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Joseph S. Venus paints the beauty and
captures the lifestyle of the West


Joe has a special sensitivity with all animals, they have their own personalities. As an artist paints animals their personalities show the expressions in their faces and body language. The four month old cougar which Joe painted had a very docile character. Joe has worked with bears, wolves, cougars and many other animals. His appreciation of all wildlife and people shows in his paintings with an admiration of all magnificent creatures on the earth today. Sensitivity and respect for wildlife and a deep feeling of compassion for vanishing wildlife is another factor for recording wildlife on canvas because many species of wildlife are now on the brink of extinction.

Native American

Joe takes great pride in using his talent to preserve the Native American heritage. With a sense of awe and reverence, he strives to paint the Native Americans expressing tradition and strong family ties. Joe enjoys attending "Indian Pow Wows". Research trips to places like the Shoshone Bannock Indian Reservation in Idaho are a "must" on Joe's agenda. You'll often see him sketching as he converses with Native Americans dressed in their traditional attire. He breathes life into the Native Americans as cherished moments are captured on canvas. His paintings express an understanding and love of a heritage in America that is cherished from generation to generation. The paintings are created with a style to reflect originality but respect for representation of the Native Americans.

Fremont Prehistoric Culture

Joe Venus, artist and admirer of the Prehistoric Fremont artisans, has spent years learning about this culture; from researching at the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum, to exploring canyon dwelling and sandstone petroglyphs, in Nine Mile Canyon near Price, Utah, all that remain witness to this vanished society. As an artist completely committed to the rigors of exact representation, Venus leaves no detail to chance. He chooses models who resemble what his research tells him the Fremonts must have looked like. The bow and arrows that he uses for props are handmade from native materials, as is a primitive ladder. The Fremont petroglyphs are documents of stories of the great hunts and tribal mysteries.

Mountain Men and Cowboys

My priority in doing a painting with life and character is to have a live model on site. I can get expression and a feeling of bringing life to canvas. Joe is often found at "Mountain Man Rendezvous", Joe lives the part! It is Joe's acute sense of admiration for the western lifestyle that is translated through his talented hand onto canvas. Rodeos are a part of the heritage that made America what it is today. You have to be at the rodeos, you have to smell the bull, you have to see the tension on the cowboy's face as he gets ready for the ride. Rodeo cowboys are good athletes, businessmen and entertainers. Joe. . . . Cowboys and Horses

Utah Ice Age

Joseph S. Venus has completed a 40' x 8' mural of the Pleistocene time period (Utah's Ice Age about 10,000 years ago) for the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum in Price, Utah. The mural depicts ice age animals such as; mammoths, short faced bear, mastodon, dire wolf, giant sloth, musk ox, saber-toothed cat, huge bison antiquus, and the Clovis Indian Culture. Research for the mural and to complete the painting took six years. His method is to first draw the skeletal structure, then add the muscles, flexed according to the actionof the creature, followed by the skin layer. Only as a last step does he add the fur and feathers. The climate did change, leading to the demise of the mammals.

Joseph S. Venus served for nine years as Chairman of the Days of '47 Western Heritage Invitational Art Show in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has recently completed a 40' x 8' mural for the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum in Price, Utah. For the past eight years he has served as supervisor of fine arts at the Utah State Fair. Awarded each year at the Utah State Fair is the Joseph S. Venus Art Scholarship which is a full tuition, complete home study course from the Art Instruction Schools in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Joe's artwork can be seen at the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum in Price, Utah; John Wesley Powell River History Museum in Green River, Utah and at the Museum of the San Rafael in Castle Dale, Utah. Joe has recently been accepted as an associate member of the Society of Animal Artists, in New York City and a signature member of the Artists for Conservation in Ontario, Canada.

Fine paintings and Prints by Joseph S. Venus
| Wildlife | | Native American | | Prehistoric Fremont Culture | | Utah Ice Age | | Mountain Men & Cowboys |
All images and content are copyrighted and are the property of Joseph S. Venus
Original web design by Mike Perkins, maintained and updated by Elisa Wolf