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Southwest Native American Art: A Short Peek

From the ancestral Anasazi people dating back to 1400 CE to the modern-day Apache and Pueblo tribes and every Native American tribe and generation in between, each group has found a way to portray their existence in art form. Whether it’s ceramic bowl painting, jewelry making, or basket weaving, artwork all over Southwest America is the perfect depiction of Native American history, culture, religion, and everyday life. You can learn more about a wide array of southwestern paintings from Fine Art Publishing

Here, we’ll delve more into Southwest Native American art and how you can revel in these beautiful pieces when you visit Fine Art Publishing today.

Hopi Kachina Dolls

An ideal example of American Southwest art is the Hopi kachina doll. These dolls, made from Cottonwood root, are usually carved by the men of the tribe into different forms, including crops, animals, insects, and the sun and moon. 

While the clan may not worship the kachina dolls like gods, they highly value the carvings as spirits that guide them. They assist with fertility in women, teach spirituality to children, and encompass a partial spirit that guides any tribe member who receives one during ceremonies. 

Since the creation of the first kachina doll in 1857, more materials have become available to the artists, making the carvings more advanced than ever before. They now include beads, leather, and moving parts, thanks to modern technology.

Navajo Sandpainting

Navajo sandpainting is another American Indian fine art form that has reigned in the Southwest for hundreds of years. Similar to kachina dolls, sandpaintings have spiritual power. However, the Navajo people don’t take this Southwest Native American art lightly since it heals the sick but may also bring illness to those who misuse it. 

These sandpaintings are made from colorful rocks ground by the clan’s medicine men. The medicine men then paste the sand into unique and intricate designs, ensuring they never copy older symbols or layouts for fear that replication will make the creator ill. What’s more, medicine men must complete each religious ceremony involving sandpaintings before the sun sets on that given day. 

Up until the 1950s, the medicine men created these sandpaintings on the ground where the tribe lived. Now, particle boards have entered the picture, allowing publishing houses like ours to obtain genuine Native American art from the talented Navajo people.

Navajo Weaving

Like their sandpaintings, the Navajo’s woven rugs are each handmade and unique, ensuring each purchased rug is unlike any other. The rugs consist of unprocessed, dyed wool from sheep shearings that the Navajo women weave into beautiful pictures illustrating their lives, scenery, people, and spirituality.

For centuries, the elders have trained young girls to prepare the yarn for this Southwest Native American art and weave it with unmatched precision. Today, while the preparation process has evolved, these young women continue to sit patiently for hours weaving in a traditional way that many thought wouldn’t last.

Native arts have had a place in American history for centuries. Now, it can have a place in your heart. To learn more about the paintings of the Southwest and truly appreciate Southwest Native American art, call us at 520-274-4992 today!

5 Most Famous Paintings of the Southwest

Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Colorado, Texas, and Nevada make up the American Southwest. This area is famous for its rich Native American culture, and much of the art from the region celebrates the people indigenous to this area. 

Fine Art Publishing sells pieces of art from many famous artists who were influenced by the unique geography of this area. Both Native Americans and non-Native artists use the desert landscapes of this area as inspiration to create beautiful art.

Southwestern paintings from Fine Art Publishing include original artwork and high-quality prints. Below, you will find more information on some of the most famous paintings of the Southwest. 

1.   Eagle Nest Lake

Celebrated artist Ernest L. Blumenschein created this work in 1933. Worth an estimated $300,000, the painting depicts the picturesque Eagle Nest Lake area. 

The lake is north of Taos, New Mexico, an area known for fine art and Native American spiritual traditions. Blumenschein often depicted the scenic Eagle Nest Lake area in his paintings. 

2.   Crowd at Horse Race

Created by artist Oscar E. Berninghaus in 1946, this painting depicts the annual horse race that takes place during the San Geronimo Festival in Taos, New Mexico, every September.

Worth more than $600,000, this painting captures a historical view of the rugged Taos landscape and the Native American people who called the American Southwest home. This art print is known for its color, tone, technique, and emotion. 

3.   Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly is one of the most famous paintings of the Southwest. The piece captures the unique red rock landscape found in Northeastern Arizona. Edgar Alwin Payne created the distinctive painting in 1941. 

The original painting is worth an estimated $80,000 and demonstrates the artist’s unique understanding of desert landscapes. 

4.   Canyon Ranch

Executed in 1941, Canyon Ranch is one of Maynard Dixon’s most famous works of art. The print captures the vast desert landscape of Arizona and New Mexico. The art print uses a neutral color palette, unlike many paintings of the Southwest. 

