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Martin Grelle 2009

“I thank God for the ability and the opportunities He has given me, and I hope I can continue to grow and learn more with each finished painting. I am honored by everyone who collects my work, and I will always strive to create artwork worthy of their attention, and their investment.� - Martin Grelle

Running With The Elk-Dogs January 2010 Release

Bob Scriver, in his book, “No More Buffalo”, tells with a fictional story how the Blackfeet described the first horses that they saw. Some said they looked like the elk, being about the same size & color, and others had seen them in distant Indian camps being used to pull the travois - like the dogs that were used by the Blackfeet. So, according to the story, they called them “Ponokah-Eemetah” in their language, which translates to Elk-Dog in English. To quote from Bob Scriver, “After the horse was obtained and its many uses became apparent, a whole new way of life evolved which came to be known as the Horse Culture. Acquisition of the horse helped make the Plains Indians into the freest people the world has ever known. They became mobile in war; their garments, their dwellings and their food were more easily obtained; their personal belongings and their religious bundles became much more expansive. In the opinion of many, mankind reached its zenith with the combination of the Plains Indian and the horse. Having little or no government, they lived the rich, free, unfettered life so many modern people yearn for.” I have tried in the painting to celebrate the freedom & excitement of “RUNNING WITH THE ELK-DOGS”.

Grande Edition Giclée on Canvas 48” x 60” 35 $2750 2

Giclée on Canvas 32” x 40” 150 SN $1750 15 AP $2000

Eagle Prayer March 2009 Release

A Crow (Apsaalooke) hunter raises his hand in prayer to the eagle as they pause on their late winter journey through what would become known as Jackson Hole. The eagle typified courage, quickness, & strength to the Native American, and was prayed to in order to receive those abilities. Perhaps in his vision quest he had received the eagle as his spiritual guide, and he is asking the eagle for help as they travel in search of elk. The idea for this painting came from a trip to Jackson, Wyoming. As I hiked in parts of the area, with virtually no other human around, I was struck by the activity of the wildlife - coming upon elk, moose, bison, coyotes, ducks, geese, and an eagle - and of the silence broken only by the sounds they made.

Grande Edition Giclée on Canvas 48” x 60” 35 $2750

Giclée on Canvas 32” x 40” 150 SN $1750 15 AP $2000 3

Trappers in the Wind Rivers May 2009 Release (cover detail)

The setting for the painting is a few miles west of the Wind River, and northeast of the Wind River Range of mountains in what is now west-central Wyoming. The time period is early April of 1833. After having been in winter camp for months, two free-trappers have begun the spring harvest on a small stream where they have discovered a beaver lodge. They have begun the task of setting traps, which includes placing dried wooden stakes a few feet from the bank to which the chain of the trap itself is attached. They have removed their coats to keep them dry, but have left their leggings on as protection from the still frigid waters. In their busy-ness, they have let 3 Indians approach to a close distance unnoticed, and must now deal with the circumstances. The Indians are Crow, or Apsaalooka, and chances are it will be a peaceful encounter, followed by a night of keeping watch over their livestock - as the Crow are well-known for their horse-stealing abilities. A few months later, in July, the annual rendezvous was held on the other side of the mountains at the junction of Green River and Horse Creek. It is said that more than 165 packs of beaver pelts were traded at that rendezvous Grande Edition Giclée on Canvas 44” x 56” 35 $2750 4

Giclée on Canvas 30” x 38” 150 SN $1750 15 AP $2000

Newlyweds July 2009 Release

During the time of the Fur Trade era centered in the Rocky Mountains of the American West, it was a common practice for the trappers to take Indian girls for wives. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement, not only for obvious reasons, but because the Indian girls could look forward to receiving many material things from their white husbands that they might not be provided with otherwise, and for the man, a companion capable of cooking, cleaning & tanning hides, making clothes, keeping camp, etc. The wedding was a simple affair, usually involving the exchange of a number of items of value by the trapper to the parents of the girl. Items traded included horses, trinkets such as beads, cloth, & knives, and trade blankets. In the painting, the gifts have been accepted by the parents, the girl has been given to the trapper, and the newlyweds are beginning their life together by the traditional wrapping of a blanket (buffalo robes were also used) around them both, and running to their own lodge or camp.

“Newlyweds” is Personal Commission. Orders will be accepted until the June 30, 2009 deadline when edition sizes will be set. Edition sizes for this Giclée on Canvas will not exceed 125 Signed and Numbered, 15 Artist Proofs and 25 Signed and Numbered Grande Edition.

