Colter May


Colter was born and raised in Bozeman Montana, which was fertile soil for a

budding artist and wildlife enthusiast. His home on Golden Trout Way was

surrounded by acres of adventure – swimming holes, sledding hills, running trails,

and best of all, animals. (Deer, elk, foxes, frogs, fish, eagles, red-tailed hawks, you

name it!) Colter went on many hunting trips where his father taught him to respect

the lives and value the sacrifices of wildlife. To this day, no place feels like home

unless there can be the (not-so) occasional deer sighting.

Colter’s roots as an artist were planted and nurtured by his mother, who

taught him to find joy in imagination – laughter and creativity were staples in

her parenting toolkit. This ingrained in Colter the value of finding joy in the

process of creation, which has given him the confidence to pursue the

exploration of mediums and styles in his animal portraiture.

Colter is now a husband and father himself and is hoping to instill many of

these same values in his children. His wife and two daughters are his favorite

of all God's creations, and he is grateful for how making art continues to be a

blessing to his growing family.


Artist Statement 

There are certain environments that resonate with the cords of my soul and

set my spirit free – the smell of aspen leaves during fall as they begin their

slow decay, the sound of redwing blackbirds calling from bending cattails,

spotting white tails as they run, catching a sunset burst across the sky with

brilliant colors, feeling wet river silt and clay in between my fingers and toes.

As I have reflected on these moments, I have come to a deep sense of

gratitude for the tangible, senses-heightening experience it is to be human.

So much of who we are and what we encounter is unrefined yet beautiful.

Transforming the energy packed in these moments into something tangible

has driven my work as an artist. My current works explore this energetic

connection to the natural world through the use of color, texture, and

symbolic wildlife portraiture.

Unique to my process is the use of raw clay as the primary textural element.

The organic nature of clay and the way it cracks as it dries brings a vitality to

the surface that I find to be more rich than that of synthetics. I use a bold and

expressive painting style to compliment this natural energy from the clay.

My purpose with these pieces is to simply connect with nature as I did when I

was a child, with my hands in the mud, communicating my encounters with

wildlife through contemporary simplicity. I hope that as you engage with my

art, you feel the freedom to experience nature, wildlife, and humanity with

youthful vibrancy.