Burt Procter   1901-1980

Thru The Badlands

Born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Burt Procter became a painter of western landscape and ‘cowboys and Indians”, often riding horses.  Much of his painting was done in his leisure time from his early career as mining engineer and later as a commercial illustrator.  Of his early talent, it was said he painted horses before he could walk, and he became a skillful rider. 
Procter grew up as the son of a newspaper reporter.  In 1908, at age seven, he moved with his family to Oak Park, Illinois.  He took art classes at the Chicago Art Institute and later at the Chouinard and Otis Art Institutes in Los Angeles. 

At age 17, he first went West, going to the Little Big Horn Basin in Wyoming and then to Stanford University to study mining engineering, a career that took him in the 1920s to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon as a federal employee.

During that time, he lived in Pasadena, working as a commercial artist, and in the late 1920s, went to New York City where he held the job of Art Director with the advertising firm of Lord, Thomas & Logan.  He came to admire the work of distinguished illustrators Harvey Dunn and Pruett Carter, with whom he studied at night.
Unsure about the direction of his art career, he returned to Los Angeles and worked as a mining engineer, but torn between that occupation and his love of painting, enrolled at the Chouinard and Otis Art Institutes.  Shortly after he committed to being a full-time painter.
Trying to find his own style, he literally became a hermit and worked in isolation in his studio for five years.  He strove for a sense of design, simplicity, and proportion, and feeling secure in his methods, established a studio at Corona del Mar.  Ultimately he and his wife and daughter settled in Araby near Palm Springs.

His subjects range from marine to desert landscapes and include his early experiences in Grand Canyon and Navajo country as well as in New Mexico and California.  He also painted scenes from his travels to Asia and South America.  In 1973, the First Annual National Academy of Western Art exhibition included one of his paintings.

Sources: Edan Hughes ,Artists in California 1786-1940 & Harold and Pegy Samuels ,The illustrated Encyclopedia Of Artists Of The American West