Bruce Ford was raised in Burley and Salmon, Idaho, graduating from Salmon High in 1969. He worked for the Forest Service at Cobalt and later as an underground miner in Wallace and smokejumper in Missoula and Alaska. The latter job took him to Russia many times on work exchanges. Along the way, he studied Russian and Chinese and got a degree in chemistry from the University of Montana.
He never received formal art training, but has always been an avid sketcher, paint dauber, and modeler of clay. In Russia, he met and worked with some fine landscape artists and got an appreciation for the rich Russian tradition of landscape painting. Such artists as Ivan Shishkin, the American Hudson River School painters and our magnificent western landscapes have been a great inspiration. Now retired, he principally paints, hikes, travels, and writes annoying letters to the Recorder Herald.
Bruce did not take workshops, but did learn a lot from a Russian named Pavel Afonin, who is a very successful Siberian artist. They even did a couple of road trips together in the western U.S., painting in national parks and such. “Guess you could call him a mentor.”