In his search to conjure up on canvas the American West during the 1850’s to the turn of the century, John DeMott does more than work from models. He stands in the path of stampeding buffalo, participates in 1880-style shoot-outs and spends time on Civil War battlefields. His style, which he calls “historical Realism,” combines Impressionism and Realism, and includes wildlife, Northern Plains figures and other various frontier characters.
DeMott was raised on a Thoroughbred racehorse ranch in Southern California and loved hanging out with cowboys. He had no formal art education and simply began painting at age ten from an art kit his family gave him. Some of his earliest marketed works were metal creations sold through Bullock’s Department Store. DeMott and his wife Cindy had a huge factory with 150 employees and an international clientele, and their output included wall hangings and table sculptures.
By 1977, however, DeMott decided to sell the metal business to his brother and devote himself to painting full-time. Early on in his new career, his favorite subject and medium were wildlife in gouache, but DeMott quickly expanded his repertoire to include the historical American West. By the time he was 24, he had gallery representation.
In the early 1990’s, he and his family moved to Loveland, Colorado, where he has been able to associate with many plein-air landscape artists including Clyde Aspevig and Richard Schmid. Working from his studio on an eighteen-acre ranch near Loveland, Colorado, DeMott usually works on several paintings at once, moving from one canvas to the next.