The painting has an estimated worth of up to $250,000 and was inspired by the artist’s first visit to the American Southwest in 1900.

5.   Indian/Horse/Teepee

Executed by Taos Society of Arts founding member E. Irving Couse, this beautiful painting captures the historic way of life of Native Americans in New Mexico. Known for its vibrant color scheme, the print depicts a man and horse standing next to a teepee. 

The artist likely created this painting, now valued at $35,000, while looking east from his home in Taos.

Are you searching for affordable paintings of the Southwest? The influence of Southwestern art on home décor is substantial, and many people choose to incorporate Native American art into their home’s interior design. 

Fine Art Publishing features artists prominent in the region, including Bill Anton, Bonnie Marris, and John Coleman. We feature art depicting landscapes, cowboys, Native American life, and more. Visit our website today to discover a unique print to enhance the décor of your home or office.

Southwest Paintings

Once a part of the painting, landscape served as a backdrop for a figurative painting. Only in the 4 AD did it establish as an independent genre in the East. However, in the southwest, it gave life in the turn of the renaissance period. From Thomas Cole to Thomas Moran, the southwest has attracted artists from all parts of the country.

The beautiful scenery, bright hues, and colorful landscapes have inspired many an artist. Many traveled to the southwest, intending to spend summers. But, attracted by the beauty of the region, they relocated, establishing it as an art hub.

This article brings to you the best southwest landscape artists currently in the art world. We also skate through the vastness that is southwest.

What are Southwest Landscape Paintings?

southwest landscape painting

Southwest landscape paintings capture the stunning beauty of the desert landscape. Unlike any other landscape, it is lined with mountains, cacti, canyons, and vast valleys.

Southwest-inspired artwork also captures the wild west, cowboys, their seeds, and their lifestyle.

The American southwest paintings are always packed with natural beauty not seen anywhere else. The colors are generally vibrant, often remnant of the natural materials. The color palette includes but is not limited to gold, silver, copper, ochre, and umber.

The southwest represents the dry, desert landscape regions of the west. They include New Mexico, Arizona, and parts of Colorado, California, Nevada, Utah, and Texas. In addition, the region is famous for the Rocky Mountains, which still serve as a source of inspiration for many artists.

Who are the Best Landscape Artists in the US?

American southwest has attracted many an artist and has been a hub of activity throughout the years. Few artists were born in the southwest, and others adopted the region. From Thomas Moran to Albert Bierstadt, painters have found inspiration in the raw beauty of the arid landscape.

Here are a few artists who have been painting and recording the southwest for generations to come:

Gary Ernest Smith

Utah-based artist Gary Ernest Smith chronicles the change in the land. From seasonal ones to the widespread changes across several years, his paintings have covered the entire landscape of the southwest. His paintings focus on the relationship between man and the landscape.

Smith is known for painting mundane moments of everyday life like plowing fields, tending to livestock, and such. They evoke values such as courage, hard work, and frugality in the viewer.

Gary Ernest Smith’s paintings are simple yet precise statements. They are direct statements full of emotionally compelling content. To achieve that, he distills the landscapes to expose the truth underneath.

What makes his paintings iconic is the use of color, saturated with the unusual color combination. The colors are not the literal rendering to imitate the landscape. Even then, they create a beautiful depiction of the southwest.

Jeff Aeling

The Missouri-based artist Jeff Aeling is famous for his cloudscapes. His paintings bring to the forefront the vastness of the southwest, leaving you with a sense of wonder. But, above all, they lack the presence of a human carrying a sense of solitude.

Aeling’s compositions show the power of the prairie sky. The observer feels dwarfed and enthralled by the sky’s power. Light is boosted to an incredible intensity which then fades, leaving the shadows behind. Much of the power and emotion of work lies in knowing that something could never last.

His paintings capture the softness that enhances the transient nature of the landscape. They are much more realistic since the artist uses a literal color palette to achieve realism. At a distance, the scene looks almost like a photograph.

Gregory Hull

southwest painting

Gregory Hull is a landscape artist who travels around the west collecting impressions of a place from both past and present. He uses his work to highlight the unique qualities and help us understand our beautiful southwest.

Hull is more interested in what makes a place different from the others. How is it special? The artist achieves this by identifying the varying forms and patterns that make up the space. He captures the intrinsic nature by creating a beautiful composition on a canvas.

Gregory Hull’s masterful handling of colors and light makes him one of today’s top southwest painters. His paintings tend to draw the observer in as you study the landscape.

