Slow to Take and Quick to Give | Oil on Canvas | 36 x 48 inches | 2024


Jacob Lovett’s artworks literally and figuratively open windows onto “the cowboy culture of the modern West,” the artist explains, by combining a spare, contemporary style and palette with techniques gleaned from the Old Masters. “I haven’t really reinvented the wheel here,” he says modestly. “But I like to think I’ve put a new spin on it.”

That spin has been stirring up collectors’ enthusiasm through such paintings as Looking Back on the Years Gone By, based on a visit Lovett made in 2023 to a Colorado ranch between Great Sand Dunes National Park and the Sangre de Cristos. “I was riding along on horseback, taking photos, when I turned around and saw those awesome snow-capped mountains rising behind the dunes,” Lovett says. The image he captured provided ideal material for the contemporary, window-like composition he often favors, partially cropping central figures. As well as visually striking, the result “prompts viewers to wonder what the subjects could be thinking. Are they looking back to appreciate where they came from, or are they stepping out into the unknown?”

Looking Back on the Years Gone By

Oil on Canvas | 48 x 48 inches | 2023

Such split viewpoints echo Lovett’s own background. A Texas “city boy” from Fort Worth, he rode horses growing up, and returned to the city after attending college at the University of Mississippi with study abroad in Barcelona. Though talented and interested in art from childhood, Lovett never considered pursuing it as a career; instead, he earned a degree in marketing. Then, a fateful request in 2018 altered his direction. “My sister bought me a book of drawing prompts, and I posted a drawing on Instagram,” he recalls. “A friend saw it and contacted me, saying, ‘I would love you to paint a picture of my brother.’ So, I bought some supplies and watched some videos on YouTube. She gave the painting to her parents. It made them feel great, made me feel great, and deep down, I thought I could do better.”

He sought professional instruction and found it at Studio Sabka, the Fort Worth, Texas, atelier of Albanian-born artist Laert Aleksi Xhaferi. “I studied under him for three years, and he taught me everything I know,” Lovett says. In January 2021, Lovett opened his own studio, and he had his first professional show in 2022.

Millions of Miles Under These Heels

Oil on Canvas | 36 x 48 inches | 2023


Combining modern technology with time-honored techniques, Lovett begins each work with a digital photo he’s taken, edits it in Photoshop, and then uses a projector or tracing paper to transfer it to his canvas as a basic drawing. His brushwork begins with an underpainting in burnt sienna “that gives luminosity to the blues and tans I use a lot.” Then, section by section, he meticulously paints the scene in spare yet lovingly realistic detail. The results have been in high demand since his first professional show in 2021. “It just so happened,” the 29-year-old artist says modestly, “to be a combination of some God-given talent, great teachers, and a little bit of luck.”

Lovett is represented by Commerce Gallery in Lockhart, Texas, where his works will be featured in a two-artist show from August 2 through 31.

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