Story Behind the Painting - Sovereignty

I have quite a funny story to share about this painting called "Sovereignty". In 2004, I was selected by the Calgary Stampede to showcase four of my paintings at their Indigenous "People of the Plains" art show, including "Sovereignty". My mom had not seen any of these paintings before I shipped them to the Stampede, and when it was time to come and pick up the paintings, she came with me to see the all artwork and enjoy the moment, since it was quite a big deal to be selected amongst all the applicants for that show.

The paintings were showcased in a big hall, with lots of different artists and artwork. As we walked into the building, I led my mom towards the area where my paintings were. From a distance she saw the Sovereignty painting and commented on how beautiful it looked. As we got closer, she just kept on going about how much she liked that one piece, the colours, the rustic look, the energy...

I wasn't sure if she was teasing me or not, but she was pointing right at "Sovereignty". I kept on walking and then stopped right in front of it, then paused and waited in silence until she finally realized that my name was on the painting! She exclaimed: "oh, you painted that one!"... we both started laughing at the situation. So funny that among all the options she had in that big hall, that is the one that caught her eye. Needless to say that this painting wasn't for sale any longer. I knew what my mom's Christmas present would be that year. She commented about it on a few occasions later that year about how much she liked that painting, and how funny that situation had been, as I told her that it had been sold. She didn't know I had sold it to myself so I could gift it to her. She was so happy when she tore the wrapping paper off it on Christmas Day that year, and it has been hanging in her bedroom since.