Hull’s paintings follow a distinct impressionist style. He is not worried about the changes neither the human presence. Instead, his work brings forth the ultimate pleasure that can be found only in nature.

Grant Macdonald

A Santa Fe artist, Grant Macdonald, captures the changing landscape with a sense of realism. It helps the viewer connect with the painting even if they have never been there.

Grant Macdonald uses a traditional style of painting derived from the pre-impressionist masters. His use of colors, a vivid palette, and attention to detail make a viewer comfortable with the landscape. You’d also see humans and artificial structures such as buildings.

According to the artist, he doesn’t want to record nature or its significance. But he wants to draw out the emotions and paint them on the canvas.

A winding river, snowy road, desert sunset, daybreak are small examples of subjects and moments you can see in his paintings. You can relate to it even if it is new to you.

Who is the most famous landscape painter?

Vincent Van Gogh is the most famous landscape painter to exist. He was a post-impressionist artist who is known for his use of bold color and expressive brushwork. Van Gogh was also a key landscape artist in the history of western art. His famous artwork includes the starry nights, Irises series, and Wheat Field with Cypresses.

Thomas Cole emerged as the famous landscape painter in the American southwest. He captured the beauty of America through his landscape paintings.

Cole also played a crucial part in the formation of the Hudson River School. His paintings often bring forth the vastness and beauty of the American wilderness.


The Southwest region of the US is an arid desert region, unlike any other landscape. Many painters have explored the southwest and recorded the diverse scene across the seasons. Their styles varied from impressionist to realist and some contemporary.

The result is stunning works of art in canvas, oils, watercolors, and pastels. They painted the cloudscapes, desert landscape, quiet roads, lush mountains, and more.

If you live in the southwest or love the desert, southwest artwork is an ideal choice of wall art for your home. Even though the originals may be out of your price bracket, you can buy canvas art prints for a much cheaper price tag.

Cowboy Paintings

Cowboy PaintingSome of the trending art right now are cowboy paintings, rodeo paintings, and generally, the art of the west. The adventurous spirit of the western genre has attracted one too many.

Notable western art painters have delved into the heart of the old west and created images of the time gone by. But, then, the wild west was a time of danger and romance for the men and women working in the harsh terrains of the open range. It was a time when “have the saddle, will travel” was the way of life.

Discover the new world of cowboy paintings, southwestern art, masters of the American frontier, and much more.

Famous Cowboy Paintings by Masters of Western Art

The subjects of the cowboy paintings were a working cowboy, sometimes cowgirls, horses, and cattle in a real-life situation and rodeo. They show the cowboy’s love of riding, roping, and wrangling.

Here are some of the famous cowboy paintings of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

  • True Love – This undated masterpiece by AR Mitchell is one of the most popular and highly evocative illustrations of the 19th century west.
  • Cowboy Singing – The 1892 painting of a western banjo player is by American artist Thomas Eakins. He is known for his style of realism and seated portraits in low light.
  • Vaquero – This historic 1890 oil painting by Frederic Remington brings to view the ruggedness of the western landscape, the cowboy on a horse, the blazing sun, and the clear sky.
  • Cullin’ the Herd – This undated oil painting is by Charlie Dye, a cowboy turned illustrator and painter. He helped found the Cowboy Artists of America. His works were mostly of cowboys and life in the rough terrains.
  • Rounding Up the Herd – In the mid-20th century, self-taught artist Olaf Wieghorst emerged as the heir to the Remington and Russell style of historical art. The Danish-born artist’s love for painting western history, horses, the American cowboy, and Indians.
  • Incident Near Square Butte – A cowboy’s day is filled with accidents and sudden death; such is the harsh reality of life. This 1897 oil painting by America’s most significant, working-cowboy artist, Charles Russell, clearly reveals the dangers for the viewers.

Original artwork of the masters is generally found in various museums, namely Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art, Trinidad, Texas Buffalo Bill Historical Center, and Desert Caballeros Western Museum, Wickenburg. In addition, however, high-quality recreations and prints of the originals are available for purchase in galleries across the country.

Which Great American Artist Painted the Old West?

Frederic Remington is famous for his paintings of the wild west. Additionally, he is also an illustrator and also sculptor. His works depict the cowboys, the harsh desert lands, and also US cavalry.

Another notable artist of mention is Charles Marion Russell. He has created close to 2000 paintings of Indians, cowboys, and the landscapes of the west. He depicted a picture of the mythic American West in his paintings.

