Gordon Snidow Western Art Header

Thanks for visiting Grace Snidow Art.

Grace Griffin Snidow was raised on a ranch in the mountains in Western New Mexico. Being a country girl was one of the things that drew her to Gordon Snidow and his accurate portrayal of the ranch life in which she lived.

For the past 23 years, Grace has dedicated her life and love to Gordon Snidow and his art. She says “there is no better artist in the world. He is amazing in all aspects of design, color and has an uncanny ability to capture the spirit of all he paints”. She calls herself the curator of his work, as she has studied his art, listened to his stories behind each piece and has been essential to the marketing of his original works and print business. When the journey began in 1993, she was instrumental in arranging works for a retrospective show at the Smithsonian in Washington DC as well as both bringing together the latest book “My Story” and a production at the Spencer Theater in Ruidoso, New Mexico.

Grace resides in Ruidoso, New Mexico.






In 1959, after receiving a Bachelors Degree in Art from the Art Center College of Design, in Los Angeles, Gordon had a career decision to make, whether to go into advertising art or to follow his dream of painting the West. At the time, no market existed for realism, let alone Western Art. He decided to follow his dream. Again he had a decision to make. The choice was whether to paint the Old West of the past, which he had no first-hand knowledge, or to chronicle the story of the Contemporary West. He chose the Contemporary West.

If Gordon painted the people and experiences while visiting ranches, then the ideas and subjects of the paintings would be his and accurate. He thought it was important to record the American West as he witnessed it. Being an eyewitness to a period of the history of the west, he portrayed real cowboys, working on real ranches. He accurately showed their lives and times. He realized that their story continued after the settling of the Old West. He wanted to tell their story.

Gordon eventually saw the West as more than ranching and the American Cowboy. He began to do paintings which included American Women, Graffiti, the Homeless, Wildlife, Vietnam Vets, and others, while still painting the American Cowboy. Because of this, he is now better known as a painter of Western Americana.

To Gordon Western Americana means the expanded reality of the Contemporary West. A West that is not romanticized in art, as is the Old West, but the real West of today. Why realism? Since he was painting real people and animals, he wanted to show various types in order to better express his painting ideas. For over fifty years, he has painted the Contemporary American West as it is, unvarnished.

It was quoted about Gordon in the 1997 National Cowboy Hall Of Fame and Western Heritage Center’s Prix de West catalog, quote; “He is a historian who records his time in pictures rather than words, and as Russell and other in-their-time “contemporary” chroniclers of the West are seen today as painters of the “historic West”, so Snidow will be seen in the future. And as his philosophical perceptions of the work he does and his place in the world of western art have evolved and changed, so have the subjects of his paintings. Although still painting the part of Americana that has brought him recognition – the contemporary American cowboy at work and play – Snidow is recording other aspects of his time.”

As a charter member of the Cowboy Artists of America, Gordon served in every office of the organization, including three times as President. While an active member, he had the privilege of competing with such artists as Clymer, Lockheed, Lovell, Warren, Reynolds, Terpning, McGrew, Riley and Ryan. After 25 years of active membership, he retired from competition to become a Member Emeritus. At that time, he was CA’s top medal winner, with 27 Gold and Silver Medals, including three Best of Show. Gordon also co-founded and served on the first board of directors of the CA museum in Kerrville, Texas. He is no longer a member.

Coors Brewery responded positively and created the famous Coors Cowboy Collectors Series. This Series has appeared as part of the sets in such movies as “RAINMAN” and “WINTER’S BONE”. He has three books written about him as well as being the subject of a BBC film. In 1998 Gordon was awarded The New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. The 2003 New Mexico Legislature honored him as Artist of the American West. Most recently, he was honored as the guest artist at the C.M. Russell Show in Great Falls, Montana. It was requested that he exhibit his work at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Corning, NY.

His work has been shown around the world including, Russia, France, England, China, Germany, and many more. In the United States, he has been invited to many major shows and his paintings hang in the permanent collections of numerous museums. Retrospective shows of his work have appeared in museums in New Mexico, Texas, and the prestigious Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

Gordon was born in Paris, Mo. in 1936. He now resides in Ruidoso, N.M.

ABOUT THE PAINTING MEDIUM - GOUACHE (Pronounced, Grr-wash) as used by Gordon Snidow.

Gouache is a watercolor medium. The binder and the non-drying chemical are the same as transparent watercolor, however, the pigment is slightly larger. White can be added to the paint. The finest watercolor paper or illustration board is used on which to paint. These are 100% rag, ph neutral, they will not yellow. Snidow feels this is a superior combination of materials. The oil in oil paint will turn yellow with age. There is no oil in gouache. The pigments are the same in both mediums, so the permanency of color are the same or better in gouache.

Gouache can be applied in light transparent washes and/or mixed with white. It is a very difficult medium to master, since the value of the paint that is wet is darker than the paint when it dries on the paper.

Once the painting is finished, Snidow applies several coats of top grade varnish to the painting for protection. The advantage to using varnish, is to eliminate the use of glass and to return the color to the original intensity the artist saw when the color was wet.

Home About Us Originals Contact

Copyright © Grace Snidow Art