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James Colt

Birth place or City of origin: Kansas City
State of origin: MO
Last known City: Yucca Valley
Last known State: CA
Start/Birth date: 1922
Death/End date: 2005

James L Colt was born in 1922 in Kansas City, Missouri. He moved to Southern California and loved to sketch and paint as a young boy. His early years were spent in San Jacinto, California and in Arizona near the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. He attributes his concentration on the 1870 era in his western paintings to his family history. His great grandfather was in the cavalry in the Civil War. His grandparents entered Oklahoma Territory to participate in the opening of the Cherokee Strip. An uncle was a Rough Rider with Teddy Roosevelt at San Juan, and another uncle was a farrier in Springfield, Missouri.

James Colt was forever the teacher of the philosophy behind great art. This quote from him sums up the core values of his life works: “Every great painting has it’s own ‘tour de force’. It conjures up human perceptions of fear, nostalgia, peace, or horror. You want to be sure you can back up your profundity of thought graphically. You want to set up an anxiety and tension in the viewer.”

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James L. Colt was born James Lee Clutter on December 18, 1922 in Kansas City, Missouri. He changed his name to James Colt in 1977. Colt moved to Southern California with his mother, stepfather, and older sister Marian between 1927-1930.

He loved to sketch and paint as a young boy. His early years were spent in San Jacinto, California and in Arizona near the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation and he attributes his concentration on the 1870 era in his western paintings to his family history. His great grandfather was in the cavalry in the Civil War. His grandparents entered Oklahoma Territory to participate in the opening of the Cherokee Strip. An uncle was a Rough Rider with Teddy Roosevelt at San Juan, and another uncle was a farrier in Springfield, Missouri.

The educational background and qualifications of James Colt include formal training in classical art, earning him both an A.A. degree and a B.A. degree. In addition, he studied at both Otis and Chouinard Art Institutes although his ability to execute transparent watercolor and gouache were self-developed.

The professional achievements of James Colt have been recognized by his election to membership in three societies:

Society of Illustrators, New York
Pastel Society of America, New York
American Artists Professional League, New York

His work has been exhibited in the National Art Club of New York as a charter member of Pastel Society of America and in the American Watercolor Society shows at the National Academy galleries in New York.

Colt's style of painting is best described as Semi-Abstract Impressionism showing the influence of his mentors, Burt Procter and Nicholi Fechin. The vast majority of his works were western acrylics and watercolor gouache. Colt’s best sellers during the 1970s were paintings depicting racecars, bull fighting and westerns with almost all of his paintings displaying both movement and drama.

He was an art teacher with his own studio in the mid 1960s through mid 1970s where he taught 30 students per week in Newport Beach, California.

Colt's Impressionist style was influenced by two Spanish artists, Velasquez and Goya and his own teacher in the 1950s and 1960s, Sergei Bongart, a student of Nicoli Fechin.

James Colt was fascinated and completely absorbed in his artistic life style and calling. If anyone could be used as an example of the label “Eccentric Artist”, it would be James L. Colt. He passed away August 2005 in Palm Springs, California. He was able to paint, learn, teach and discover new things about his life’s passion until the day that he died.

Biography courtesy of www.AskART.com

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The following, submitted June 2003, is from Harold Barber. On the back of a w/c-gouache done by James L Colt in 1993 is the following bio sheet:

JAMES COLT
The educational background and qualifications of James Colt include formal training in classical art. He has earned an A.A. and a B.A. degree. In addition, he studied at both Otis and Chouinard Art Institutes. His abilities in executing transparent watercolor and gouache are self-developed.

The professional achievements of James Colt have been recognized by his election to membership in three societies, which are:

Society of Illustrators, New York
Pastel Society of America, New York
American Artists Professional League, New York

His work has been exhibited in the National Art Club of New York as a charter member of Pastel Society of America, and in the American Watercolor Society shows at the National Academy Galleries in New York.

James Colt attributes his concentration on the 1870 era in his western paintings to his family history. His great-grandfather was in the Cavalry in the Civil War. His grandparents entered Oklahoma territory to participate in the opening of the Cherokee Strip. An uncle was a Rough Rider with Teddy Roosevelt at San Juan. Another uncle was a farrier in Springfield, Missouri.

James Colt was born in Kansas City, Missouri. His early years were spent in San Jacinto, California, and in Arizona, near the San Carlos Apache Indian reservation.

 

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