Grande Edition Giclée on Canvas 40” x 32” TBD $1750

Giclée on Canvas 30” x 24” TBD SN $950 TBD AP $1100


Camp Meat and Mules September 2009 Release

Two Crow (Apsaalooke) warriors/hunters are returning to a winter’s camp, with two mules they’ve “acquired” from some unlucky trappers, as well as fresh meat -- packed on the stolen mules and a packhorse, and covered with the fresh robes, which will be fleshed & tanned. Tonight the camp will have fresh-roasted meat, and tales of the hunters’ heroics.

Grande Edition Giclée on Canvas 40” x 54” 35 $2750


Giclée on Canvas 32” x 45” 150 SN $1750 15 AP $2000

Crows in the Yellowstone November 2009 Release

I’ve gone through Yellowstone National Park a number of times over the years, and I am always in awe of the beauty of the area. The inspiration for this painting is Lewis Falls, one of the easiest things to see in the park. Three Crow (Apsaalooke) are crossing below the falls, and the youngest of the party has turned to look above the falls - the question, and actually, the story, is what or who stirred up the birds (which happen to be crows) that are flying above the trees? Sometimes, like in old movies, the unseen danger lets us imagine much more than the obvious.

Giclée on Canvas 36” x 40” 150 SN $1750 15 AP $2000


Martin Grelle Whether painting the Native Americans in a dramatic, picturesque setting, or the American cowboy in the dusty cattle-working pens, Martin Grelle captures the spirit, beauty, and vastness of the West in his historically-accurate, compelling images. Grelle studies diligently to portray the diverse cultures of the American West accurately and with sensitivity. His knowledge of the cowboy’s way of life, gained from his time spent horseback on ranches during the annual Cowboy Artists of America’s (CAA) trail ride, as well as the time spent with local ranchers and friends, is evident in his contemporary cowboy paintings. The many hours spent in museums, at historical re-enactments, in visiting with experts on Native American culture, and reading from his extensive library, have helped him to bring his vision of the Plains Indian culture to life on canvas.


relle was born while his family lived on a small farm a few miles from the small, Central Texas town of Clifton, which he still calls home today. This beautiful and historic area has become a mecca for artists, including many of Grelle’s close friends. Many of them, including Grelle, teach annual workshops through a local art facility known as the Bosque Conservatory, which has a national presence. Grelle treasures this feeling of community, and the opportunities it has afforded him. The artist’s talents were evident as a child and he began painting at an early age. Luckily for the budding painter, acclaimed Western artists James Boren and Melvin Warren had settled in the same area while he was in school. With excellent guidance from James Boren, a full-time artist was born in his early twenties. Now, for more than 30 years Grelle has made a career of his art, and has won awards of both regional and national importance. In 1995, he was elected to the Cowboy Artists of America, and he is one of the younger active members. He is currently serving his second term on the board of directors for that organization, and participates in the Annual CAA Exhibition and Sale at the Phoenix Art Museum each October. Grelle won the CAA People’s Choice Award in 2002, for his painting Monarchs of the North, and the Ray Swanson Memorial Award in 2008, for his painting Newlyweds. He has also been privileged to participate in other major juried shows across the United States. Included in that list are the Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition and Sale at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, which he has participated in each year since 1995, the Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition & Sale at the Autry National Center, and the inaugural Quest for the West Exhibition & Sale at the Eiteljorg Museum. Awards of merit include the Prix de West Purchase Award, which he won in 2002 for his painting Teller of Tales, and again in 2005, for his painting Two Coups, making him one of only 6 artists to have won the top award twice. Grelle has also won twice the Nona Jean Hulsey Ramsey Buyer’s Choice Award at Prix de West, first in 2004 with Signs Along the Snake, and again in 2006, for Dust in the Distance. The artist is represented by Overland Gallery of Fine Art, in Scottsdale, Arizona, where a one-man show is held for Grelle each March. The 2008 show marked Grelle’s 20th anniversary one-man show with the gallery. The artist has been profiled in a number of publications, including the magazines Art of the West, Western Art Collector, Southwest Art, Western Art & Architecture, Persimmon Hill, American Cowboy, Western Horseman, Wild West, and InformArt. His work has also been showcased on the covers of many of these publications.

© Copyright Somerset Fine Art 2009