Eiteljorg Musuem Blog
  • Quest for the West artist Michael Dudash

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

    Dudash 2016

    Michael Dudash

    Born 1952 in Mankato, Minnesota; lives in Hayden, Idaho

    A Fight for Life, a Fight for a Way of Life
    2016, oil on linen, 32 x 52 inches

    This action painting illustrates in dramatic fashion a period in the Western frontier when 31 million buffalo were killed between 1868 and 1881. The vast herds were a vital resource for Native peoples, and the slaughter of the buffalo threatened their very way of life. At the same time, the economic and military objectives of the encroaching Americans made the taking of the buffalo an obvious choice in this clash of cultures. While the outcome of this particular encounter may be in doubt, the historical end of the Western expansion was always a foregone conclusion.

    BORN AND RAISED IN MINNESOTA, C. Michael Dudash settled in the Green Mountains of Vermont, where he began his full-time career as an artist and oil painter in 1977. Trained in the fine arts, his decision to begin a career in classic illustration won him a prestigious national reputation. His transition back into fine art was natural, as his influences as an oil painter have been classical painters such as Sargent and Fechin, the Impressionists, and Golden Age illustrators N. C. Wyeth, Harvey Dunn, and Maxfield Parrish.

    His corporate and individual collectors appreciate the draftsmanship, use of light, and colorful atmosphere that Dudash brings to his work. During the past twelve years he has directed his energies into painting the characters and history of the Old West. “I love the various elements of nineteenth-century frontier subject matter. I get to combine landscapes, vintage gear and clothing, colorful characters, livestock, and interesting history all rolled into a growing body of work. The storytelling aspect is also a lot of fun, one that is full of unlimited possibilities.”

    Notable Awards and Achievements

    2015       Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Quest for the West, Artists’ Choice Award
    2014       Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Quest for the West, Patrons’ Choice Award
    2014       Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Quest for the West, Artists’ Choice Award
    2012       Saks Galleries, American Art Invitational, Collectors’ Choice Award
    2010       Oil Painters of America, Eastern Regional Exhibition, Award of Excellence
    2005       Oil Painters of America, National Juried Exhibition, Holbein Award of Excellence
    2004       Oil Painters of America, National Juried Exhibition, Best Portrait of Show Award


    Oil Painters of America, Signature Member


    2012       C. Michael Dudash: The Fine Art of Oil Painting, Western Collection

    Gallery Representation

    Art Obsession, Inc., Tokyo, Japan
    Coeur d’Alene Gallery, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
    The Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Jackson, Wyoming
    Saks Galleries, Denver, Colorado
    Settlers West Galleries, Tucson, Arizona
    Southwest Gallery, Dallas, Texas

  • 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


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

  • Quest for the West artist Steve Devenyns

    by The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art | Aug 29, 2016

    Devenyns 2016

    Steve Devenyns

    Born 1953 in St. Louis, Missouri; lives in Cody, Wyoming

    Icon of the West
    2016, oil on linen, 18 x 24 inches

    The cowboy has long stood as a symbol of the American West. Cowboys are a roughhewn breed who stand for honesty and rugged individualism. Many live by an unwritten code to be good stewards of the land and animals in their care. Their job is not always glamorous, but they approach each day with determination to do what has to be done regardless of circumstances. Cowboys seem to find peace and solitude in knowing they are part of a long tradition and are truly an Icon of the West.

    RAISED IN COLORADO, Steve Devenyns always enjoyed wildlife, the West, and wide-open spaces. As a horseman and outdoorsman, he enjoys time in the mountains and working with fellow ranchers. After an automobile accident in 1974, his long recuperation period was spent discovering the layers of his creativity, which led to the start his career as an artist. Although primarily self-taught, he has been influenced by many great painters including Tucker Smith, Jim Wilcox, Robert Tommey, and most of all, by Ray Swanson.

    Devenyns has been featured in many prestigious art magazines. He is a multiple Gold Medal Winner at the Phippen Museum’s Annual Western Art Show & Sale in Arizona and has been named Artist of the Year for several national organizations. Last year he was the Featured Artist at the America’s Horse in Art Show & Sale at the AQHA Museum in Amarillo, Texas, and an Honored Artist at the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale in Cody, Wyoming. He exhibits at the Prix de West, Quest for the West, Western Visions, the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale, and the Cheyenne Frontier Days Western Art Show and Sale.

