James Reynolds was born in a Standard Oil lease house in 1926 and raised in Taft, California. As a boy, he spent summers at his grandmother’s Nevada City hotel, which was situated just beyond the infamous Donner Pass and literally above the south fork of the Yuba River, supported by stilts. In Nevada City he experienced firsthand the remnants of the Old West and heard the stories of that time.
Today Reynolds is considered to be one of the finest artists of the Western experience. He was a proud member of the National Academy of Western Art (NAWA) and an active member of the Cowboy Artists of America. In 1992, for his painting Arizona Cowboys, NAWA awarded Reynolds the Gold Award for Oil Painting, the Nona Jean Hulsey Buyer’s Choice Award, and the Prix de West. Reynolds’ other honors include Gold Awards from NAWA, and, from the Cowboy Artists of America, gold medals for best oil painting, Colt Awards, and two George Phippen Memorial Awards.