Cliff Potts

Painting the spirit of Montana

Cliff Potts was raised near the small town of Custer,  Montana. At fifteen, he contracted polio and nearly died. He lost the use of his arms and legs and spent many months in an iron lung. Because of this ordeal, Cliff  developed a profound spirituality, beginning with the realization that every breath he took was a gift from God.

Cliff later attended Eastern Montana College where he earned a BS in art and his MS degree in counseling in 1970. That same year, Cliff married and began a family of four children. Using a tongue controlled electric "golden arm", to manipulate his own left arm, Cliff produces original art-work in pen and ink, watercolors and oils, as well as limited edition prints and cards. Many of Cliff's drawings and paintings reflect his rural Montana heritage and his spiritual reverence.

Hope is a predominant thread in Cliff's life and in art he frequently expresses it through the use of vibrant color.  No matter what the medium or subject, his artistic vision brings him back time and again, to the lessons he learned as a boy, awe for the majesty of creation, a belief in the power of God, and the knowledge that survival takes team work. Indeed, not only his art work, but his entire life has been shaped around those lessons.


In Montana we have an abundance of scenery and wildlife to inspire us to see the hand of God all-around us. As an artist trying to capture the beauty of the land, surrounding plants and animals is enjoyable and never-ending. The majesty of the mountains on the western slopes creates an expanse and panorama that flows outwards as far as the eye can see.