Jeff Walker was born and bred in the wild beauty of Montana’s landscapes, spending his youth exploring and recording the prairies, ridges and birds near his home in Great Falls. It was this glorious Montana “stuff of his youth” that inspired the artist’s life work.
Walker attended Montana State University in Bozeman and graduated with a degree in Art. In an era of abstract expressionism characterized by some as “do your own thing regardless of art fundamentals,” Walker studied etching technique under Robert DeWeese. Long hours in the etching lab engraved the method in his heart and for years etching was his medium of choice. The watercolor prints and engravings of Audubon inspired Walker to develop his own style, uniting etching and watercolor in small edition etching prints pulled by hand and hand colored individually.
After serving his turn in the Army, Jeff attended graduate school at Eastern Montana College, then taught art at Great Falls High. He left teaching after several years to pursue a full-time career creating art.
Although Jeff still does several etchings a year, a passion for oil painting has gradually taken over and Montana landscape oil paintings dominate his easel. Walker and his wife Julie live near Fort Shaw where the Sun River Valley offers endless vistas for painting. When the artist isn’t at his easel, look for him in the garlic patch, the garden, or the berry vineyard anticipating his next batch of wine.
Walker is a longtime participant in the C.M. Russell Auction — both as an artist juried into the auction and as an exhibitor. He has exhibited his work at the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana, and in museums and shows statewide: Artists for Open Spaces, Treasure State Invitational, C.M. Russell Museum Masters in Miniature, and the 2005 C.M. Russell Museum art exhibition of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Jeff is a founding member of the Montana Painter’s Alliance, a group of Montana artists who value camaraderie and on-location painting.