Interview: Jeremy Booth

    With his daring minimalism, Kentucky-based artist Jeremy Booth captures the essence of the Wild West. Based on iconic cowboys and Western landscapes, his work embodies the spirit of resilience and adventure inherent in the Wild West while maintaining a contemporary aesthetic. To talk about his art and transition from commercial to fine art, he joined us for an interview.

    You shifted from commercial to fine art, focusing on the Western motif. What motivated this transition, and how has it impacted your creative process and sense of fulfillment as an artist?

    The primary reason for my transition was my desire to create artwork for myself rather than for companies. This desire has grown over the years and two years ago, I made the decision to take the leap. Initially, I experimented with different subject matters to find what felt right. With my love for the West and increasing interest in Western art due to shows like Yellowstone and artists like Mark Maggiori, I decided to give Western art a chance. What I initially thought would be a temporary series turned into an obsession, and I chose to focus solely on Western art.

    I started as a digital artist, but a little over a year ago, I began painting my Western works. Since that decision, my creative process has changed drastically, as has the outcome. I have had to learn things like patience, expand my color theory knowledge by physically mixing paint, and control my breath when painting hard lines.

    As a result of this new process, I feel more connected to my work than ever before. Painting by hand, smelling the paint, and sitting in the same room as my work has completely changed everything for me.

     Your work has been described as having a cinematic, colorful, and surprising minimalist style that captures the West. Can you elaborate on your artistic approach and how you balance minimalism with the vivacity of the Western landscape?

    The reference material for my work starts with a photograph of a cowboy or landscape, taken by either myself or my wife. Every year, my wife Tabitha and I visit a ranch out West, where we spend a few days with cowboys and ranchers. It’s during this time that we capture their way of life through photography, which is essential to the cinematic quality of my work. The cinematic approach comes naturally in that setting as the landscape and the subject bring the work to life.

    Once we return home, I sift through thousands of photographs to select images that I believe would make great compositions on a canvas. When I begin creating the image, I focus on removing intricate details and emphasize blocks of color to form the image. It’s like a dance – I aim to remove enough detail to make the piece feel complete without taking away too much.

    You mention that your appreciation for ranching and cowboy culture grows with each photograph you and your wife take. Would you mind sharing a few specific experiences or stories that have influenced your work?

    Last year, we visited a horse ranch in Craig, Colorado. The vast land was home to hundreds of horses. This trip reminded me how simple life should be. All we really need are the essentials: the ones we love, food, and shelter. Spending time with the cowboys as they worked, ate, sang around the fire, and had many conversations reminded me of this truth. I find it interesting how the simplicity of that lifestyle parallels the style of my work. Simple.

    In terms of other artists, who would you consider your main influences?

    I’m mostly inspired by being out West and among the cowboy community. But, I’d say Mark Maggiori and Ed Mell really grew my interest in Western art and the reason I’m doing it today.

    With a wave of AI-generated art, have you felt compromised or empowered as an artist?

    I’d say I feel empowered most of the time. I have used AI to seek assistance in creating landscape reference material. AI-generated mountainscapes can be helpful when looking for reference material. I think it’s great when AI is a part of the process, such as when using Adobe Illustrator.

    Lastly, if you could give a single sentence of advice to aspiring artists, what would it be?

    Be consistent, don’t be afraid of work, and try new things.

    Arts in one place.

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