Featured Artist Clement Paul Janis

Native American artist Clement Paul Janis paints bold, compelling portraits that honor his ancestral heritage. See more of his portfolio by visiting his website.


painted portrait of Sitting Bull by Clement Janis

“Sitting Bull #1″ (Honor Series) oil on canvas, 30″ x 36”


I grew up on the Crow Reservation in Montana surrounded by rich culture and traditions. I woke up to breathtaking views of the Big Horn Mountains every morning. The iconic sounds of the drum and the smells of cedar, sweetgrass and buckskin were a common occurrence to my five senses.


painted portrait of Chief Plenty Coups by Clement Janis

“Chief Plenty Coups” (Honor Series) oil on canvas, 30″ x 40″


Many times, the sweat lodge ceremonies and the three day fast in the mountains have transported my mind to the future, creating inspiration for me.


painted portrait of Chief Joseph by Clement Janis

“Chief Joseph” (Honor Series) acrylic on canvas, 48” x 36”


The series I present here I call the “Honor Series.” These images reflect my interpretation of the old ways of life by looking at these things in a new light.


painted portrait of Chief Plenty Coups by Clement Janis

“Drips of Wisdom Plenty Coups” (Honor Series) oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″


The drips of color in the shadows of negative space is the way I represent Wisdom, Honor and Courage. These are all exemplified by my Native American Indian ancestors in the past. These are portraits of rich historical figures who have books written about them. The legends that surround them still linger in the prairie today, although their way of life was forced to change.


painted portrait of Mailman-Iron Bull by Clement Janis

“Mailman-Iron Bull” (Honor Series) acrylic on canvas, 36” x 48”


My method when creating every canvas each day includes morning prayer, meditation and insight from our creator. I am a self-taught artist. I’ve learned a lot through mistakes and practice.


painted portrait of Medicine Crow Head Dress by Clement Janis

“Medicine Crow Headdress” (Honor Series) oil on canvas, 24” x 30”


In this creative state of mind, I am free to make mistakes in mixing colors, in composition, rough sketches and in the studies of our elders wearing the traditional regalia.


painted portrait of Red Cloud by Clement Janis

“Red Cloud” (Honor Series) acrylic on canvas, 24” x 30”


I work to express the wisdom held by our ancestors. This wisdom came through the greatness, understanding and appreciation of simple things such as the sunrise, sunset, water, wind, rain, and leadership, but most of all respect for Mother Earth and all the sacrifices she made through the beauty of change.


painted portrait of Whitemanrunshim by Clement Janis

“Whitemanrunshim War Paint” (Honor Series) oil on canvas, 30” x 40”


After my morning ritual of prayer and meditation, I begin a rough sketch to create both positive and negative space that interacts with one another. I see the light and shadows come to life. Form is created with highlights from old photos. I literally smell the buckskin and beadwork as the sketch comes to life.


painted portrait of Sitting Bull by Clement Janis

“Sitting Bull #2” (Honor Series) acrylic on canvas, 36” x 48”


After, I lay a burnt sienna wash over the sketch on the canvas. Now I begin to work on the puzzle of where I will place my colors. Once I get my tonal values right and have added one color and then another, I pause and light some sweetgrass to awaken my senses again.


Artist Clement Paul Janis II AKA Chip

Artist Clement Paul Janis II (aka Chip)


I am grateful for another morning to tell my stories through another painting.


Artist Clement Paul Janis invites you to follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


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  1. Cosmas makunde says

    Powerful with an inbuilt vibrancy to speak in all subtle paint swathes. A bold statement mingled in meditative echoes to evoke and inspire. You offer personal and universal recall and renewed insight. Plainly speaking real voices.

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