Terry Yazzie


Terry Yazzie

Group: S. Conine
1764 E Pioneer Rd.

My artwork revolves around the designs and elements of the Southwest and ranges from watercolor paintings, watercolor on sandstone, carving on a tufa or limestone and acrylic on canvas. With my watercolor paintings I often focus on the landscape around the Navajo reservation. I include hogans, the every day living style of the Diné people and animals that are sacred such as horses or sheep. By creating these images, I hope to connect visitors with the land and help them better understand the lives that live upon Diné-tah.

My sandstone paintings include animals found round the reservation such as ravens, horses, or insects such as dragonflies. Some of my most popular sandstone paintings have kokopelli’s and Navajo healers, also called Yes Bei Cheii’s. I include these healers in my paintings to show my appreciation and respect I have for these medicine men. My carving on the tufa or limestone is one of my favorite works of art. The tools I use to carve are all homemade and their uniqueness helps me create these carvings to perfection. I also include horses, hummingbirds, elk, deer, buffalo, and many other animals. Many of my carvings may take up to 2 weeks to complete depending on the size and details. When I have the silhouette of the animal completed, I add ruins to the carving along with petroglyphs inspired by the ones in Canyon De Chelly.

My limestone carvings symbolize the lives of the Anasazi people that dwelled in the canyon walls many years before the Navajo people. All of my stones I carve and paint on are all dug up and found around the Navajo land. My acrylic on canvas are similar to my watercolor paintings including landscape, animals, and sacred beings to the Navajo people. With acrylic, my paintings are very vibrant and expressive. As you can see, all of my art revolves around the traditions and lifestyle of the Diné people.

I am inspired by what surrounds me. I paint these things so my viewers can better understand and respect that my traditions and lifestyle. I want to show them that these sacred items and the traditions are worth protecting. There is beauty in everything, from the land to the smallest of animals and I express that in my art.