Sam Colt

The White Bull
(48″x67″; grassello, oils, shellac, charcoal, metal-leaf on Masonite; 2019)

Sam Colt
Montpelier, Vermont


In my Montpelier studio I apply and compress two to five coats of Italian marble plasters on Masonite panels which I zip around on with knives to reveal under-stories, sometimes burnishing mica or ashes from a fire or a cremation into the matrix. The resulting complex surfaces billow with indeterminate repetitive shapes and serve as the backdrop for quick sketches of stuff that moves me: Ships, yawning barns, cities, distorted bridges, key-stoned architectural elements: an unhinged cartography. These frequent fliers are often meditated on with bits of gold leaf, gouache washes, charcoal, acids, waxes & varnishes. The resulting expressive abstract paintings are the result of thousands of percussive adventures in rare materials and are made in devotion to following an instinctual compass rose.


I was home-schooled in a one-room cabin in Vermont until high school where i was lucky enough to find a terrific art room and a dedicated art teacher who helped orient me.

In my twenties, I studied the old European canon of decorative arts at The Isabel O’Neil Workshop Studio where i learned gold-leafing, fauxbois, grisaille and beautiful lacquer finishes. Eventually i left to begin my own business, Coltworks Inc., where i designed and installed Venetian plaster finishes in high-end environs for ten years, tackling massive projects for the likes of Rolex, etc.

That early pursuit of technical excellence, paired with the rangy looseness developed in running large scale installations, eventually rotated into a study of Icon writing back in Vermont under Dmitry Andreyev. In 2016 i synthesized these influences and skills into a fulltime practice of making gallery art in my studio in Montpelier, using the go-to materials and techniques I once used on large scale jobs and the philosophical perspectives of Iconography.

The result of these percussive adventures in rare materials have produced an echoey and emotional body of work made in devotion to following an instinctual compass rose.

My influences are JMW Turner, Jay Defeo, Anselm Keifer, Hilma af Klint, William Blake, & Sesshu Toyo and Ruth Asawa. And, also, I owe a great debt to my mentor David Wiggins.

Full-time studio founded 2016. Former member at the Front in Montpelier. Represented by, Main Street Gallery, Manasquan, NJ, and The Furchgott-Sourdiffe Gallery in Shelburne, Vermont. Solo show at J. Langdon in Montpelier, 2019. Included at the Kent Museum in 2017.


(802) 595-2222
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Citadel (detail from “City of David”)
(67″x48″; grassello, water-color, oils, mica, shellac, gold-leaf on Masonite; 2016)
(24″x32″; grassello, shellac, silver tint on Masonite; 2016)
Bridge of Sighs (detail from Magnum Mysterium)
(detail: appox. 12″x12″; entire work: 48″x288″; grassello, rust, gouache, silver-leaf, oils & shellac on Masonite; 2019)
George Washington Bridge (silver)
(32″x24″; grassello, gouache, shellac, silver-leaf; 2019)