Retrospective exhibit of John Fawcett to open Friday

Audrey Dwyer
John Fawcett likes to use local ranchers in many of his paintings and they are featured in this oil painting "In Deep Water". The painting is part of a collection owned by Gary and Jessie Van Ness.

If You Go...

What: John Fawcett: A Retrospective Exhibit

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Steamboat Art Museum, 801 Lincoln Ave

— John Fawcett’s paintings are more than just visually stunning oil and watercolors images.

Each piece tells its own story, many of which are found in the Yampa Valley.

From 5 to 8 p.m. today, Fawcett will share with the Steamboat Springs community his retrospective exhibition that reflects the culture and history of the western way of life at the Steamboat Art Museum for an opening reception. Night at the Museum Dinner will follow the reception from 6 to 9 p.m..

Then, on Saturday, Fawcett will lead a lecture and demonstration of his technique with artists beginning at 10 a.m. Cost of the lecture and demonstration is $20 for the general public and $10 for members.

“His technique is just phenomenal,” said Shirley Stocks curator and exhibits committee chair for the museum. “He has this softness in his work, and many of the pieces tell a story, and a lot of the scenes are from around here.”

Not only that, many of his paintings feature local cowboys well-known to the community.

“It really mean a lot that I am able to share these pieces with the people I painted,” Fawcett said. “Some of them have never seen these piece before, so that’s a really incredible thing, and hopefully, it will be a gift to the community because they’ve been so generous to me.”

What began as a self-taught hobby Fawcett took up after attending a western art show in the 1990’s soon turned into a career. Originally, he started out as veterinarian in Pennsylvania, then sold the veterinary practice in 1996 to pursue art. There was something about Steamboat, he said, that made him want to come back and live here full time.

“It’s a real ranching community, and I’ve been fortunate enough to meet so many great ranching families and people who’ve been willing to ride with me and let me take photos of them and let me paint them,” Fawcett said.

For the past 20 years, Fawcett and his family have lived on their ranch in Clark, surrounded by a number of animals and scenery to fuel his inspiration.

Mastering both watercolor and oil, he has become a prestigious artist. His resume includes having shown work in the Masters of the American West Museum at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles and the Quest for the West Exhibition and Sale at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis.

Mainly painting cowboys, scenes of the West or Native American subject matter, Fawcett is sure to do his research in order to tell a story and invite the viewer to delve more deeply into the scene.

“I think that, in any of these paintings, one of my main purposes is to try and tell a story, whether that is with a simple image of a girl and her horse or ranchers herding cattle,” he said. “I want that image to evoke some kind of emotion in the viewer.”

Fawcett’s exhibit will be on display until Sept. 19. He will also provide various workshops, like the watercolor and oil demos, in addition to a horse anatomy and drawing workshop.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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