R. Jay Ewing grew up in New Mexico. His earliest art influence was given to him by his grandmother, an illustrator who trained at Chicago Fine Arts Institute. She taught him the value of art, and gave him a great deal of encouragement.
In 1976, he moved to California to become a student at Pasadena’s famed Art Center College of Design, from which he graduated with a BFA in Illustration in 1980. His early career as an illustrator provided him the opportunity to work in the movie industry as a set and costume designer, and eventually, a storyboard artist.
In 1984 he established a graphic design business, which he owned for 22 years. The business’s international client base, along with his love of travel, were the reasons he became fascinated with painting on location in various parts of the world.
Jay is happiest when traveling with his paint box. As an avid sailor, he is drawn to waterfront scenes, boats and ships of all kinds, and the sea itself. In addition, he finds subjects in historic architecture, rural scenes and pastoral farmlands, mountains and other natural subjects, and in gardens and parks. He is adept at setting modern scenes back in time, which lends to them a charming, nostalgic feeling.
Jay works in both watercolor and oil, finding that staying abreast of each medium’s challenges gives him a well-rounded artistic approach. His strongest influences have been the wonderful marine scenes painted by John Stobart, Montague Dawson and others, as well as the nature canvases created by Scott Christensen and Paul Strisik. Historic influences on Jay have been John Singer Sargent, William Wendt, and the artists of the Hudson River School.
Jay has studied with watercolorist Tony Couch and has taken classes from Ron Chesley and most recently, Margot Lennartz. Jay is a member of the California Art Club and the Verdugo Hills Art Association. He resides in Pasadena, California, with his wife (and travel companion) Carole.
Oil Paintings and Watercolors