Isaac Bignell

The Cree painter, Isaac Bignell (1958-1995), grew up at the junction of the Saskatchewan and Pasquia Rivers, four hundred miles north of Winnipeg Manitoba.  Primarily a self-taught painter, he was influenced by Benjamin Chee Chee and Clemence Wescoupe and eventually developed his own style of sponge painting, creating wildlife images distinguished by flowing lines. His work is very popular, and many of his images have been made into prints and cards.  His community had been a meeting place for early aboriginal peoples for thousands of years. Isaac said, "I was brought up to live off the hunt, trap and live in harmony with the earth. That life taught me to respect animals and the spirit and power of nature. My art is strongly influenced by the traditional ways of my people."  Isaac worked through various techniques until he developed a distinct fluid style that speaks of the spiritual foundation behind the imagery.  He also loved to dance and was associated with numerous native drum and dance groups.  Isaac Bignell died at the age of 37 years from the effects of a concussion after falling down a flight of stairs. He was the devoted father of three.  Isaac's presence lives on through well known first nations artists Russel Noganosh, who apprenticed under Isaac in 1979, and Garnet Tobacco, who includes Isaac as one of his artistic influences.

acrylic on paper
11" X 30"

Loon Family
acrylic on paper
20" X 15"