Native Americans are masters at the use of color to convey spiritual significance. Vibrant colors bring traditional designs, symbols and costumes alive with special meaning. North, for example, is designated as yellow, because the evening in winter is yellow. West is blue for the Pacific Ocean. South, the region of summer, is red, while East is white, signifying the dawn. An artist who has developed a national reputation for her unique use of electrically charged colors, Maria Ryan has combined her distinctive palette with the imagery of “fetish bears” ? believed to represent strength, courage and good luck ? in a design that embodies the essence of Native Art. For 30 years Maria Ryan worked hard to establish a style uniquely her own, and the list of accomplishments and awards she received for her art along the way is extensive. Her paintings have been exhibited in art galleries both here and abroad, and she was featured in the book, Wildlife Art: 60 contemporary Masters and their Work. Over the past six years, her stunning original designs for The Trail of Painted Ponies have enhanced her reputation.