36 Oil Paintings by American Artist Rusty Jones

Rusty Jones Painting

1 of 36

Rusty Jones Painting

In Celebration of Nature

“I don’t find the landscape, it finds me. If I go out with a preconceived idea of what I want to paint, I can drive around for hours and never find it. But if I go out with a clear head, full of creative energy and no preconceptions usually a scene will present itself within a few minutes. Then I am free to open myself to whatever is in front of me and tackle the painting with vigor and passion. This is when I do my best work, the work that excites me and typically transforms itself into a larger studio version where I share what I found, put down in paint and throw a frame around it to share with the world. If I am not painting, I am thinking about painting. If I am painting, I’m thinking about nothing else.”




  • Oil Painters of America Wet Paint Award of Excellence 2020
  • FASO FAV 15% August 2020
  • FASO FAV 15% June 2020
  • Honorable Mention, Vital Art Sessions 2018
  • Award of Merit, Plein Air Southwest 2017
  • Best of Show, Oil Painters of America plein air competition, 2016
  • Gamblin Award of Excellence, Plein Air Southwest 2016
  • Gamblin Award, Award of Excellence, Plein Air Southwest 2015
  • RayMar, Best Landscape, April 2014
  • Gamblin Award, Plein Air Southwest, 2014
  • Gamblin Award, Plein Air Southwest Salon 2013
  • Boldbrush 3rd Place Award, Janaury 2012
  • Boldbrush FAV 15%, January 2012
  • Boldbrush FAV 15%, September 2011
  • Paint America Top 100, “Washout Patterns”, 2011
  • Paint America Top 100, “Loche Vale”, 2011
  • “Artists Choice Award”, Coastal Paintout 2011


View this post on Instagram

It’s taken two years but it has been worth the journey. I am a die hard landscape painter and there’s no place I’d rather be than on location, in the mountains, painting. But as I’ve gotten older and life has slowed the opportunities to travel, I made the decision to try my hand at still life painting. But where to start? How to start? Do I just dive in and learn on my own? It started with buying and studying videos by Elizabeth Robbins and Kathy Anderson. Just wasn’t feeling it. Then I stumbled across a Kelli Folsom video on YouTube. Her brush strokes were like butter, her ability to explain what she was doing as she was doing it struck a cord. When I teach I like to say what I’m going to do before I do it and she was doing the same thing. Then in 20 minutes she was done. Now this is my kind of painting! One Google search later I found Kelli teaching Vital Art Sessions online. Short 20 minute painting sessions packed with technique and information. I was hooked! And here we are two years later and my artistic voice is finally speaking to me. I’m finding just how much joy and fulfillment I get painting a jar and some oranges. The aren’t the Rocky Mountains, but they are just as important in expressing my artistic self. And this how a die hard landscape painter learned to love painting still life’s. #rustyjonesart #vitalartsessions #kellifolsomart #stilllifepainting

A post shared by Rusty Jones (@rustyjonesart) on


University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas, 1974-1976

Master of Science in Medical Illustration

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Communications

University of Texas at Austin, 1972-1974

Major in Painting, Minor in Biology

Texas A& M University, 1971-1972

Major in veterinary medicine

Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI)

Professional Member in 1978, Fellow since 1983


Prior to joining MediVisuals in 2004, Rusty was owner and CEO of Lawyers Media, a full-service demonstrative evidence development company. Concurrently, Rusty was owner and CEO of Pinnacle Publishing company, a medical publishing company specializing in patient education materials distributed through private medical practices. As a medical illustrator, Rusty has produced illustrations for numerous medical journals, patient education publishers, pharmaceutical companies, medical product companies, and medical textbook publishers. 

In addition to medical illustration, Rusty has become a nationally recognized landscape painter with representation in seven galleries throughout the western United States. Rusty is also well-known for his sports illustrations that have appeared in Golf Magazine, Golf Digest magazine, Golf Journal and Golf Illustrated Magazine. His sports art has also been published by the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, the United States Olympic Committee, and Golf House, the national museum for the United States Golf Association.


When not producing medical art, Rusty can be found traveling throughout the country painting on location as he gathers research material for larger studio works. His golf illustrations once landed him a portrait commission and lunch at the 1991 Masters Golf Tournament with 1935 Masters champion Gene Sarazen. 


