Jerry Jordan was born on May 4, 1944 to a west Texas farming family. Raised in a churchgoing Pentecostal household with plenty of music and singing, Jordan did not have much chance of exposure to art, but it somehow found him anyway.
Jordan’s first foray into the world with which he would later fall in love came at 13 when his mother gifted him a paint- by- numbers picture set which he proceeded to complete and then used the leftover paint to create his first original paintings.
Later, at 17, while at a family gathering in Paris, Texas Jordan wandered into the open door of a studio belonging to artist, W. R. Thrasher. Thrasher had paintings all over the studio, lined up and ready to be taken to market in Dallas where they would be sold.
“I can still smell it, the thinner, the paint,” reminisces Jordan, “talk about inspired. I didn’t know it before, but I thought, “This is what I want to do.”
So inspired was Jordan that he asked Thrasher if he would consider taking him on as a student, when the artist refused his request, the determination that would prove invaluable later on to Jordan’s career kicked in and he began to write letters to Thrasher asking him to reconsider. Over a period of several months Jordan wrote 4 letters to Thrasher. With his 4th letter Jordan also sent along a small painting, sure this would change the artists mind once he laid eyes on it. When even after this, there was still no response from Thrasher, Jordan wrote yet a fifth letter, this time admonishing Thrasher for his rudeness and demanding that at the very least, he return the painting.
It was this last letter that finally drew the artist’s attention and he invited Jordan to come and study with him, which he did, spending two weeks the summer that he was 18 and three weeks the summer he was 19.
It was at the end of the summer in 1963, that Jordan first came to Taos. He fell in love with paintings by the early 20th-century Taos painters hanging on the walls of the lobby, dining room and hallways of the Kachina Lodge where his family stayed. It was through the filter of these paintings that he first saw the beauty of the Taos landscape; even today this first way of seeing things is greatly portrayed in his own work.
It was on this same trip that Jordan also chose to propose to his wife of 46 years, Marilyn.
Thus began a love affair with Taos that has lasted throughout his life. Jordan and his wife briefly lived in Taos in 1965 and have maintained a permanent residence since 1985. Today Jordan and his wife have made their home and his studio on the south end of town in an old adobe surrounded by orchards, fresh water from the acequia and the beauty of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Jordan continues to draw inspiration from the Taos masters. His paintings are rich and vivid; seeming to capture not only beautiful images of Taos landscapes and pueblo life, but also the feeling of Taos itself, using his mastery of color and strong brushwork to create incredible texture, Jordan’s images literally seem to come to life.