Featured in: Leading the West

leading the west book cover

Farnsworth, who now lives in Taos, New Mexico, has been a full-time painter since 1968. His best-known work is the gigantic mural of a Wells Fargo stagecoach that adorns one wall at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport. Some of the museum and corporate collections that have collected his work include the Millicent Rogers Museum, Northern Arizona University, and IBM.

Farnsworth's painting approach involves cropping, which enhances a viewer's involvement, eliminates unnecessary areas, and controls the relationships between image sections and the canvas edge. He believes this gives a greater illusion of depth. He alternates between large, developed acrylic paintings of horses and cattle, such as Whiteface (p. 147), and more spontaneous watercolors, often of Hopi Kachina faces. "For me, light, design, texture, the Southwestern heritage, life, death, and mystery are elements embedded in my art," he says. He finds his cattle and horse subjects at auctions and rodeos, and he is intrigued with their subtle colors, textures, shapes, and arrangement of forms. Farnsworth works from a combination of photographs, sketches, and his imagination to conceive each canvas.

"Light, design, texture, the Southwest heritage, life, death, and mystery are
elements in my art." John Farnsworth

in cooperation with Southwest Art, foreword by Susan Hallsten McGarry

bull painting by john farnsworth
WHITEFACE, oil on canvas, 48 by 96 inches, 1982. Private collection.
(photo taken from actual book in bad light)