Colcord, a 17-year-old student at Reed High School, was recently honored for his doodle paintings, receiving the Scholastic Art Silver Key award in a nationwide competition — a prestigious award for this graduating senior who hadn’t taken an offical painting class until this year.
"I actually just wanted to try something new and different," Colcord said. "Drawing has always been a passion of mine but I wanted to try out painting."
Gary Coyan, an art teacher at Reed, recognized Colcord's ease with and talent for drawing and doodling, later encouraging him to try a different art medium.
"The great thing about (Colcord's) work is that while most artists really try to represent themselves on the canvas, his comes without effort," Coyan said. "His work is totally unapologetic and just right there."
Colcord's artwork, usually made using a felt pen and acyclic paint, resembles a cross between doodling and grafitti-like tagging, often throwing random and unrelated objects together. In one painting that Colcord just finished, he has an an octopus with sunglasses next to a "Where's Waldo" character.
"My work kind of evolves as I go," Colcord said. "I just throw all my doodles onto the canvas and see where the chaos goes."
Drawing artistic influence from Bill Watterson's work with the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, which Colcord describes as "simple yet elegant," it is easy to see that this young artist lets his imagination wander.
"What I really enjoy about painting are the colors," Colcord said. "The fact that you can cover a large area with colors so vivid, there's just so many possibilities."
The Scholastic Art organization received more than 100,000 entrants from across the country this year, recognizing the top 1,000 students with awards. Colcord was awarded the Siver Key for two of his paintings.
One of Colcord's award-winning pieces, "Life's Landfill," which depicts a bulldozer heaving garbage into a tangled, messy pit, was featured at the Nevada Museum of Art this year during a February and March exhibition of the nominees.
And while Colcord will not be attending the award ceremony in New York City this June due to a conflict with his high school graduation, his artwork will be on display at the Alliance for Young Writers and Artists gallery in New York City. Colcord feels he has found something he could devote himself to doing.
"It was really awesome seeing my work on display (at the Nevada Museum of Art)," Colcord said. "This is something I know I want to continue to do."
Colcord, who plans to attend Truckee Meadows Community College next fall, wants to eventually study at an art institute to study painting and other mixed-media art.
But when asked what he wants viewers to take away from his paintings, Colcord is not as sure and is quite modest.
"I want viewers to look at my work and think of anything and everything, I guess," Colcord said. "All I'm doing is using a pen and the margins of paper and I start doodling."