Bev Doolittle's phenomenal success has been a by-product of her desire to work hard at what she loves to do most, create art with meaning. In 1979, The Greenwich Workshop produced her first limited edition print, "Pintos", which sold out at the publisher within weeks. "I am not a prolific painter," Bev explains. "My art style prevents that. Reproducing my painting in print was the perfect answer. I was able to concentrate on my most important ideas while still having my work represented in galleries around North America as well as abroad. My relationship with the Workshop and its extended family of artists, galleries and their customers has been a joy for me for more than twenty-five years." Nearly all of Bev's prints have been sell-outs and five books of her art have been released. Her first, "The Art of Bev Doolittle", is truly a phenomenon, having sold over half-million copies of its hardback edition. Her second book, "New Magic", continues the story of her painting career. She has since released three children's books. "The Forest Has Eyes" was a hit with readers, both young and old. It was followed by "Reading the Wild". Her illustrated novel for young readers, "The Earth is My Mother", includes dozens of drawings and paintings, four of which were released in print. Her desire to try new mediums as well as her fascination with sculpture, led to the creation of five limited edition porcelain boxes, each featuring one of her most popular paintings. In 2004, after a five year hiatus, Bev returned to the print art in the form of original, hand-pulled, stone lithographs. With some editions set at fewer than 20 pieces, these original prints are already rare. Bev's work reflects her love of horses, passion for the natural world and her affinity for the Native American's spiritual relationship to the land. Her work can also be found on calendars, journals and note cards.Bev and her husband, Jay, both graduates of the Art Center College of Design, began married life as art directors for an advertising agency in Los Angeles. Five year of living in the city made them more aware of what they were missing: the outdoors and creating their own art. "We hoarded our savings and struck out on our own, living out of our camper for a year. Calling ourselves, 'Traveling Artists', we painted our way through the western United States, western Canada and Baja, California. It was a tremendous growing period for me. I not only developed my painting skills, but I discovered that I possessed enough self-discipline to paint every day." Afterward, they displayed their work in malls and outdoor art venues. "Yes, we were 'starving artists' for a while!" admits Bev with a grin, "but, we were so happy doing what we loved." Life is full of hard choices and the path of the artist is no different. "My advice to aspiring artists is simple: paint what you know, paint what you love and always paint for yourself! For me, success followed my passion. Passion is what drives me."
The first sight of buffalo ignites excitement within a party of scouts. The lives of these men and these animals are entwined together on the vast map of the Great Plains. The arrival of the buffalo will herald many celebrations. The Creator has bestowed an answer to the tribe’s prayers with a gift of rain and endless herds.
A season of provisioning begins, as the resourceful natives prepare to utilize every part of the bison for clothing, shelter, tools, weapons and food.
A continuance of harmony and thanksgiving will propel the tribe for another year. Or, is there a storm-warning on the horizon? - Bev Doolittle
It seems that with every artist there are works that manage to make it into private collections before they are properly documented. Some of these can, in hindsight, be rather important ones. They are known to exist, but their whereabouts are a mystery. As is often the case, in time, they somehow, some way, some day reappear.
Bev painted The Arrival in 1977 and sold it through the Carson Gallery in Denver, Colorado, her originals distributor at that time. The work’s trail ended there. Long thought lost, the painting was recently rediscovered! In the thirty-year period since its rendering, Bev has produced fifty Fine Art Editions, as well as seven books and folios of collected works, all published by The Greenwich Workshop. Until now, The Arrival remained elusive.
Available in print for the very first time, it is one of the earliest works featuring the rendering style Bev has become renowned for. Storytelling is a hallmark of nearly all of her compositions, and The Arrival is no exception. The palette and design are instantly recognizable. Both are in service of the eponymous “Doolittle narrative” which has shaped the artist’s reputation.
Storytelling through design is the hallmark of any Bev Doolittle work, and The Arrival is no exception. There is no escaping the implication of a “storm on the horizon.” Those dark clouds immediately bring to mind the Native American experience in North America. This is storytelling through design at its finest.
The Arrival will be reproduced with an eye towards tradition but with the most up-to-date technology. This Fine Art Gilcée will be created on the highest quality Hahnemuhle German Etching fine art textured paper. Deckled edges allow for either a traditional or floating presentation of the framed image.
It’s hard work being a foal. First off, after you are born, you don’t even get a meal until you stand. Those legs you have to stand on can be nearly 90% the size of those on a full grown horse. You need those big legs because every day they have to support the additional two to three pounds you’ve grown everyday. Then, of course, one has play. It’s a big beautiful world you’ve been born into and, heck, they don’t call it “horsin’ around” for nothing. Spring is in the air. There are the other colts and fillies to impress, food to eat, mares to trot beside, more food, dirt to roll in, maybe a snack, bugs everywhere, more food and so on. Every now and then it does one good to drop down into the closest patch of green grass and spring blossoms and grab a little siesta. After all, it’s hard work being a foal.
Bev Doolittle’s Spring Break is her first Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Edition Giclée on Paper. As a SmallWorks™, it’s accessible size and price make it the perfect Valentine’s gift for that special Doolittle collector or horse lover.
There´s no need for the subtlety of camouflage to enhance the storyline of this painting, the meaning is clear: the time for talking is over. "Beyond Negotiations is one of a few action pieces that I´ve created," says the artist. "I had a lot of fun with gestures, facial expressions and creating a sense of depth and dust. Containing the charging Indians within a long horizontal border was not an option. This image sums up the results of all the negotiations leading up to the present moment (whatever they may have been!) The fact that the image is bursting at the seams helps to emphasize the immediacy of the warriors´ obvious negative response to the last proposal." The original artwork for Beyond Negotiations is not only Bev´s first acrylic painting in over thirty years, but her largest ever. The piece began its life as a stone lithograph, but when Bev saw her sketch enlarged, she knew these warriors were destined to become a big painting.
Doolittle fans and collectors couldn´t be happier that Bev made the decision that she has, and that her instincts about the image have proved correct. Already, demand for these editions appears to be greater than the edition sizes that have been set. Not since 1984 has a fine art edition of Bev´s been sized below 8,500 pieces, so make sure you get yours before it becomes an issue Beyond Negotiations!
"The Shoshone are often referred to as the Snake Indians because of their proximity to the Snake River, although their name actually translates more directly to The Valley People," says Bev Doolittle. "From a place called Warm Valley (part of what today is the Wind River Indian Reservation), war and hunting parties would climb up into mountains. I know from my own riding that a group of riders ascending a switchback often resemble a snake scrambling a hillside. The parallel of a snake climbing out of a valley was too fun to ignore. I even placed a snake hieroglyphic in the painting to further identify the tribe."
"Horses are such social animals and seem to emulate human behavior. Whatever their pecking order or whatever they may be communicating to each other, I always wonder what is going on," says Bev Doolittle, who captures a moment at a crossroads where horses have called an impromptu meeting. "Regardless of the space they have to roam, horses have nonetheless come from all corners of their world to gather like neighbors meeting over the backyard fence or a coffee klatch on a Sunday morning."
In Powers of One a member of the Bear Clan has called upon the unseen powers of his spiritual relations as he races towards an encroaching enemy. In this classic Doolittle camouflage image the forces of the bear imbued in the Indian rise about him as he goes into battle. The Bear Clans were the guardians, watchers and healers of the people, known for protecting their charges as fiercely as a mother bear protects her cubs.