Noel Jordan loved nature.
Whether working with pen and ink, pencil, oil, or water color she showed her talent. As one of the more prolific artists of the Phoenix area during the 1960 - 70 period, her works reflect her enthusiasm and enjoyment of nature.
Born and raised in Southern California, she learned to fish (both using a pole and her bare hands). She learned the importance of water, spending each summer on the shores of Lake Arrowhead. It was here she began to sketch the natural beauty she saw.
She moved with her family to Arizona in 1948. Here she experienced and enjoyed Arizona’s many mountains, lakes and rivers, enjoying outdoor activities on all of them. This new environment inspired her art even more.
Her mother, Elsa was a fine artist, and her grandmother was a fabric artist—designing costumes for Hollywood back in the 1920’s. While Noel was already a fine self taught artist, she attended Arizona State College and received an art degree.
Tourists, the “Snowbirds”, who traveled west to escape the frozen months would find their way to Old Town Scottsdale galleries. There they would find displays of Noel’s art; perhaps a depiction of a wildcat on a piece of driftwood or a quail on a cactus caught their eye. A heartfelt and personalized portrayal of Arizona wildlife would then be purchased and find a place of honor in homes throughout the USA and world.
Pieces of commissioned works became permanent fixtures on display as part of the elegant decor at Turf Paradise. The Phoenix Zoo displayed and valued her art and she became a resident artist. Her works were often used in brochures and magazines. She was in many art shows in both the Phoenix area and Camp Verde, winning awards for her work.
Galleries. offices and restaurants in Phoenix, Prescott, Camp Verde, Puerto Penasco and Scottsdale often called her to fill empty spaces with her western nature themed art.
My brother and I remember her old Chevy station wagon, her “portable studio”, smelled of oils, turpentine, charcoal pencils, wood, brining scent filled memories of her works to the forefront of our minds. It was in this studio that we drove around the Valley of the Sun with our mother as she would deliver new artwork to replace those that had found a new home.
Noel's legacy is her art. Noel told us she wanted her art to be accessible. She priced her art accordingly. As you, my brother, and I celebrate her artwork, we also celebrate the southwest desert where she was inspired. One hundred percent of the proceeds of this show will support Friends of the Verde River. Noel spent her last years living on the Verde River and loved how water brought nature to her door.