hours observing and studying his subjects, Montana sculptor
Ott Jones is a true student of his profession. "One can
never learn enough and there is no substitute for research. I
need to know my subject inside and out - their anatomy and
personality in order to portray it accurately in a piece of
"I'm often asked
what inspires me to do a sculpture and what am I trying to
achieve. Of course, I need to be inspired. For me, inspiration
is usually spontaneous and can happen at anytime - sitting in
a duck blind, wading a stream, hiking a mountain, playing
catch with my son, visiting a zoo, etc. Once inspired, I
create a miniature clay study of how I envision the sculpture
to be. I bend and push this clay study around until I'm happy
with the design and composition."
For Ott, the most
important aspect before actually starting his original is
deciding on a pleasing design and composition. "This is the
key to it all and the essence of fine sculpture. A well
designed piece of sculpture will be visually balanced and be
pleasing to the viewer's eye. This is why knowing your
subject's anatomy and how to incorporate it with the design
and composition is crucial."
"When I am
completely satisfied with my study, I start the original
sculpture. My objective is also to create a piece of art that
tells a story and has a certain mood, whether it be affection,
aggression, playful, serious, etc."
I will add suspense to the story I am trying to convey, like
'Desperate Descent,' 'Arctic Ambush' and 'Dog Days Of Summer.'
No one knows what the outcome will be - whether or not the
peregrine falcon will catch the duck, if the grizzly bear will
hang on to the salmon or if the fly fisherman will land his
fish, maybe his dog will! The story is untold, thus leaving
the ending up to the imagination of the viewer."
When he is not
researching or sculpting in his studio, Ott participates in
several juried, gallery and private shows every year. He is
represented by several distinguished art galleries across the
country from Carmel, California, to Charleston, South
Carolina. Over the years, he has placed more than a dozen life
size sculptures in various locations around the United States.
On a recent trip to
Italy, Ott studied Italian Renaissance Art and some of
history's greatest sculptors - Michelangelo, Bernini and
Donatello. "It was such an education for me and seeing
their monumental-sized marble sculptures is something that is
Ott, his wife Joan,
and their four children make their home in the Gallatin
Valley, outside Bozeman, Montana. "I am very fortunate to
be living and working in such a great place. I'm reminded of
that every time I look out my studio window." Ott, an avid
outdoors man, loves fly fishing, bird hunting, and archery.
State University on a tennis scholarship, Ott graduated in
1982. After college, he went to Alaska where he worked as a
fishing guide for three summers and welder's helper on the
Alaska pipeline in Prudhoe Bay for one year. "It was during
my time in Alaska that I decided to become a wildlife
sculptor. Living in that vast wilderness and observing all of
its wildlife was something I'll always remember."