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

Current or Recent Events & Shows

Portrait Society of America 6×9:Limited Size, Unlimited Talent Mystery Art Sale, April 20, 2018 at the Art of the Portrait Conference in Washington, DC.

National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society Holiday Small Works Show, Nov. 13 – Dec. 30, 2017

Under a Vast Sky, the 2017 AWA Annual Master and Signature Members Show & National Juried Exhibition, at the Tucson Desert Art Museum, Oct 13 – Dec. 3, 2017

“Dissent” Show at Sparrow Gallery, Sacramento, CA. July 1 – August, 2017

“Gallery Night” at Frame of Reference Fine Art in Whitefish, MT.,July 6, 2017

Iron Horse Summer Art Social, Whitefish, MT. June 25, 2017

“First Strike Auction” March 17, 2017 C.M. Russell Museum https://cmrussell.org/the-russell-event/

2016 – Portrait Society of American Members Only Competition Winner – Landscape Division https://portraitsociety.org/

“Back to Basics” Painting Workshop in Big Sky, MT. – October 28-30, 2016

“2016 Annual AWA Member Show & National Juried Exhibition” – Sept. 23 to Nov. 14, 2016 https://americanwomenartists.org/news//

“Summer Art Social” at Iron Horse, Whitefish, MT. – June 25, 2016 www.whitefishcommunityfoundation.org/summer-art-social/

“Montana Painters Alliance Show” at the Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, MT. June 30, 2016 – August 31, 2016. http://www.hockadaymuseum.org/

I’m teaching a workshop called “Back to Basics: Considerations for Every Painter” at the C. M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, MT., April 29 – May 1, 2016 https://www.cmrussell.org/content/back-basics-considerations-every-painter-laurie-stevens/

“Auction for the Arts” at Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, MT. March 24, 2016 http://www.bigskyarts.org/

“Out West Art Show & Sale” at the Heritage Inn, Great Falls, MT. March 16-19, 2016 http://outwestartshow.com/

Guest Artist at Altamira Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ., 2015 http://www.altamiraart.com

“Traveling the West Art Show & Sale” at Southwest Gallery, Dallas, TX. – October 23-24, 2015 http://www.travelingthewestshow.com

“Boots Required!” at Bella Muse Gallery, Ogden, UT. – July 3 – August 31, 2015 http://www.bellamusegallery.com

“Summer Art Social” at Iron Horse, Whitefish, MT. – June 30, 2015 www.whitefishcommunityfoundation.org/summer-art-social/

The Dana Gallery “Icons of the West” Show, May 15 – June 30,, 2015 http://www.danagallery.com

The Russell Live Auction, Mansfield Convention Center, Great Falls, MT., Saturday, Mar. 21, 2015 http://www.cmrussell.org/the-russell

Booth Western Art Museum “For the Love of Art Gala & Art Auction” – February 21, 2015 www.boothmuseum.org

Altamira Fine Art “Art 2 Art Show”, Jackson, WY. – mid December, 2014 – January 1, 2015 www.altamiraart.com

Tom Gilleon & Laurie Stevens – 2 person show hosted by Altamira Gallery of Jackson, WY. and Creighton Block Gallery of Big Sky, MT., July1 – 18, 2014 http://www.creightonblockgallery.com

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum “Small Works, Great Wonders” Show, Oklahoma City, OK. – Nov. 15 – Dec. 1, 2013 http://nationalcowboymuseum.org/events/swgw/default.aspx

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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