The Homesteaders—Whitetail Deer


Michael Sieve

To capture the adventure and excitement of the hunt is to know the sportsman. To join forces in preserving and protecting habitat is to understand the conservationist. To identify the songs of the wind and relish callused hands is to appreciate the farmer. To see this combination in a painting is to view the art of Michael Sieve. Wildlife artist Michael Sieve grew up on the prairies of southwestern Minnesota. With his family running a farm, Mike and his four siblings understood early the value of hard work. As a reward his father, an excellent sportsman, took the children hunting on the lands surrounding their farm. Working on the farm and hunting with Dad provided Mike a strong foundation to build his now powerful relationship with the outdoors. That relationship has woven itself in and around nearly every aspect of Michael Sieve’s world. Sieve received his formal training in art at Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota. He studied modern abstract, impressionistic and surreal methods of painting. Despite this training, his personal style is dictated by his kinship with the outdoors. In viewing his realistically represented animals, the hunter’s perspective is evident. It is Sieve’s intent that his paintings illustrate the individuality and dignity of the subject and an appropriate, accurate setting for its habitat. To satisfy that requirement, Michael Sieve has worked diligently to obtain inspiration and reference material for his work. He is an avid photographer and has personally captured over 250,000 images. His spontaneous adventures include travels to Costa Rica, Belize and Africa, across Alaska, Canada and Mexico and throughout the United States. As he adds countries to his list of “Things To Do,” he admittedly marvels at the wonders right outside his door. Some of Sieve’s greatest inspirations come from time spent with his children, Eric, Hannah and Heather, in their own back yard. The back yard, however, is a little atypical. Sieve lives on 40 acres of land in southern Minnesota which includes thousands of transplanted trees, a wildlife water hole, areas actively managed for wildlife with selective mowing and planting, bird houses, bird feeders and a game farm with deer and wild turkey. This dedication to conservation is apparent in other avenues as well. Sieve is a member of dozens of conservation organizations. He has assisted in raising millions of dollars for wildlife rehabilitation and habitat restoration through the design of over 20 conservation stamps and prints, donating original and limited edition artwork and working on other public relations efforts. Wild Wings is pleased to represent Michael Sieve and to publish his fine work. To date, over 140 of Sieve’s original artworks have been chosen for print in limited edition form. His original paintings can be found in public and private collections throughout the world. His images have graced the covers and have been featured within some of America’s finest wildlife and nature publications. Additionally, Michael Sieve has appeared as a featured or guest artist at most major art shows in the United States.

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Over the years I have painted many whitetail deer and most of them have depicted mature, trophy class bucks. I enjoy painting big deer and I enjoy hunting them. But sadly, they are also very rare. What most of us see are yearling and two-year-old deer. This is a painting of a late fall deer herd, with more does than bucks and the bucks are young. And so, even though I usually paint big deer, the buck in this painting is the average deer, the kind of deer living in the woods and fields near our homes.