    Notable Awards and Achievements

    2010       National Museum of Wildlife Art, Western Visions, Red Smith Artists’ Choice Award
    2006       Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale, People’s Choice Award
    2002       Foundation for North American Sheep, Artist of the Year
    1997       Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Artist of the Year


    Art of the West
    Inform Art

    Southwest Art
    U.S. Art

    Western Horseman


    Academy of Western Artists

    Gallery Representation

    Big Horn Galleries, Cody, Wyoming, and Tubac, Arizona
    Cogswell Gallery, Vail, Colorado
    Settlers West Galleries, Tucson, Arizona

  • Quest for the West artist Mike Desatnick

    by The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art | Aug 29, 2016

    Desatnick 2016
    Mike Desatnick

    Born 1943 in Hammond, Indiana; lives in Durango, Colorado

    Early Autumn
    2016, oil, 20 x 30 inches

    My paintings are a reflection of the life experiences of varied people, their traditions and cultures. I am privileged and proud to record them respectfully.

    MIKE DESATNICK was born in Hammond, Indiana, and worked in the local steel mills after graduating from high school. Following a decorated tour of combat in Vietnam, he began his art career by enrolling at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. After completing his studies, the faculty of the American Academy of Art invited Desatnick to join them, where he was a popular, award-winning instructor. In the summers he traveled to the Southwest to perfect his skills. Frequent trips to Taos allowed him to pose and paint elders of the Pueblo, some of whom had posed for members of the Taos Society of Artists as young men. In 1978 he moved west to pursue his fine art full-time. Since then, his works have been published in every major art magazine and several books.

    His paintings hang in many prominent collections, and he has participated in many major shows. His work is also included in the U.S. Art in Embassies program. Desatnick currently resides in Durango, Colorado, with his wife, Dyan.

    Notable Awards and Achievements

    1988       American Express Collector’s Edition
    1981       American Western Art Exhibition, Peking, China, Poster Artist
    1977       John F. and Anna Lee Stacey Fellowship Finalist
    1976       52nd Annual Hoosier Salon, First Place, Figure and Portrait
    1975       Society of Illustrators, Annual Scholastic Award
    1975       John F. and Anna Lee Stacey Fellowship Finalist

    Gallery Representation

    Goodnight Trail Gallery of Western Art, Mancos, Colorado


    Oil Painters of America

  • Quest for the West artist Glenn Dean

    by The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art | Aug 26, 2016

    Dean 2016

    Glenn Dean

    Born 1976 in Torrance, California; lives in Cambria, California

    Canyon Outlet
    2016, oil, 24 x 24 inches

    In Canyon Outlet, I found the rock patterns and big silhouetted shapes interesting. I contrasted the ascending rider against the dark mass of the canyon wall but also wanted to allow the rider become a part of the patterns of rocks and shrubs along the sunlit slope, attempting to create harmony between rider and landscape.

    GLENN DEAN’S childhood interest in art matured into a love of painting landscapes by his early twenties. Exposure to the California and Western landscape painters of the early 1900s had a great influence on the young artist and directed the course of his career early on. In the works of such masters as Edgar Payne and Maynard Dixon, Dean saw the “importance of seeing the color of light” while “carefully observing the simple and basic characteristics of a specific location.” 

    A largely self-taught artist, Dean has a passion and joy for discovering answers to the complexities found in the works of those past masters and continues to strive for a similar quality in his own work. In recent years, Dean has turned his attention to the figure within the landscape as he brings the figure closer to the forefront. It is the relationship between the figure and his surroundings that intrigues Dean.

    Dean paints on location throughout the Southwest, dividing his time between deserts, mountains, and coastal subjects. Time in the field and time in the studio are equally important to him. While working in his studio, Dean is able to paint larger compositions worked from field studies and other references. He and his work have appeared in several national magazines and won a number of awards. Dean lives in his native state of California on the Central Coast.

    Notable Awards and Achievements

    2013       Maynard Dixon Country Invitational, Gold Thunderbird Award (Best of Show)
    2003       Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Plein Air Invitational, Grand Prize and Artists’ Choice Award
    2001       Art and Antiques Magazine, Emerging Artist Award

    Gallery Representation

    The Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Jackson, Wyoming
    Maxwell Alexander Gallery, Culver City, California
    Medicine Man Gallery, Tucson, Arizona, and Santa Fe, New Mexico

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