Artist Rusty Jones Statement:

I do not choose the landscape, it chooses me. I’m drawn to it and the urge to express myself with paint is overwhelming. Mother Nature is a terrific designer but sometimes she needs a little help when it comes to painting her likeness on canvas. Plein air painting, in particular, is the purest form of artistic expression because you do not have time to mull things over. You see what’s in front of you, you mix a color and you put it down with authority. I will drive for days just to have the opportunity to paint a particular location like the California Coast, Rocky Mountain National Park or Big Bend here in Texas. Painting the landscape allows me to emotionally connect with it and in short two hour bursts of energy, emotion, inspiration and gusto create something totally unique. Every painting I have sold it is because the buyer made an emotional connection to it. If I have created something that reminds someone of something special in their life, then I have reached out and touched their heart with my art. How cool is that?

Painting En plein aire is the love and focus for artist Rusty Jones. Artists have long painted outdoors, but in the mid-19th century working in natural light became particularly important, and this method now has captured this son of Texas who worked as a medical illustrator for over twenty years. After obtaining a Masters Degree in Medical Illustration, he illustrated countless medical and pharmaceutical ad campaigns, medical journals, college textbooks and more. Learning to meet deadlines and to draw countless hours equipped him with a solid foundation to move into the fine art field.
Rusty’s love of sports then led him into sporting art which landed him illustration assignments with such notable magazines as Golf Illustrated, Golf Magazine, the Golf Journal and American Way Magazine.  He further provided sports art for the Coca Cola Foods Division for the Summer Olympics, the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Mavericks.
Today he almost exclusively pursues the landscape from the Big Sur coastline of California, to the beauty of the Texas Hill Country, to the diverse environments of Big Bend, New Mexico, Arizona and beyond. While influenced by artists like Edgar Payne and Richard Schmid he is totally captured by the impact of natural light on location. He has stated “Painting outdoors take passion.  Without it the wind, head, snow and bugs would drive you indoors!”
Now offering and sharing his acquired skills, Rusty often teaches workshops around the country. He says: “Every painter can learn to paint better by dedicating himself to learning how to paint by studying with others and by painting outdoors often and by intense practice sessions in the studio. There is no short cut. But along the way you learn the pure joy that comes from applying paint to canvas and capturing essence of the landscape being painted.”

vis oil painters of america blog

Rusty Jones had an early influence in his artistic development. A particularly strong one.

Lead Image: “Hill Country,” by Avis Jones, 1922, oil, 10 x 22 in.

His grandmother was an artist, and she gave Jones the best possible environment to develop as an artist himself. “My grandparents owned a 14-room hotel outside of San Antonio, the last stagecoach stop between Oklahoma City and the Mexican border,” says Jones. “My grandmother would invite artists to stay in the hotel and then go out and paint with her en plein air. I would carry her French easel, and I would sit out there with those ladies and watch them paint, at 6 years old.”

Yes, Avis Jones was an early plein air painter, but she was more than that. “She would paint nudes, still lifes, everything,” says Jones. “I could do whatever I wanted to do in her studio. She taught me, too. My grandmother made her own jellies and jams, and while she was cooking, she would put out a fork or a salt shaker and say, ‘Here, draw that.’ She would show me things, and make corrections, then move the jars or the fork and say, ‘Now do it again.’ I knew at age 7 that I could draw and paint better than anybody else in my school, up through the sixth grade. This painting is my prized possession.”

