Little did he know at the time that these activities were
the spark that would influence and direct his painting destiny of the future.
rowheads and fossils on a private ranch in the famous Hell Creek Formation in eastern Montana. But none of his father's influence or exposures were more profound than Dick's artwork. In the early 1990's Dick began creating bronze sculpture works both small and large. Subsequently, Dick has created some of the largest bronze sculptures in North America, many twenty to thirty feet tall and weighing more than five tons. Projects include NC State University Football stadium, Raleigh, NC, ( 36 ft tall, six wolves and five waterfalls), Anardarko Oil &Petroleum, Houston Texas ( 8 whitetails, 12 ft tall in 150 ft of manmade streams with underwater lighting), Bass Pro Shops, Springfield, MO (single whitetail, 26 ft tall), Cabela's, Owannatona, MN ( 2 whitetails, 26 ft tall) and many others.
In recent years, Dick has shifted much of his focus to oil painting with most of his production going directly to private collectors before they had a chance to be offered for sale publically. Less than two years ago, he approached Colt with a proposition, "Son, it's time to put some color in your drawings!" Dick provided him with watercolor paints, brushes,
etc., gave him a couple of quick lessons and said "Have at it!" Knowing that watercolor is a difficult medium, he wanted Colt to learn the hard way. He struggled at first, but eventually produced some very credible work, In early 2011, Colt's dad introduced him to the world of oil painting. Colt took to it like a duck to water.
Within a month, because of his drawing skills, natural artistic talent and working under the direct tutelage of his father, began producing some outstanding paintings. Last July (2011), Colt happened to be in the Stephen Isley Gallery in Whitefish and showed them some pictures of his artwork. They suggested he bring in a few to put up for sale. No one could have imagined what happened next.
In a little over a month, Colt had sold out of paintings. In the same general timeframe, the Daily Interlake ran an article featuring Colt, his athletics and his artwork. Suddenly, Colt was the hottest artist in town with calls and inquiries coming in even from out of state. By January 2012, Colt has done 32 paintings and sold twenty four in the range of $600 to $5,000. He was majoring in art at MSU but has now left college to pursue art full-time.
As the world turns, success breeds opportunity. In May 2012, Dick, his wife, Toni Rae and Colt will open an art gallery on Central Avenue in downtown Whitefish. Dick and Colt will join several other artists in an exciting gallery that will be a destination in the Valley. It will feature oil paintings, drawings, bronzes and other sculpture work, unique antiques such as birch bark canoes and other rare one-of a kind collectibles. A special section will feature unique home furnishings incorporating artwork as lighting, tables, mirrors, etc. It will be called "Dick Idol Signature Gallery at Whitefish".
As older teenagers depart high school to make their mark on the world, many leave their fate to wherever the chips may fall while others foresee a career path they wish to pursue. But then there's "fate". Had Colt not suffered a career-ending injury, he would likely be playing basketball and track at MSU today. What would that have led to? But then there's fate! At 21 years old, Colt is a successful full-time artist doing what he loves. Fate may not be so bad after all.
Left page on left: Idol working on his newest oil painting a contemporary horse. Left page right top to bottom: Colt working at his home studio on his painting titles "Bear Lodge" that recently sold, Colt and his father Dick Idol at their studio North of Whitefish. Above photo: Colt and his father working on their easels at their studio North of Whitefish.