Water Is Life

“Water is Life” is an oil on a round topped panel, 48 x 30. It has hand carved wooden stars that run along the upper part of the side return.

When I completed this painting, I contemplated not posting it as it had political implication. Of course it was about Standing Rock, which became a rallying point for both environmental and indigenous civil-rights advocates as thousands of people, many of them Native Americans, gathered on the Standing Rock reservation to protest and physically obstruct the Keystone pipeline’s construction.

While the pipeline did not cross Sioux Reservation land, it was built just north of those lands through what had been Sioux Territory by treaty, land that was later taken from them. By current treaty, the Standing Rock Sioux are assured certain hunting and fishing rights. Many of the tribe’s members rely on fish or hunted game from that area as a steady food source.

The Keystone pipeline is owned by TransCanada, an energy company based in Calgary. It transports oil from western Canada’s tar sands region to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, where the oil is refined and processed into usable gasoline and diesel. Tar sands produce some of the lowest grade, highest carbon, most polluting oil in the world. A 2014 report co-authored by Lazarus found Keystone XL would boost global emissions of carbon dioxide by up tp 100 million tons per year.

A focus of the Standing Rock protest was about the impact of oil spills from this pipeline (owned by a Canadian company that has a notorious reputation for spills and leaks) and what those spills would do to the water aquifer, water of the river, the fish that live in it, and the wildlife that are sustained by it. All those things are critical to the people of the Sioux tribe, and others living in the area.

And in an even larger sense, this protest was about the rights and safety of the people often being “Trumped”, if I may say so, by corporate interest and power. As these pipelines traverse the breadth of our country, through our Heartland, our bread belt, many of us are also at risk, not just the Sioux Nation.

On 11-16-17, TransCanada reported that 210,000 of oil had spilled from the Keystone Pipeline near Amherst, South Dakota. It was the third major spill in the region for the pipeline, which began operations in 2010… As of 11-21, Keystone XL oil pipeline will go ahead despite this last spill.

#keystonepipeline #keystonexl #environmental degradation #oilspill #waterislife

Posted in Figurative, Landscape, Native American

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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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