Harley Brown Gallery

Painting By Artist Harley Brown

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Painting By Artist Harley Brown. James Dean. Art Talk. There are essentially two values bringing out his physical features. Close to that same darkvalue in background. Colors simple. It all is based on getting dramatic design and features right. you can sense him thinking.....pondering. We seek to understand the complexities of art but also at times bring it to the basics. Like some famous melodies in music being just a few brilliantly arranged notes. -Harley “James Dean” Pastel by Harley Brown James Dean #harleybrown #art #jamesdean #arttalk #pastel

Harley Brown was raised in the Canadian town of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. In his teen years, he and his family moved to the great “Stampede” city of Calgary, Alberta. It was there he went to the Alberta College of Fine Art and began to draw and paint the Old West. He also played the honky-tonk piano in an eccentric Calgary nightclub.

He has been a member of the National Academy of Western Art since 1977 and has acquired numerous awards in a number of national art events.

Eager to share his knowledge, Harley Brown has conducted hundreds of invariably sold-out workshops and demonstrations in the US and abroad. He has illustrated many magazine covers and authored numerous articles on art techniques, as well as his best selling books, “Confessions of a Starving Artist”, “Harley Brown’s Eternal Truth for Every Artist” and “Harley Brown’s Inspiration for Every Artist”.

His regular column and insightful Bon mots can be seen in International Artist magazine.


Harley Brown is a Canadian painter best known for his depictions of Native Americans in traditional dress. Painting in a realistic style with loose brushwork, Brown manages to maintain a strong attention to detail with the ability to capture the likeness of his subjects with a lively and colorful palette.

Born in 1939 in Edmonton, Canada, Brown went on to study at the Alberta College of Art in Calgary followed by the Camberwell School of Art in England. After returning to his home country, the artist met Bob Morgan, the curator of the Montana State Historical Society, where he subsequently had a solo show.

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Brown is a member of the Northwest Rendezvous Artists, the National Association of Watercolor Artists, the Oil Painters of America, and the Cowboy Artists of America. He lives and works in Tucson, AZ.

Harley Brown is a man of many faces.

He is Canadian. He has a Russian alter ego. He was an English expatriate. But above all else, he is an artist.
He is an artist of magazine illustrations and an artist of words inside three best-selling books. However, he is mostly known for being an artist of portraits that capture the faces of American Indians.

Inspired by bands of American Indians who lived down his street in his native Saskatchewan, a prairie province in Canada, Brown found “such interesting faces with their cheekbones, and some of the older guys with the extremely dramatic faces that they have with the noses and the lips.”

Finding their history “such a great mystery that we still have as part of our culture,” he says he was eventually drawn to the powerful aura of Sitting Bull, the Lakota Sioux holy man who had led his band to exile in Saskatchewan in 1877. Brown gained notoriety when his portrait of Sitting Bull set a record for the artist in 2008 when it sold at the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction for a $30,000 bid, twice its estimation.

Like most artists, though, it took years of dedication, sketching and begging before Brown found success in the Western art world.

“They kicked me out of art school,” Brown admits. “At that point, I said to myself, as I was standing outside the school, crying, ‘Well, I’m not going to work for a living…. If I do make money, or I don’t make money, I’m going to do art. And nothing else.”

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With a pocketful of dimes and living on a gas station credit card in Helena, Montana, he peddled his art at restaurants, galleries and frame shops, but no one seemed interested in his work.

“In the last moment I went to the State Historical Society, which is a big deal,” Brown says. “I thought, ‘I got nothing to lose,’ went in there and showed my work to the curator.”
He walked out with an offer to be the first living artist shown at the institution in a one-man exhibit. His work sold out.

For the July’s centennial celebration of the Calgary Stampede, Brown has earned the prestige of creating an original drawing for the event’s poster. He painted it to connect the history of the stampede to today’s younger generation.

Looking ahead to the future, when people come across his art, it’s not his face that he wants remembered.
“I hope they see, number one, the person,” Brown says. “That’s what it’s about. I want them to see who I’m painting. That person, that individual, the life in that person brought to life.”

Canadian Artist Harley Brown Painting
Canadian Artist Harley Brown Painting


Harley Brown Website | via facebook.com | via: artnet.com