As he was growing up and beginning to paint, Antowine’s greatest source of inspiration was his grandfather, a long lived and greatly honored member of the Sac and Fox tribe. “I asked him questions about everything from what kind of headdresses were worn for different ceremonies to how they rode their horses, and he would show me. And my grandmother, I’d watch her cooking around the fire when we went camping at the pow-wows, and she’d tell me some of her memories and old stories. I was lucky to have spent so much time with them.”
His close relationships with the past is evident in Warrior’s Work. “The one thing I don’t want to lose is my identity of being an Indian. I just like the enjoyment of making the past, the history of my people come alive. Indian life is being lost. The games they used to play, the hunting skills, even their language is disappearing and nobody know anything about it. Modern everyday life has taken all that away. A lot of people don’t know how to ride a horse, they don’t even want to sit down and make a pair of moccasins or beadwork or paint. They don’t care about their history. I try and bring some of that back with my paintings. I just put my whole self into them and then I don’t have to struggle. Painting is the only way I know of preserving the old ways since there are so few left who want to keep them for the Indian children later on.”
Antowine Warrior is best known for his watercolor paintings that are classics of the Plain Indian style, but he is equally at home in a full range of graphic mediums, and works with virtually all techniques. His craftsmanship also extends to traditional beadwork and sculpture. Since childhood he has been an award winning ceremonial dancer. Warrior’s works have a quiet intensity that makes them especially enjoyable. The longer you look at his work, the more you see –– and feel.