John Schmidt started drawing and painting when he was six years old. Both of his grandmothers were artists.
They offered their encouragement and had great influence on his early and later artistic endeavors.
"I made a promise to my grandmothers that I would be an artist when I grew up. I never gave up on that promise."
After graduating from high school, John attended the Colorado Institute of Art in Denver, graduating in 1972 with an associate's degree in design and in illustration. He moved to Greeley, where he met and married his wife Barbara in 1977. The following year found them in Leadville where their son Jared was born. John worked at various jobs there and in Denver for over 30 years. Not finding a market for his paintings, he kept painting, mostly for family members and friends.
Always a lover of animals and nature, most of his artwork reflects those interests. John became very inspired by the area around Cedaredge, the west, and the southwest when he and his wife moved here in 2009.
"Sandstone, given to me by a friend, soon became one of my favorite materials to paint on. I also paint on black slate, handsaws, wood, and prefer Masonite panels to canvas. I paint with acrylics because of their versatility as opaque or as transparency. I like the brilliance of color, and clean-up made easy with soap and water. My art is done in several watercolor techniques and I also use an airbrush on some of my paintings."
John also has created some sculptures made of stone and wood. He works in a small studio at his home since moving here from Denver in 2009.
He is a member of Delta Fine Arts and will have some of his artwork displayed at exhibits sponsored by the organization. He plans to show and sell his artwork at Crawford Pioneer Days on June 11. A display at the craft show in Cedaredge this past year resulted in sales and contacts. His stone art is on display exclusively at Munson's Gallery in Cedaredge. Pieces have found homes in Cedaredge, Delta, Eckert, Grand Junction, and Denver. Two framed paintings are hanging at Grand Mesa Salon and Spa in Eckert and in homes throughout the nation, with many here in Colorado.
Constructing tiny HO model cars holds high interest for John. All models shown below have won first to fourth place recognition in competition. At one show, he took it all — first, second, third and fourth place in the small model class, the first time this had happened in 22 years.
The top and the hood are removable on the red car in the photo. The entire interior, engine and suspension are handmade, actually 95 percent scratch built, modifying a kit to meet his needs. The undercarriage is all handmade with a solid brass chassis. All in all there are 192 pieces in this miniature car including tiny tail lights and hubcaps.
The next two started from 1926 Essex kits, changed and modified using aluminum and plastic to create entirely different models.
Next, a hot rod, built straight from a manufactured kit with no modification.
Then, a 1949 Mercury, a model that was completely gutted, the entire interior handmade, and the body lowered with a handcrafted undercarriage.
The next model is 100 percent scratch built, every piece handmade. It took first place at the International Model Car Championship in Salt Lake City.
The two models in front are Bonneville dragsters; scratch built including intricate interior details, made of plastic wire and wood. Also shown are the contents of two kits. His models are not for sale.
John began building model cars at age seven when the larger 25th scale kits came out in the 1950s. He continued this early passion.
Some years ago, a friend knew of John's interest in modifying and detailing model cars and challenged him to build an HO (or 187) scale with full detail. He did, and entered it in a show. The car didn't win a prize, but was able to check out what it took to win. He has been building these miniature cars for the last 15 years, adding a new dimension to a lifetime interest.
Now, he builds models to compete in international competition. He has received numerous awards since 1985 to the present. Seven of his model cars are displayed in the International Model Car Builders Museum in Salt Lake City. One of John's paintings hangs there as well.
John researches automobile styles, even to the point of measuring actual cars. His tools include his own steady hands, an Exacto knife, Dermal tools, tweezers, magnifying lamp, air brush, fine brushes, and nail polish.
The Salt Lake City show is the only show he enters because, he said, "That show is the most prestigious."
His model cars have been published in a book, "The First 15 Years of Greater Salt Lake Model Car Championships." That book is in the Library of Congress.
Articles pertaining to his cars have been printed in magazines including: Scale Model, Street Rodder, and Hot Rod...in and out of magazines for the last 25 years. His models made up a display in the foyer of the Cedaredge Library this past September.
Barbara, his wife, has been his biggest supporter and critic, giving him the encouragement to continue painting and building model cars.
John's favorite quote on art is attributed to Pablo Picasso, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."blog comments powered by Disqus