Brent Cotton (1972 -
his family's cattle ranch in Idaho,
Brent's first lessons in art were taught
by his grandmother, a talented
watercolorist. He grew up sketching the
cowboys and horses he observed every
day. His family moved to Lindsborg,
Kansas when he was in the 5th grade. In
this little town steeped in it's Swedish
heritage and love of the arts, Brent's
creativity flourished. In high school an
influential instructor encouraged him to
pursue a career in art.
Upon graduation, he spent several seasons as a hunting and fishing
guide in the vast wilderness of Idaho
and Alaska, experiences that led to many
painting ideas. He focused on wildlife
art and taught himself woodcarving as a
way to express himself. His specialty
became gamefish and songbirds.
several years of carving and sculpting,
Brent decided to concentrate on
painting. He began attending workshops,
and over the years has studied with some
of the best known names in wildlife and
He was part of a select group of artists to study with
world-renowned western artist Howard
Terpning at the Cowboy Artists of
American workshop in 1997.
He gives Oklahoma artist Christine Verner the most credit for
putting him on the path he's on now. She
expanded his vision and under her
direction his work turned from highly
detailed to a more painterly and looser
approach. "I became a better artist when
I began painting from life, it forced me
to really observe and train my eyes to
filter out the unnecessary stuff and
focus on the major elements."
He loves to strap on his hiking boots, grab his portable easel, and
wander off in search of a moody scene to
capture on canvas. His work has garnered
several national awards including the
prestigious "Arts for the Parks top 100"
in both 1997 and in 2003, where his
painting "Evensong" won both the
"People's Choice" and "Region 3" awards.
Brent was also the very first recipient of the "CM Russell Museum
CEO Award" at the annual CM Russell Art
Auction in Montana. He and his wife
Jennifer live in the beautiful
Bitterroot valley of Montana.