Maybe it’s all my husband’s fault…..in fact, let’s just say it’s definitely his fault. Until I met him I knew little of the turbulent history of North America, I didn’t have much time for Hollywood’s portrayals, nor the truth. I suppose being a girl, those kind of macho fascinations just weren’t in my makeup. But, I have to admit, he’s worn me down. Firstly with his tales of Wyoming, Montana, the Dakotas…….places that to so many of us are just names on a map….then with his insistence that we added certain movies to our collection, movies which I actually often found myself enjoying and which led to long discussions late into the night and the early hours. Eventually, my eyes were turned towards the art of the native Americans, firstly just cursory and easily dismissed, but with their tribal history and often heartbreaking stories, I became more fascinated by the artists of the present and the past, and wanting to see the kinds of paintings such fascinating people would produce.
I was given some beautiful silver and turquoise jewelry a couple of years ago which had been bought in South Dakota and instantly fell in love with it, my husband kept some beautiful iron wood carvings on display at his home and I began to see that there was a huge variety of art still being produced by some very talented craftsmen, and I wanted to see more paintings!
Today, on a rest from my brushes I went exploring and thought I would share some of the art I have been looking at on this Saturday evening.
Monte Yellow Bird Sr. is an Arikara/Hidasta artist who was born and grew up in North Dakota and his work is so bright and vibrant – so many painters shy away from bright primary colours, but his work is blindingly colorful. His website at Black Pinto Horse Fine Arts not only displays some of his wonderful work but also makes for very interesting reading.It is hard for me to cite any particular favourite, but his “Calling Of The Ponies” series is a highlight for me. See what you think. I didn’t want to infringe the artist’s copyright by posting any images here, although I would have loved to have brightened this page with his work.
The work of the late Jerome Bushyhead, of the southern Cheyenne is perhaps more traditional but the imagery is so wonderful. I often paint from dreams or fragments of dreams and this is something the tribal artists seem to be able to integrate into their paintings so fluidly.
Brent Learned is an Arapaho and his contemporary native american art gallery is beautiful and in very stark contrast to the more traditional work in the second gallery by Matt Learned. Visit his site to see more and see which studies you prefer. (Brent is seen posing with Mel Gibson which is a bit of a coup in its own right but I’d better not go in that direction…….)
Another artist who caught my eye is Thomas Clair from New Brunswick in Canada, and a native of the Mi’kmaq Reserve, Big Cove. His paintings are beautiful and well worth viewing.
I could probably go on at great length, and these artists represent only a tiny fragment of the talented painters, sculptors, carvers, and jewelry makers to be found in the vastness of their lands, but hopefully my fascination will spread to others who visit here. (A large list of Native American can be found here) for anyone interested in seeing more. If anyone can share more, or if any artists are reading, please leave your comments and links to your artwork.
Have a good day everyone.