"Art of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest Coast"

"Blaine Billman-Step Into His World"
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Growing up in a military family gave me the opportunity to experience many other cultures first hand. My parents always had a deep respect for other nationalities, their histories, and their cultures which meant a lot of traveling to new places and seeing new things. Looking back, I'm amazed at how profound some of those influences were on my life including many I wasn't aware of at the time.

After graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1978, I took a teaching position in Idaho. I had been working with pen and ink all through college and could not shake my fascination for that medium, so a few years later I gave up teaching to pursue my main interest in life-drawing.

I've always felt at one with the outdoors and love to hike, canoe, and backcountry ski. Living in Idaho, Oregon, and now Montana has given me a deep respect for nature and its creatures and I have spent many wonderful times watching, learning, and photographing everything I could about the subjects I would draw. It's no wonder that nature themes dominated my drawings for some time but there were always other ideas that I filed away inside, things that I guess I just wasn't ready to do yet.

I spent over 10 years on the road (most of it during the 80's) exhibiting at galleries, art festivals, wildlife art shows, you name it. Whew-did that ever wear me out! I needed a serious mental health break to enjoy living, spend a little more time with my friends, and get some of those other ideas out of my head and on paper. I began working on a number of figure drawings and abstracts and it was during this time that my interest in northwest coast totemic art began to emerge.

I've spent a great deal of time along the pacific northwest coast-researching the cultures, getting ideas, and meeting other artists-basically learning as much as I can. When basing your artwork on native cultures it's important to treat your subjects with respect and this premise is one that I always try to follow. I love the northwest coast. It's spirit and cultural heritage are unlike anything I'd experienced before and I find everything about it most inspiring. It has led me into areas of artistic expression that work quite well with all of my previous experience.

For the better part of 20 years my life had been driven mercilessly by my artwork until one remarkable day when I began to realize that I had a number of the important things backward. That was the day I was introduced to Sue, my wife and my "moon and stars". She is a true blessing and through her I now have two fantastic kids, Luke and Lyndsey, and a bagful of grandkids. Most importantly, through her my relationship with Jesus Christ was renewed which makes all the other things way better. It's not about me any longer, it's all about Him.

Northwest Art

We live in Montana now, tucked into the Bitterroot Valley with our dog Rudy and Banjo the cat. We look forward to exploring our new state, raising some critters and bees, and hopefully - some more artwork.

Thanks for taking an interest in my world. I hope you will enjoy visiting the galleries of this site and should you have any questions or comments whatsoever, please let me know.

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