Quarter Horse Journal, gallery shows throughout the West, and a well-deserved reputation as 'The Cowboy's Painter.
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