With paintings in museums and personal collections, Sheldon won Best of Show at the Santa Fe Indian Market, as well as having a painting chosen for the official poster, in the same year. He is a major name in contemporary art, whether Native or not.
His mixed-media sculptures are made of wood, with other materials such as fabric, feathers, metals, stains, and paint. The striking images he paints and sculpts are his artistic visions of the supernatural and sacred beings from Navajo stories that he heard as a child. He keeps his images non-specific in order to maintain the mystery inherent in Navajo sacred lore.
This life-size piece is all about water, the source of life, and essential for harvests. Therefore, water – especially in the high desert – is a symbol of happiness, good health, and prosperity. The dragonflies represented throughout symbolize water since they flit above and around waterways.
Predominant colors are warm yellows and gold with accents of blue, purple, pink, and green. The warm colors symbolize sun and warmth; the cool hues refer to the sky and water, and growing plants. Nature is depicted in balance, as it must be for crops to thrive.
The underlying meaning of the sculpture is to invoke a bountiful harvest, thanks to a balance between sun and water, all year long.
Good health, happiness, and prosperity will follow. This is a central theme for all the tribes of the high desert, expressed here in a delightfully creative, Navajo guise.
Radiant with vibrant color, and a happy message, this is another joyous work by an exceptional and renowned artist, in total command.