Early Influences: Rusty Jones




“Near Panther Creek”
8″ x 10″ en plein air   oil/linen
As we approach the plein air season I am reminded of this particular painting done on a crisp morning in Big Bend National Park. I had parked at the roadside pullout and hiked about a hundred yards from the road so I wouldn’t be bothered by anyone. I just wanted a quiet morning spent alone with Mother Nature, a blank canvas and my paint.
As I worked through a series of Notan sketches trying to finalize my design I happen to notice a park ranger parked next to my car standing in the bed of her truck with a pair of binoculars scanning the scene I was about to paint. I didn’t think anything of it really. Right before my first stroke of paint I glanced over my shoulder and she was gone.
Thirty minutes later I noticed the ranger was back and she was on top of her truck with her binoculars again. She noticed me looking at her and we exchanged friendly “hello” waves with one another.
Then she climbed down and drove off.
For the next hour I was busy painting and not paying attention to much else except I had grown accustomed to hearing the ranger’s truck coming up the road, parking next to my car and then down the road she would go. Except now it seemed her trips were becoming shorter and shorter.
With my completed painting stashed away in a RayMar box, I started to scrape dirty paint off my palette when a shadow across my palette startled me. Janet, the park ranger, was in a bit of a panic and before I knew it she was grabbing my stuff and pushing me up the hill towards the parking pullout. Turns out she had been keeping eyes on a mother cougar and her two cubs all morning as they made their way up the canyon directly towards me. She thought they were going to turn and head towards their den, but on this morning they continued up the canyon and I was directly in their path.
Safely out of the way I sat with my new best friend and watched as the cougars sniffed the area I had been standing in ten minutes earlier. I often wonder what would have happened that morning if Janet hadn’t been looking out for me. 
With that in mind, for all my art friends heading outdoors this Spring to paint…be careful out there.



Looking at my video library last weekend I came to realize just how many videos I’ve purchased over the years and how much knowledge I’ve garnered through the efforts of the many fine artists who have shared their time, talent, insights and methods. 

