Artists of Note | Scott Borders

Trained to see

Scott Borders, BBQ, oil, 24 x 36.

Scott Borders, BBQ, oil, 24 x 36.

This story was featured in the September 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

Texas-based artist Scott Borders says that long before he was trained to draw, he learned how to see by watching his father, a commercial artist who created pen-and-ink works during his free time. “It was by osmosis, seeing my dad looking at stuff. What is it about the day-to-day world that can be really exciting?” Like seeds waiting for the right conditions to sprout, those experiences stayed with him as he went on to study a variety of subjects in college, including philosophy, math, and writing.

While at the University of Texas, “I took a drawing class,” he says, “and I just sort of fell in love with it.” Still, it wasn’t until years later that Borders realized what he wanted to do. “I was in Washington, DC, and I was standing in front of a Winslow Homer painting. The difference between how that painting made me feel and just a pretty picture—that’s when I saw the difference between decoration and fine art.” At that moment Borders knew he wanted to paint, but he adds, “It was long before I had the ability.” Returning to Austin, he focused himself, taking a full semester of art classes at the university and doing as much study on his own as he could.

After many years in commercial art, graphic design, and illustration, today Borders paints sill lifes and landscapes that capitalize on many of the lessons he’s learned, beginning with those instilled by his father. His subject matter ranges from neon signs to landscapes and interiors, but whatever the subject, he says, “It’s about the design and the feel. I am trying to capture the moment more than the subject.” —Laura Rintala

Borders’ work is available at

Featured in the September 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art September 2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

Subscribe to Southwest Art magazine
Learn how to paint & how to draw with downloads, books, videos & more from North Light Shop
Sign up for your Southwest Art email newsletter & download a FREE ebook