Sculptor, John Prout had a Norman Rockwell type of childhood, with more bumps and bruises. “We never locked the doors in our neighborhood. There were woods and fields across the street and we spent a lot of time over there, digging foxholes and bunkers, playing Army, cowboys and Indians, climbing trees and falling out of them.
We would nose around the new houses while they were under construction and beg the carpenters for scraps of wood that we would construct into battleships with superstructures, rotating turrets with nails substituting for 18-inch guns. So maybe that was my first introduction to sculpture.
We’d play with them for a bit then douse them with gasoline filched from the lawn mower gas and set them on fire. Somehow, no one ever got hurt.
We’d go on long forays into the Missouri countryside on our bikes and ride along on narrow tarred roads. I was fortunate to be able to walk to school across a beautiful meadow. I would mostly daydream through the day except during art and history class.”
The adults that influenced Prouts’ life were the men and women of the greatest generation. His father, uncles and scout troop leaders had all been in World War II or Korea. He learned how to camp and cook on the fire from men that ran a “tight lash-up”.
The women in his life taught him to appreciate the finer things in life. Listening to his mother and aunts bright and lively conversations helped him to recognize the abundance of his life and the love in which he was surrounded.
Being from Kansas City, his chief influence in art is Thomas Hart Benton. Benton’s use of color and style has always enchanted Prout. As a boy, he watched Benton paint the mural over the entrance lobby at the Truman Library, just a few miles from his home. President Truman was also a great influence. He would see the former president walking around Independence, MO, with his lone Secret Service body guard.
He observed Truman and Benton “chatting in the Truman Library once, they joshed each other and discussed the progress of the mural over the entrance. The figures in that mural capture action and emotion; which I attempt to portray in my sculpture.”
All the time he spent playing in the fields instilled a love of the outdoors which led him to become a camp counselor for inner city children. When he was 17 years old, Prout came to Colorado from Kansas City where he spent his summer teaching the inner city kids to hike and camp. During that time, he fell in love with Colorado and moved to Denver where he currently sculpts in his home studio.
Prouts’ background is as varied as his talents. A few of his early jobs include restaurant worker, farm hand, bulldozer and dump truck driver, customer service in communications, painting and renovation contractor. Through all these different experiences he found inspiration for what he would sculpt in the future.
For example, as a waiter he marveled at some of his customers. “Beautiful woman would come into the restaurant with their date(s) and through-out the meal I would notice that some women with certain men were not treated the respect that the women deserved.” These observations lead, years later, to the creation of his whimsical bronze, “But She Loves Him” A woman draped over a pig.
His interest in this art began 25 years ago when he was looking for a new hobby. To quote the sculptor: “I wanted to play the saxophone. As I got to the music store, I thought, I don’t want to play the sax, I want to sculpt”. His first sculpture class was in Classic Italian Portraiture.
Lo and behold he had a talent for capturing people and form. Prout continues to take classes and refine his talent. He has been in the Loveland Invitational several times as well as being the featured artist at the San Isabel Gallery in Pueblo, CO. He has also shown his sculpture at the Abbey in Canon City, CO and many private shows presented by his clients. In 2014 he was commissioned to create his first life-sized sculpture, “Passions Embrace”.
“PASSIONS EMBRACE” 70” x 39” x 22” Bronze
Since then, he has been commissioned to create sculpture for both individuals and for a hotel lobby. Prout likes people and is fascinated by the variety of work and activities people have. He works hard depicting the emotions and attitudes in faces and the variable contortions the human body can achieve.
He says this is “kind of a testimony of our resilience, determination, strength, our sorrows and our joys. Humans are in constant motion. When we recall people in our minds (at least in my case). The memory I have of them is frozen in time. I strive to depict people at that moment.”
Prout enjoys depicting American western art, religious themes, US Naval and Military themes, whimsical and humorous take offs, historical themes, sports, working men and women, children, and animals.
“Every day, inspiration presents itself.”
He has studied under Phillip Faruat, Lincoln Fox, Victor Issa as well as others. One of his clients said that his work reminds her of “the way Rodin captured the human spirit.”
He has had seven commissions, three of which are life size. He has studied human and equine anatomy, mammalian, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Also, military uniforms, antique clothing, weaponry and personal gear. Most of his sculptures’ finish work is completed in Loveland, Colorado.
Most recently, John and his wife, Mary, were in the lobby of the Best Western Plus Hotel in Clarksville, Indiana to oversee the installation of his latest commissioned work; a jockey on a running racehorse sculpture named “X Marks the Spot.”
“DREAMER” 16 x 13 x 12 Bronze
Call or text 303-589-3151
Sculpture by John Prout
“X Marks the Spot” 42 x 26 x 11.5 Bronze
“But SHE LOVES HIM” 12” x 11” x 5” Bronze
“INTO THE CURRENT” 13 x 9 x 14 Bronze
Figurative fine art sculpture in Bronze and Terracotta