Born in Provo, Utah in 1946,
the son of a forest ranger, Coleman gained much appreciation
for his natural surroundings at an early age. He learned to
hunt, trap, and fish in the remote woodlands and forests where
he became quite familiar with and began painting the moods
of nature, favoring the dusky, grey, misty, muted tones of
fall and early winter.
In college he majored in accounting
to avoid the pressure of teachers pushing styles of art that
he hated. He was in the Army for two years and then spent
eight years with a public accounting firm while painting in
Coleman studied art in school
but says he learned more from studying the techniques of predecessors.
His paintings evoke the early 19th century Hudson River School
- master painters such as Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt
whom he credits with deeply influencing his art. "Those
paintings gave me confidence it could be done."
Today he continues to travel
into the deep woods to capture a black bear with cubs, a moose
in a pristine forest, a raccoon dining on fish. "The
things I paint are the things I've done," he told a writer
for Art of the West in 1992. He also has traveled to Africa
to study and to bring back trophies on canvas. Among his many
awards, Coleman placed first in the prestigious Prix de West
1999 competition held annually by the National Cowboy Hall
of Fame Western Heritage Center, Oklahoma City. The award-winning
piece will hand permanently in the institution's gallery.