I’ve had a lot of fun with this painting. It’s the biggest oil I’ve done, 60″ x 48″ although that’s small in comparison to the scenics and murals I used to do – sometimes 30′ high. That was a different life and scenario though. I premixed color then from a palette of one gallon cans of acrylic paint. It did take me quite awhile after the mural phase of my life to adjust to painting small paintings like this one!

“Shades” is based on research gained from an artist’s rendezvous I attended last summer. My model is Jay Red Hawk, a Lakota Sioux from South Dakota. Jay is quite knowledgeable about the history of the plains Indians and their encounters with the white man over time.
He has been playing & making Siyotanka ( Northern Plains Courting Flutes) for 22 years that are traditionally hand carved. He has performed with those flutes in many venues, including the ’92 “Good Red Road / Sacred Hoop Concert; as a soloist with the MN Orchestra in ’95; and has recorded music for 20 documentaries, including “Dakota Exile” (PBS) which won a Grammy for sound.” He has also been in movies and documentaries, as has his horse Lady who is now 25 and just officially retired. Jay also is the Founder/Director of the Plains Horse Archery AssociationHe can be found on Facebook.

Posted in Figurative, Native American
6 comments on “Shades
  1. Eli Erlandson says:

    I love it!

  2. Ed Sanders says:


    This is absolutely fabulous !

    You knew I would like this—right ?

    Keep your brushes happy.

  3. Ann Malmlund says:

    Your best one yet ! What do the painted lines on the horse mean? Ann

  4. marsha Lehmann says:

    Love this painting Laurie, glad I’m on your email notification of updates..


    What rich colors and 3-D painting of horse and rider with
    umbrella and traditional clothing. I’ve seen other paintings of Indians (First Nations People) wearing sunglasses. Is this something that is part of a new tradition or just “folksy”?
    Keep up the good work.

  6. Jerry Izsak says:

    Wonderful painting and colors.I would name the horse lightning after the lines on his body

Leave a Reply

Laurie Stevens

Recent Accolades

6-2020 “The Artist’s Wife” was one of 150 paintings juried into the National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society 2020 Spring International Online Competition.

2-2020 I was accepted into the Booth Western Art Museum show Making Their Mark: American Women Artists. May 27 – Aug. 23, 2020.

2018 – I was chosen as a Finalist in the Portrait Society of America’s “Members Only Competition” (in the Non-Commissioned Portrait Category) with my painting, “The Artist’s Wife”.

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. –

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 –

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. –

2017 – C.M. Russell Museum Auction “The Russell” –

2017 – Dinghies and U-Turn were juried into the National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society Holiday Small Works Show in Parkville, MO. –

2017 – Portrait Society of American Members Only Competition Finalist in the “Outside the Box” Figurative Competition – for “Mourning Dove” 36×24 –

2017 – Two pieces juried into the National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society 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. –

2014 – Spring, 2015 – Juried into the Spring American Women Artists Online Juried Show.

2014 – Juried into the Fall NOAPS International Online Showcase.

2014 – Juried into the American Women Artists National Competition & Exhibition, Orleans,

2014 – Chosen to be an “Art in Action” Artist for the Russell Auction event at Meadowlark Country Club, Great Falls, MT., Mar.

2013 – Juried into the American Women Artists National Competition & Exhibition, Fredericksburg,

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!

2012 – Top 100 Paint the Parks National Competition (2 pieces)

2011 People’s Choice Award at the Clymer Museum of Art Exhibit & Auction

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

2008 – 2010 Paint America Top 100

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.