Menu
Blog
Eiteljorg Musuem Blog

Quest for the West artist Mikel Donahue

by The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art | Aug 30, 2016

Donahue 2016

Mikel Donahue

Born 1956 in Tulsa, Oklahoma; lives in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Profile in Pride
2016, mixed media, 18 x 18 inches

Honor, character, pride—profile of a lost nation.


MIKEL DONAHUE is best known for his impeccable depictions of cowboy life. His colored pencil drawings and paintings portray ranchers and their livestock during the day-to-day ritual of sun-up-to-sun-down work on the ranch. What may seem as mundane chores are captured and translated through his artistic style into moments of meaning and reflection.

As described in the 2011 issue of Southwest Art Magazine, “A pensive, almost dream-like sheen emanates from most of Donahue’s canvases, a result of both his informed approach towards his subject matter and his technical proficiency.“ A past career in commercial design helped Donahue perfect his sense of composition and understanding of the principles of design and form. His knowledge of the subject matter is aided by time spent on ranches, hundreds of photographs, and numerous sketches and field notes to remind him of certain moments.

Born and raised in Tulsa, Donahue was taught about life on the ranch by his paternal grandfather, who raised cattle in northcentral Oklahoma. His maternal grandfather exposed him to Western art at an early age with memorable trips to Tulsa’s Gilcrease Museum, and what was then the National Cowboy Fall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Fascinated both by life on the ranch and iconic art by the likes of Charlie Russell and Frederic Remington, as an adult Donahue has become a perfect amalgam of his influences: a life breeding quarter horses with his wife, Christie, on their place outside Broken Arrow and an award-winning career in the arts.

Notable Awards and Achievements

2013       Bosque Arts Center, Bosque Art Classic, John Steven Jones Purchase Award
2011       Academy of Western Artists, Will Rogers Award for Artist of the Year
2010       Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale, Premier Platinum Award and William E. Weiss Purchase Award
2009       Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale, Artists’ Choice Award
2009       American Quarter Horse Museum, America’s Horse in Art, Featured Artist
2009       One-man show at Remington Park in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, during the quarter horse race meet
2008       Working Ranch Cowboys Association, Cowboy Art Show and Sale, Best of Show
2006       Working Ranch Cowboys Association, Cowboy Art Show and Sale, Best of Show

Representation

Altermann Galleries & Auctioneers, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Settlers West Galleries, Tucson, Arizona
Trailside Galleries, Jackson, Wyoming, and Scottsdale, Arizona

© Eiteljorg Museum. All rights reserved.