You have to have peace of mind to paint well and for that comfortable feeling you need to be able to pay the bills.

                               - Cecil Youngfox.

And this peace did not come early to Cecil Youngfox. He was raised in Blind River, a small community in northern Ontario. He has lived in Greenwhich Village, New York, attended Newman Theological College in Alberta and studied art in Vancouver. His art had been a spare time activity until he was able to open up a studio in Toronto and earn enough to support himself.

His works speak of his Metis heritage and his Christian upbringing. His childhood experiences and the teachings of his mother and grandparents have been amplified by his continued study of his people and the other indigenous peoples of Canada. Gracefully-curved, spidery lines and softly-coloured figures are the basis of his images. They often recall ceremonies and symbols of spirit and spirituality.

He has gained acclaim widely and his works are represented in major corporate collections in North America and he is known internationally. Though he had many works commissioned and owned by government institutions he felt that Native artists must strive to reach beyond this support to reach a wider audience and breakthrough stereotypes of Native art. To this end he returned to the North in several trips to speak to young Native students about his art and his life.

Instructions on Drumming, 1982, seriograph, 55 x 71 cm