Meet the Artist....
Bruce Was born in Bozeman, MT and raised in Great Falls, MT. He now resides with his family, wife Becky, daughter Natascia, and son Jadon in Montana's beautiful Gallatin Valley in the little hill top town of Churchhill. Most weekdays Bruce works in nearby Manhattan in the log studio which he and his dad built in 2005. With the perfect creative work space, and the perfect music selected to accompany the day's efforts, Bruce contentedly paints away, unable to believe once again at the close of the day, that the time has flown by so quickly!
Montana, with it's history, it's beautiful scenery, it's magnificent animals and wildlife, is definitely a defining influence in what inspires a great percentage of Bruce's art work. That's not to say that Bruce has not traveled and been influenced by some of the rest of the world. From 1981 until 1996 Bruce dedicated his time and life to a traveling missionary type work, traveling and working in much of the western U.S. and Canada, culminating his time in this work with 5 years in Italy (during which time he had opportunity to visit and see much of Europe). In 1997 Bruce returned from Italy, still a Montanan, but a Montanan in whose heart Italy now holds a special place.
In 1998, Bruce and wife Becky were married (after meeting and becoming reacquainted while in Italy), and Bruce began painting full time, the fulfillment of a life-long dream. For as long as he can remember, he has been interested and drawn to and involved in art and the creative process. As he says,"Art is not just what I enjoy doing, its part of who I am." Even before he was old enough to go to school, he spent hours drawing wildlife and other western "Montana" subject matter.
Bruce began painting with oil paints when he was eight and took his first painting lessons with a local artist when he was ten. Then when he was twelve, he started taking private sculpting lessons from another artist who concentrated on teaching animal anatomy, especially that of the western horse. During Bruce's high school years at C.M.Russell High School in Great Falls, he took as many art-related classes as was allowed, studying drawing and graphics, painting, print making (silk screen, lithograph, etching, and woodcut) and airbrush painting as well as art history.
Perhaps one of the greatest influences upon Bruce's life concerning art and his dream of becoming a professional artist, was the very real presence of the life, art and fame of artist Charlie Russell in the city of Great Falls. Bruce spent untold hours in his growing up years pouring over the art work and memorabilia housed in the C.M.Russell art museum and studio in Great Falls, as well as reading and studying every C.M.Russell book he could find. Another influence of importance upon Bruce's life from a young age, was the yearly exposure to the world of professional western artists and their art work as they gathered each March for the C.M.Russell art auction, where he saw first hand, artists who were "making it" in the art world. Later in 1981, Bruce met and became friends with CAA member, Loren Entz, who was then just starting out as a full time artist. It has always been a source of inspiration to him to watch the growth in Loren as an artist and in his career. In 1998, after returning from Italy, Bruce spent the winter working for and studying with Loren. Then in the spring of 2000, they spent almost a month touring and painting in Italy together.
While living in Europe, Bruce had opportunity to see and study first-hand some of the works of 19th century european greats like Zorn, Sorolia, Boldini, G. Fattori, U.S. expatriate Sargent, etc. Though Charlie Russell is still high in his list of favorite artists, Bruce admits it's the work of some of these european artists that opened his eyes to the potential of what can be done with brushes and paint...and taught him the value of painting from life, and on location in one's efforts to learn and grow as an artist.
Each fall, with the start of the rutting season for the elk, and the coming of the fall colors, Bruce can usually be found out in "the field" gathering reference material (doing field studies, taking wildlife photo's) for future studio paintings. His favorite haunts are in and around Yellowstone Park, as well as the Canadian Rockies, Banff, Jasper, British Colombia etc.
Besides painting elk and other wildlife, (along with the western landscape) Bruce equally enjoys doing "people" paintings, either pure portraiture, or paintings with figures. Be it native american scenes, or italian scenes, or just everyday family scenes, "There are just so many things I enjoy depicting in my art work...so many things I want to paint, it's definitely a case of too many things to paint and too little time in which to paint them!" says Bruce.