Each video represents countless hours of time spent by these artists developing and refining their craft over many years to the point where their reputation among collectors, galleries and fellow painters is unquestionable. I admire each and every artist in my collection and I have the pleasure of knowing most of them on a personal and professional level.
As I thumbed through the collection of DVDs I realized there are several videos I have watched multiple times and, truth be known, when I’ve struggled with a painting there are a few I reach to for divine inspiration. I thought it would be fun to share my collection and jot down my thoughts on what makes many of them worth having in your collection as well.
First my collection, not in any particular order:
“Three Landscapes” Scott Christensen by Liliedahl Video
“Painting Large Landscapes” Scott Christensen by Liliedahl Video
“Solitary Profession” Scott Christensen by Tony Pro Productions
“Establishing a Key That Reads” Scott Christensen by Fisher Creative
“Composing” Scott Christensen by Fisher Creative
“Painting Into Direct Sunlight” John Lasater, IV by John Lasater, IV
“Social Media REVEALED” Lori McNee & Eric Rhoads, Streamline Video
“Capturing the Moment in Oils” David Curtis by APV Films
“Painting on Location” Frank Serrano by Reel Memories Video
“The Woodland Interior Landscape” Roger Dale Brown by R. D. Brown
“Winter Over the San Juans” Matt Smith by Oak Creek Productions
“The Sonoran Desert” Matt Smith by Oak Creek Productions
“June” Richard Schmid by Stove Prairie Press
“November” Richard Schmid by Stove Prairie Press
“Richard Schmid Paints the Landscape” by Stove Prairie Press
“Bold Brushstrokes & Confident Color” Lori Putnam by Liliedahl Video
“Vermont Sugar Shack” Mark Boedges” by Mark Boedges
“The Oil Landscape” Bob Rohm by Artist Productions
“European Street Scene” John Michael Carter by Liliedahl Video
“Lilies” Daniel Keys by Liliedahl Video
“Hydrangeas & Oranges” Daniel Keys by Liliedahl Video
“Gesture Portraits” Jeffrey Watts by Liliedahl Video
“Studio Painting Secrets” Brian Blood by Liliedahl Video
“Overview” Kathryn Stats by Liliedahl Video
“Reflections” Gabor Svagrik by TAA productions
“The Power of Green” Gabor Svagrik by TAA Productions
“Painting the American Landscape” Matt Smith, Jean LaGassick and Ken
Backhaus by PBS Television
“Painting the American Landsacape” Charles Sovek, Ron Rencher & Frank LaLumia  by PBS Television
“Seaside” Kathryn Stats by Liliedahl Video
“From Plein Air to Studio” Keith Bond by Keith Bond
“White Pine” Richard Schmid by Stone Prairie Press
“Painting the Effects of Light” Jason Sacran by Jason Sacran
“Light in the Landscape” David Curtis by APV Films
“Energy and Movement” Randall Sexton by Streamline Video
FIRST PURCHASE: “Painting Large Landscapes” by Scott Christensen. I am primarily a plein air painter so painting larger than 9″ x 12″ is a real challenge. I have taken two workshops with Scott and he would do large landscapes from small field studies. Watching him complete a 30″ x 40″ painting in a couple of hours blew my mind. This video has been instrumental in helping me get out of my comfort zone and tackle large paintings with confidence.
MOST RECENT PURCHASE: “The Woodland Interior Landscape” Roger Dale Brown by Roger Dale Brown.
Watching this one for the third time now. Roger’s color sense is completely foreign to me but it is what draws me to his work. Watching him construct this complex subject into a well designed trip into the forest is worth the time.
PURCHASED IN LAST SIX MONTHS: “Energy and Movement” by Randall Sexton, “The Woodland Interior Landscape” by Roger Dale Brown, “Studio Painting Secrets” by Brian Blood, “Painting Into Direct Sunlight” by John Lasater, IV, “Vermont Sugar Shack” by Mark Boedges, “Painting the Effects of Light” by Jason Sacran and “Social Media Revealed” by Lori McNee and Eric Rhoads
MOST WATCHED: Probably a tie between “The Sonoran Desert” by Matt Smith, “Three Landscapes” by Scott Christensen and “Richard Schimd Paints the Landscape” by Richard Schmid. My approach to plein air work and palette is very similar to the way Matt Smith works so his videos really strike a cord with me. I can only imagine what its like to paint like Richard Schmid so I don’t even try and Scott is a modern master I can watch paint every day. In my opinion these three videos should be in everybody’s library.
MOST IMPORTANT: “Social Media Revealed” by Lori McNee and Eric Rhoads. Chock full of vital information for anyone utilizing social media either as a platform to connect and share your paintings to the more complex concepts of using social media as a marketing tool. Lori does an excellent job of breaking down the pros and cons of each media platform and Eric is always good about asking the questions we all want answers to.
MOST ENTERTAINING: “Painting the American Landscape” with Matt Smith, Jean LaGassick, Frank LaLumia, Ken Backhaus, Charles Sovek and Ron Rencher. Broadcast by PBS these two videos feature several of my favorite artists painting in Alaska and the West. Hard to forget Matt, Jean and Ken getting run off their painting location by a bear. Good interviews with the artists, nice demos by each and excellent production quality.
MOST INSPIRATIONAL: “A Light Touch” David Curtis and “Bold Brushstrokes and Confident Color” Lori Putnam. If you are not familiar with English painter David Curtis you are missing out. Equally gifted in oils or watercolor, David tackles the most complex subjects with ease. His ability to mix a color and put it down in exactly the right place using exactly the right color at exactly the right temperature is amazing to watch. Bold, direct and confident. Something I aspire to and achieve occasionally.
I found Lori’s video inspirational because she paints in a way I can only imagine. Loose and controlled at the same time. She has total command from beginning to end. Her rise in popularity has been fun to watch and watching her paint is a true pleasure.
MOST INFORMATIVE: “Studio Painting Secrets” by Brian Blood, “Social Media Revealed” by Lori McNee and Eric Rhoads and “Gesture Portraits” by Jeffrey Watts. Brian’s video is top notch. He covers all the bases discussing design, color, application of paint, color mixing…you name it, he talked about it and demonstrates it in a painting of Point Lobos, one of my favorite painting locations. His painting style is a lot like his personality, direct and to the point.
Jeffrey Watts video, the first of two, is the perfect blend of demonstration and teaching. His discussion of different color palettes and paint surfaces is invaluable information for the beginner or seasoned painter. The demos are terrific. You can tell Jeffrey is a seasoned teacher.
BEST VALUE: Gabor Svagrik’s video series of five landscape videos is a treasure of information at about $50 each. Unfortunately I don’t think you can get these any more. Now he has a new series of downloadable videos that include the original set. These are a must for anyone wanting to learn to paint with a limited palette.
BEST PRODUCTION QUALITY: Anything done by Liliedahl Video
WISH LIST: Jill Carver, Bill Anton, Clyde Aspevig, Skip Whitcomb, John Burton, James Richards, Joshua Been, Joshua Clare, Anne Blair Brown and a still life video from Richard Schmid.


Rusty Jones