Famous Artists of the American Frontier

Charles Marion Russell, Frederic Remington, and Thomas Moran are one of the few painters who captured the beauty of the wild west in their oil paintings. Their art explored the Western states, cowboys, ranchers, and Indian themes. They also chronicled the history of events (like the exploitation of the west) for future generations to see. The artists from this period didn’t mainly come from the western frontier.

Here are the well-known artists of the 19th century.

Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926)

Charles Marion Russell was one of the most prolific artists who painted western landscapes and also cowboy paintings. You can find his works in over 50 museums in the United States and around the world. He preferred muted color palettes with a sense of realism in his cowboy paintings.

His painting style included cowboys, landscapes, and Native Americans, generally inspired by his visits to nationals parks in Arizona, Colorado, and California. Charles’ favored painting mediums include oils, gouache (a type of watercolor), and sculpture. You can still find his bronze sculptures in different venues. However, there are only limited copies; these pieces are numbered like print and collectible items.

Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902)

Albert Bierstadt, a German-American painter, is known for his romantic paintings of beautiful places like Yosemite, Californian landscapes Yellowstone, etc. He uses a technique called “chiaroscuro” to create romance and grandeur in his paintings. The technique manipulates the contrast between light and darkness to create a realistic look.

Albert Bierstadt’s work helped Easterners appreciate the lands that later became part of the U.S. National Park System. His works now appear in over 100 museums across the United States. In addition, they fueled the imagination of many Americans who settled in the West. He worked on many mediums, including oils, gouache, watercolors, pastels, inks, and charcoal.

Thomas Moran (1837-1926)

Thomas Moran is an English-born painter who is known for the western landscapes. His signature style of painting is the usage of intense shades of color, which captures the grandeur and the beauty of Yosemite and Grand Canyon national parks.

Moran’s preferred mediums include oils, watercolor, gouache, printmaking, lithography, and engraving. His paintings are in more than 100 museums and galleries across the globe.

George Catlin (1796-1872)

George Caitlin is known for his ethnographic portraits of 48 distinct Native American tribal groups. After traveling with them for more than eight years, he learned more about the culture of Native Americans than most other white people of his era. During this period, he painted over 500 portraits showing Native Americans in their full regalia.

These portraits have their spot in the history books for their historical/ethnographic content, as well as for their vivid depictions of hundreds of subjects. Other than that, he was also a painter and printmaker who worked in oils and watercolor.

Frederic Remington (1861-1909)

Cowboy Paintings Artist and Sculptor - Frederic RemingtonFrederic Remington is rightfully called the grandfather of Western art. He was fascinated by the “Wild West” and traveled in the West collecting subject material. However, he never lived nor experienced the western lifestyle. He was primarily a spectator preferring to be based in Newyork.

Being both a painter and a sculptor, his themes were often cowboys, Native Americans, and horses. His first sculpture (cast in bronze) and most famous work was “The Broncho Buster” (October 1895). Frederic Remington’s work is featured in over 80 museums across the U.S.

Things to Know Before Buying a Cowboy Painting

The web has been a haven for buyers and sellers alike from all parts of the world. You can sell or buy hard-to-find paintings that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Many people have successfully and happily purchased paintings and other art on the Internet. However, buying online, particularly artwork, comes with its own challenges.

Ensure that you thoroughly research the art and the artist before buying a cowboy painting. And also the legibility of the seller or website. Here are a few other points you may have to consider if you want a cowboy painting in your art collection:

  • Are you looking for originals? If so, you may want to make sure the item is original and not a recreation. If it’s the latter, you can find phrases similar to “like an original,” and they appear in the search results along with originals.
  • Look for the abbreviation OOAK in the description of the paintings for sale. It means “Original and One of a Kind.”
  • What is the medium of the painting? While canvas is standard, do not take this for granted. Cowboy paintings on a good quality canvas last long.
  • Is it framed or unframed? Does the frame add value to the painting? What is the condition of the frame?
  • If in any doubt, ask questions before you buy. It is safer to be informed rather than disputing the purchase.


Delving deep into the history of South Western art, you’ll discover painters who recreated images of an era gone by, places, and events of adventure. Cowboys and Indians are the two essential themes of western paintings. These paintings demonstrate the daily life and the activities of the cowboys and the Native Americans.

Cowboy paintings are still growing in popularity and inspiring artists. Many painters still seek this genre for the same reasons as the painters of the 19th century, the rough mountainous terrains, near-death experiences, and difficult circumstances. From Teal Blake to Jim Carson, various artists still capture the images of cowboys riding, bucking stallions, raging rivers, and more.

