Navajo artist/educator, Pete has won numerous awards from prestigious shows such as the Heard Museum Market, Santa Fe Indian Market, Arizona State Museum, Museum of Northern Arizona, and more.
He graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts, in Santa Fe, and holds a Masters degree in Fine Arts, from the University of New Mexico.
The Navajo culture is the foundation of his work, based on figurative and abstract interpretations of Navajo stories.
He says, “My painting(s) are expressions of who I am, an individual co-existing between worlds.”
This affecting painting refers to the Nine-Day Chant, an important winter ceremony that heals conflicts, such as soldiers going off to, or returning from, far off places.
It takes place at night, and features Blue-Faced Yebeche’is, dancing in a long line.
In this painting, a single Yebeche’i is seen close-up, amidst swirling, cloud-like forms that suggest his intervention between people on earth, and the heavens.
The colors are gorgeous blues and purples, evocative of the night, the cold, and the sky, where myriad stars twinkle.
Warm golds, green, and browns, depict the spirit himself, in beautiful visual, and metaphoric contrast.
The earthy hues refer to the land, and the earth, in balance with the sky and water.
The figure is also gilded from the light of the huge bonfire that the Yebeche’is dance around.
Pete’s innate talent and art education are evident in his totally assured brushwork, mix of colors and lighting, and accuracy of textures.
Handwoven blanket, evergreen needles, feathers, and smooth mask are all exquisitely realistic, while the lovely colors that billow around the lower portion of the painting are evanescent, and dotted with tiny snowflakes,
A little mist escapes from the figure’s mouth, indicating his breath, colliding with the frigid winter air.
With ravishing color and masterful paint technique, this painting is hauntingly beautiful, spiritual, and a perfect blend of the figurative, the abstract, and the Navajo culture, that permeates this remarkable artist’s work.
It is painted on all edges of the canvas, so you can hang it as it is, or have it framed.