Star Wars in Navajo
Andersen Kee Obi-Wan Kenobi
Fine Art and More
The Real West is tough country where cattle and horses form the backbone of the families that fight on to preserve their heritage and way of life. Born the son of a famous Hollywood actor, Buck grew up on movie sets, watching his father, celebrated actor Dub Taylor, appear with such movie greats as John Wayne, Tex Ritter and Bob Willis and the Texas Playboys. He initially took a different path, studying art at the University of Southern California, and, in 1960, trying our for the U.S. Gymnastics Team with the sponsorship of cowboy actor Big Boy Williams. But the acting profession came calling. It was deeply rooted in the young man, who, after all, had actor Chill Wills help him take his first steps as a baby. Buck began his acting career in the fifties working in television. He appeared in everything from the Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and My Favorite Martian to the classic period westerns, including Have Gun Will Travel with Richard Boone, The Rebel with Nick Adams and Bonanza. He is best remembered for his eight-year run as Newly on Gunsmoke which ended in 1975. Buck appeared in other popular shows including Wagon Train, The Virginian, Dallas, and Walker, Texas Ranger. In 1963 his movie career began with an appearance in Johnny Shiloh. Buck had continued nonstop for the next forty years with roles in such films as Tombstone and in 2004, The Alamo and Grand Champion. His spiritual and artistic philosophies came together on camera in 2003 when Buck assumed the starring role as “Harry Dodds,” a modern day rancher trying to hold on to his family and ranch in the feature film Truce, released in the spring of 2005.
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A child of the Navajo reservation, Andersen himself would make a great painting. Andersen Kee was born in 1959 to a mother who was a weaver and a father who dabbled in oil painting. My dad did a little painting and silverwork. He did every day life scenes - people working with horses, typical Navajo home settings, and so on. At the time I didn't think much of it. I was just a kid, but I guess that's where I got my first idea about wanting to paint.
Of high school Andersen Kee says, I hung out quite a bit in the art class and got to be real good friends with the art teacher, Larry Giller. He took certain students and gave us special assignments beyond the normal work required. He help me get brochures to all these colleges and to apply to the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.
Andersen was accepted into the prestigious IAIA. I liked Santa Fe. We had a lot of fun and, the Institute was very good for me. They had a lot of good teachers and I learned a lot.
His early work was often narrative -- portraying scenes of buffalo hunts, Plains Indian camps, action scenes, and landscapes. Slowly he shifted to dramatically lit chest-up portraits set against simple backgrounds.
Andersen Kee's subjects seem ready to draw breath and step out from the canvas. Most of them come from his imagination, but occasionally he researches and paints little known historical figures. Even in his imaginative scenes, Anderson makes sure that every detail about his characters dress, hair, cultural accoutrements, and possessions are all true to life. The hair has a lot to do with the look, he notes, how long it was worn, how it was cut and dressed.
And beyond painting, he says, I see my sculpture in the same light my paintings, but the silverwork… I simply like doing it as a break from routine.
Through Andersen's life and art, he carries for the living spark of those who went before and those who will follow.
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An award winning author; Robin's books are also available at Seldom Creek Ranch. Please see our Books Page.
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The artwork of Virgil Stephens ranges from dramatic black and white pencil drawings to delicately
hued western paintings with a few whimsical musical paintings thrown in to reflect and express his own life experiences.
Growing up on ranches in and around Globe, Arizona, Virgil spent most of his spare time drawing what life presented him. From his earliest doodling to his current pencil drawing, conte drawing, oils and bronzes he recorded the scenes both poignantly mundane and sublimely humorous that represent the richness of ranch life in America.
Raising a family didn't afford the possibility of taking classes, so Virgil started reading books and studying paintings by famous artist and well known teachers in his spare time. Common sense convinced him the high cost of canvas and paint was money better spent elsewhere and he eventually wound up with a pencil in his hand and spent the early part of his career concentrating on fine pencil drawings.
Timothy Tate Nevaquaya
R. E. Lieske (Robin)
I’ve drawn since I could hold a pencil and began formal training at 19 while working in illustration and metal design. I had to work, and commercial illustration jobs came easily but were time consuming, so I tended to gravitate to teachers for specific skills rather than degree programs. My first real graphic arts teacher was the now famous Western photographer, Jay Dusard, at Prescott College in the mountains of northern Arizona.
After moving to Phoenix at age 26 and signing up for drawing classes, I came upon a deserted printing press in the Graphic Arts Department at a college in Glendale. Luckily Mirta Hamilton, a wonderful printmaker, was heading up the Art Department at the time and gave me leave to set up an impromptu printmaking studio in the tiny storage room that housed the press. She then worked with me in extended studio sessions to learn the fine art of printmaking. And there was just something about that elegant, antique machine. For the first time in my life I felt what it was to be in the right place doing exactly the right thing.
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Timothy Tate Nevaquaya
Timothy Tate Nevaquaya is a Comanche artist, veteran, and minister from Apache, Oklahoma. He makes his studio in Tulsa.
He is the son of critically acclaimed Comanche artist and flutist, Doc Tate Nevaquaya.
Timothy's art career began at the foot of his father's drafting table, as a child. His art education included receiving direction from his father in the basic fundamentals of Native American art forms, as well as flute making and music composition.
These early experiences prepared him for his lifelong dance with Native American Art, Native American Courting Flute, as well Native American history and culture. As a youth he was witness to the master Southern Plains artist's from his father circle of friends.
Early in his career, he immersed himself in the history of the Comanche People through independent studies. He began painting in the flat two-dimensional style reminiscent of the Southern Plains artists before him.
Today, he is a contemporary artist, known for his signature use of movement and color in traditional Native American imagery.
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R.E. Lieske (Robin)