Jordan K. Walker Biography

Jordan K. Walker Biography

Jordan K. Walker is an award-winning artist based in Eugene, Oregon. His work explores the complex and varied landscapes of the American West.

With painting gear in hand, Jordan hikes through the wild spaces of western North America and creates studies to better understand his surroundings. Intense examples of light and atmosphere, as well as a sense of the geological timescale of his favorite subjects are important elements in his work. He is continually drawn to the timeless drama of stormy skies, churning Pacific tides, steep alpine slopes, and ancient forests. Increasingly, he has found inspiration in the arid steppe of the Great Basin region, where incredible rock spires emerge from blankets of sage and juniper. In the studio, Jordan uses his studies and photographic reference gathered in the wild to compose immersive paintings. He strives to communicate the power and beauty of his subjects through the use of dynamic compositions, expressive brushstrokes, and unexpected color contrasts.

Jordan grew up in the ‘Ocean State” of Rhode Island, where he learned to appreciate the Atlantic coastline, eastern woodlands, and the many creatures that inhabited these ecosystems. Though time spent outdoors in nature was never as frequent as he would have liked, it was something he always treasured as a child. This fostered a lifelong interest in natural history, and engendered in him a desire to explore more far-flung environments. Science fiction and fantasy novels provided a sense of escape, and he immersed himself the fantastic worlds of his favorite authors as well as many of his own creation. To express his love for nature and his own imaginative creations, Jordan spent as much time as possible drawing. He filled dozens of sketchbooks throughout high school, and was bolstered by the encouragement of his parents and the enthusiasm of his peers. A family trip to Alaska during this time served as an introduction to the wonders of the western end of the continent, and left him eager to see more. By the end of this period he was certain of two things; he would go on to become a professional artist, and he would move west to explore the Pacific coast and the mountainous regions of North America.

Jordan graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustration in 2016. During his time at RISD he learned a number of valuable lessons in conceptual thinking and composition design, and became enamored with oil paint as a medium. It was in a studio classroom that he met his life partner; fellow illustrator Emily Poole. Together they moved to Oregon shortly after graduation in search of vast wilderness and pristine ecosystems to explore.

He spent his first few years out of college fostering a career as a professional illustrator, creating rich imaginative scenes featuring strange creatures for a variety of publications. Though these subjects are still important to him, he was soon blown away by the sense of scale and history of the western landscape. Feeling a strong need to communicate his experiences and interpretations of the places he was seeing, he shifted his focus to spend more time painting the incredible tangible environments he has come to love.

Jordan’s work has been shown in galleries and museums across the United States, including the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Steamboat Art Museum, CFD Old West Museum, Maryhill Museum of Art, and the Bowers Museum. He is a member of the Oil Painters of America, and an Out of State member of the California Art Club. Many of his paintings are held in private collections around the globe.

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