Mourning Dove

For various reasons, I have not done many pieces of Native Americans recently, but when I came across Mourning Dove’s story I couldn’t resist. With that, and the visual I immediately got when I saw her name, I just had to do this piece. It is currently one of my favorites, and the second piece I did using gold leaf. I’m happy with the way it turned out. As Mourning Dove’s story is a long one, even my abbreviated version, I’ll post the painting first, so you can skip the story if you’d like. I do think it’s important though.

“Mourning Dove” is oil and gold leaf on board and is 36 x 24. It will be available in my OWAS room 176 at the Heritage Inn during Art Week – coming up fast – March 15 – 18th!

Mourning Dove was the pen name of Christine Quintasket, an Interior Salish woman born in 1884. In 1904, she enrolled in the Fort Shaw Indian School which was about 30 miles from her grandparents home in Great Falls, Montana. In Montana, she witnessed the 1908 roundup of the last free-ranging bison herd, an event that had a profound effect on her. Soon thereafter, she began to develop the idea for a novel that combined traditional tribal culture with a romantic story, based around the epic buffalo roundup.

Her novel, “Cogewea, the Half-Blood”, (1927) was the first known published novel by a Native American woman. It explored the plight of the mixed blood (or “breed”), who lived in both white and Indian cultures. In it, she described centuries-old traditions with the authority of her own first-hand knowledge and experiences.

A new author, Mourning Dove felt that her editor McWhorter greatly changed her book. She wrote to him, “I felt like it was someone else’s book and not mine at all. In fact the finishing touches are put there by you, and I have never seen it.”

Over the years, Quintasket had pointedly gathered what she called “folklores” from tribal people throughout the northern Plateau region. She published “Coyote Stories” in 1933. It included editing credits to Guie and McWhorter and a foreword by Chief Standing Bear. As a result of the editing, many of the stories as published were unrecognizable to the Colville-Okanagan elders who originally told them.

After her death in 1936, the 20 folders of her miscellaneous writings were eventually organized and edited into thematic and grammatical consistency by researcher Jay Miller (b. 1947), who had worked with many elders on the Colville Reservation. These writings appeared in 1990 as “Mourning Dove: A Salishan Autobiography”.

Posted in Animals, Figurative, Native American, Out West Art Show & Sale
One comment on “Mourning Dove
  1. Jetta says:

    Great painting

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Laurie Stevens

Recent Accolades

2018 – I was chosen to grace the “Classic Moments” page of the July / August 2018 Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. This is the last page of the magazine and a full page spread! My painting, “The Artist’s Wife”, 32×24, was my response to a painting of the same title by William Merit Chase, done in 1892. – https://fineartconnoisseur.com/category/magazine/current-issue/

2018 – “An Early Breakfast” was juried into the NOAPS 2018 Best of America Small Painting National Exhibition at Richland Fine Art in Nashville, TN. April 30 – May 26, 2018 – http://www.noaps.org/copy-of-best-of-america-prospectus

2018 – Portrait Society of America – 6×9: Limited Size, Unlimited Talent Mystery Art Sale, April 20 at the Art of the Portrait Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. – http://www.portraitsociety.org/

2017 – C.M. Russell Museum Auction “The Russell” – http://www.cmrauction.com/

2017 – Dinghies and U-Turn were juried into the National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society Holiday Small Works Show in Parkville, MO. – https://www.noaps.org/holiday-small-works-show

2017 – Portrait Society of American Members Only Competition Finalist in the “Outside the Box” Figurative Competition – for “Mourning Dove” 36×24 – https://www.portraitsociety.org/moc-2017-winners

2017 – Two pieces juried into the National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society Holiday Small Works Show – https://www.noaps.org/holiday-small-works-show

2016 – Portrait Society of America “Members Only Show” – I placed in the Landscape Division with my painting “Milk and Honey”! See the images on the slider. – http://www.portraitsociety.org/moc-2016-winners

2014 – Spring, 2015 – Juried into the Spring American Women Artists Online Juried Show. http://www.americanwomenartists.org/news/html/t_oli_2014_fall.html

2014 – Juried into the Fall NOAPS International Online Showcase. http://www.noaps.org/html/t_oli_2014_fall.html

2014 – Juried into the American Women Artists National Competition & Exhibition, Orleans, MA.www.americanwomenartists.org

2014 – Chosen to be an “Art in Action” Artist for the Russell Auction event at Meadowlark Country Club, Great Falls, MT., Mar. 21www.cmrussell.org/the-russell

2013 – Juried into the American Women Artists National Competition & Exhibition, Fredericksburg, TXwww.americanwomenartists.org

2012 – A piece of mine, “Motel Galata” was selected to be part of the permanent Modern West Collection at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA! www.boothmuseum.org/

2012 – Top 100 Paint the Parks National Competition (2 pieces) www.paintamerica.org

2011 People’s Choice Award at the Clymer Museum of Art Exhibit & Auction www.clymermuseum.com

2008 C.M. Russell Museum CEO Award – given to one Russell Auction participant www.cmrussell.org

2008 – 2010 Paint America Top 100 www.paintamerica.org

About Me

Stevens’ work reflects the small daily wonders of the land she calls home: the first crocus of spring, the resilient beauty of the plains, or that special sense of hope and possibility that is only found in the West. Stevens is also interested in regional history, particularly the interactions of Native Americans and white settlers during the Reservation Period. Many of her paintings are an exploration of this dynamic and a meditation on the “taming of the West.” From Billings, MT, Laurie began her career as an artist in Los Angeles where she spent 12 years working for the entertainment industry as a scenic artist and muralist for television, theme park, theater and movie productions. She spent time as a member of the Walt Disney Imagineering team, lending her talents to many Disney theme park projects worldwide. She also did some set design, illustration, and matte paintings for several animated childrens’ movies. In the 1980’s Stevens returned to her native Montana, first to the mountains near the Scapegoat Wilderness and then to the ranch near Great Falls where she currently lives and works.

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