Fine Art Publishing LogoFine Art Publishing has a vast collection of cowboy paintings from nationally-acclaimed and world-famous western art painters like Howard Terpning. Shop his vast collection of beautiful paintings in his complete catalog today!

Southwestern-Framed Art

Southwestern-Framed ArtSouthwestern-framed art is a staple for creating the perfect southwestern décor within your home. This style has seen an increase in popularity in recent years. Cacti and llamas are available as décor from nearly every home goods store and big-box location in the United States. A cozy nostalgia marks the décor style. Many of the different pieces give the feel that they have been around for a long time. 

The southwestern-framed art can bring a feel of the southwest into your home, one of the best ways to test out the style to see how it will work for you. There are unique ways to bring different styles into your home with so many Southwest design elements. 

Easy Ways to Bring the Southwest into Your Home 

There are several ways in which you can bring the Southwest into your home:

Keep it Neutral 

One of the easiest ways to create the Southwest look you desire is with a neutral color pallet. Consequently, a neutral color allows you to enjoy all of the southwest’s unique patterns without choosing colors that will clash with furnishings or existing décor. This is a perfect and great way to introduce the southwest into your home. 

Look for Bold Prints

Bold Southwest prints can add a unique touch to your home. Tapestries, vases, and other decorative elements can feature southwest prints along with southwest framed art. 

Use Lots of Prints 

One of the more exciting and unique aspects of prints is that you can use many different patterns that are unique together. Grouping these prints is a great way to bring design elements into your space. Plus, it can be a lot of fun to use different prints combined. 

Consider Leather 

Leather furnishings are perfect for helping create a southwest feel in your home. 

Southwestern-Framed Art - Cattle SkullDon’t Shy Away from Skulls 

Skulls are an obvious choice for adding the southwest to your home. Animal skulls, such as the notorious longhorn bull skull, are some of the best options.

Tips to Buy Southwestern-Framed Art 

There are some dos and don’ts when it comes to choosing a southwestern framed art:


  • Follow your heart to understand the best styles that you think are well aligned with your likings.
  • Consider mixing the southwestern framed art with other décor styles in order to introduce it to your home.
  • Make it personal by choosing pieces that you have a connection with, such as pieces that remind you of a special time or place in your life. 


  • Do not skip the miniatures as they can add a significant impact when clustered together. 
  • Limiting yourself to framed paintings is one of the biggest don’ts.
  • Do not just purchase a piece of art based on who the artist is.

To learn more about the do’s and don’ts in detail, check this article out.

People Also Ask:

What Is a Southwestern-Style Home?

Southwestern-styled homes combine unique elements that are a cross between Native American styles and Colonial Spanish elements. There is an architecture style that is associated with the southwest as well. This style of home is characterized by flat roofs, round log ceiling beams, and covered porches, along with walls made from stone or stucco and have overhangs and/or trellises to protect the home and shade it from the desert sun. 

Is it OK to Mix Decorating Styles?

Mixing decorating styles into a design that makes you happy is something that everyone should consider. You can combine mid-century modern with farmhouse elements or southwest elements with bohemian styles. Mixing décor styles is a great way to show you all of the options you have; check out more great tips on mixing décor styles.

How Do I Know My Decorating Style?

Finding your decorating style is not as hard as most people feel that it will be. There are some simple things that you can do to make sure that you know the style that is going to best suit you. Here is a look at five steps to finding your décor style. 

  • Step 1 – Look for Inspiration – There are many places to find design elements and determine your style. The most popular of these are websites like Pinterest and magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, both of which can offer you the chance to see a plethora of designs that you would enjoy and would like to recreate.
  • Step 2 – Consider an Online Quiz – Many websites offer quizzes online, and most of them might seem like a waste of time, but ones that offer you the chance to determine your design style can be beneficial; for more information, check out this link. 
  • Step 3 – Look at Home Exteriors – When learning your décor style, it might sound out to look at home exteriors. However, when you look for your favorite home exteriors, you can understand your unique style.
  • Step 4 – Check Out Your Wardrobe – Your wardrobe can hold the key to many elements of your style. You will understand your favorite colors, whether you prefer prints to accent or something bolder, and the materials and textures you like.
  • Step 5 – Look at Your Current Décor – Looking at your current décor for inspiration is essential. You will know your favorite colors, the basics of your style, and the overall design. 

Fine Art PublishingFine Art Publishing is the go-to stop for learning about southwestern-framed art. We offer several services, including helping the artists with layout, promotional printing, design, digitization, development, and research. To design your southwestern art, just head over to our website and choose a service that suits your requirements or contact us and we’ll help you out.