Whether it was a sketch left on the table, a rug being made, jewelry worn, or a painting getting hung, I have been surrounded by art most of my life. My grandmother, father, uncles, and brothers were and are great artists. My visual creations came late in life. I began painting and sculpting as an adult. I studied Studio Art at Eastern New Mexico University, where I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. It was here my imagination was unleashed and encouraged by my lovely family, instructors, friends, gallery owners, and happy clients. Thanks to them, my art has developed and improved greatly in a short amount of time. I am blessed to be able to wake up every morning and have that choice to paint or work on other aspects of my art business.
Like Life, my art is in constant change and is influenced with people I have met and those that I have lost. I was given the gift of color and I believe I am here to share it with the world. My painting style draws from the impressionistic realm and holds a contemporary Native American theme. I love using strong colors, loose brush strokes, simple design, and I usually paint large. I enjoy depicting the struggle and heritage of the Native American Indian and the U.S. Veteran. This can be a difficult task at times, but a worthy challenge to continue and pursue.
Understanding my art depends on the viewer's personal experience. Finding that connection of the heart's perception and imagination makes the work beautiful. I want my work to be interesting, to make one find gratitude, to inspire hope, and to instill pride. Portraits and figures are my preferred subjects to create. Although, my brushes will have me experimenting with abstracts and landscapes at times. Enjoyment in creating art is the objective. But if the viewer is captured by the beauty in a piece, then that is the ultimate goal!
I have been painting for about 20 years, but my voluntary duties in the Marine Corps and the residue from combat tours have kept me from seriously chasing my artistic calling. Following and sharing in the traditions of my late father, Navajo Code Talker Teddy Draper Sr., has been a great privilege and honor. Having this connection with him has instilled a great respect for him and all combat veterans. Seeing the horrors of war and knowing the strength, love, and courage of the Warriors on the front line and the Warriors supporting them here at home, has energized my mind and has inspired much of my work. I believe we are all Warriors and we all have a divine purpose. Protecting that sacred gift, our beliefs, our thoughts, and our dreams makes us all Warriors, PROTECTION WARRIORS.
It is a joy to have my work in public and in private collections. As long as I live, I will continue to do what I love. I am an artist and creating art is something I truly love. As a student of art, I will continue to learn new methods, work with different media, and most importantly...share the SMILES. The ultimate weapon for any Warrior!