If you walked into a particular Coeur D’Alene office building at 4 a.m., you would find Western artist Tobias “Toby” Sauer already hard at work. He faces an easel, surrounded by beaded moccasins, feathered headdresses, and a bear claw necklace that hang from the walls.
Sauer began to make his own Native American accoutrements in late 2020 in order to correct inaccuracies he saw at reference photo shoots. “They would have women’s clothes on a man—and artists would paint it,” says Sauer, who conducts extensive research to ensure his creations are faithful to the cultures he depicts in his paintings. “I think, to be true to who I want to be as an artist, I have to be as accurate as possible.”
Sauer has been depicting the West and its inhabitants nearly all his life. “Art and cowboys—that’s all I could think about,” he says of his passions as a child growing up in Montana. Although he lived within the city limits of Lewiston, he still found ways to pursue his love of the cowboy life.
Read the full article in the March/April 2023 issue.
24″ by 30″
“The environment of pre-industrialized America was harsh and cruel, and men and women played important roles in each other’s survival and depended on one another. Here, all this warrior can offer to his love is his promise that he will return to her, and he’s determined to keep it.”
A Couple of Fans
24″ by 30″
“I am drawn to the subject of a lonesome cowboy at night. He has a peacefulness about him, even though he is not particularly safe. Sometimes I imagine being out there all alone as a young cowboy, trying to find something to occupy my mind and distract me from the unsettling unknown. This cowboy found that soothing the cows to sleep with a lullaby helps to calm his nerves.”