Averi’s Process

Creativity In Motion

Working with oils, acrylics, pencil, and charcoal, Averi brings paintings to life.

Montana Artist Averi Iris holds two paintbrushes outstretched toward the viewer.

Inspired by everything around her

"Inspiration isn't just personal; it's unexpected. I stay open to beautiful things, places, and experiences — and when you look for beauty, you start to see it everywhere. For me, it might be the sky at sunset, or the glowing light on the side of a mountain, or the way a bear cub nestles into the safety of its mother. It might also be something out of the blue, even in urban environments — like a funky-colored car parked up against a painted building, or a pop of pink in a bouquet of flowers. It could be anything. But when you see it, you know, because it makes you feel something."

Once the painting begins

Artist Averi Iris holds her hands up to show her fingers covered in paint.

"I'm either painting something with sentimental or personal meaning or painting something that I find especially beautiful or fascinating — my subject matter ranges from things with visual appeal, to causes whose messages need to be seen or heard. When I paint people, places, or animals that I know others have their own connection to, I know there's a tenderness there, so my hope is to be both very respectful to the subject matter as well as to those who have known or loved them.

Averi Iris holds her paint palette in a field of flowers.

I begin with the uniqueness of the subject, and I love the adventure of bringing it to life — where does the piece want to go? Sometimes, I shift gears partway through a painting, creating a new sweep of background or new palette, starting fresh. I incorporate bright, highly saturated colors, intertwining them with a balance of more neutral or realistic tones. The sky is always something I'll make my own, adding colors, adding my own twist on things. That's something I love — otherwise, what's the difference between a painting and a picture?"

For Averi, in a sense, the process is ongoing and unending, as she hopes each painting takes on a life of its own in the eyes of the viewer.

 "I don't want my work to be something that just fills the space on the wall. I want it to matter to you. I want you to make your own meaning."

Previous Work in Progress.
Previous Work in Progress.
Previous Work in Progress.
Previous Work in Progress.
Previous Work in Progress.
Previous Work in Progress.
Previous Work in Progress.
Previous Work in Progress.
Previous Work in Progress.
Previous Work in Progress.
Previous Work in Progress.
Previous Work in Progress.

"The Stories Inside"

"Crazy Horse/ Red Cloud"


"True Colors"

This painting was completed by Averi when she was just 15, during April of 2020, the Covid-19 quarantine, to honor those struggling with suicidal thoughts and mental illness, in memory of her cousin, Casey.The piece depicts a single bison approaching the viewer, his flanks brushed with spectacular blue and pink hues. Behind him stands a herd of five other bison — his family.

"Palouse"

Completed by Averi at the age of 14. A beautiful Appaloosa horse, attentively looking at the viewer with curiosity. Feathers are tied into its white-black mane. The Palouse is the original name given to the Appaloosa, a breed developed by the Nez Perce people of Central Idaho and Eastern Washington. These horses are still prized for their speed and endurance.

"Off the Hook"

Painted in 2019 by 14-year-old Averi, this piece captures a hungry grizzly bear ready to snap up its next meal. Within the bear’s fur and the salmon’s scales flash rainbows of vibrant turquoise, red, and royal blue. Each year, hopeful bears preparing for hibernation wait along riverbanks, shallows, and above rapids, as intrepid fish make their pilgrimages upstream to spawn.

"Nuzzled"

“Nuzzled” portrays a mother bison tenderly caressing her trusting calf, the two leaning into one another with softness and trust. The pair stand among the sunkissed grasses of late summer, and true-to-life fur of the bison cow bleeds into the vibrant, purple-blue-and-gold kaleidoscope painted upon her sleepy calf by the long rays of the setting sun. The Bison Range, managed by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Northwest Montana, helps to restore and preserve the relationship between the land’s indigenous people and the bison that have been integral to their survival since time immemorial. Vibrant hues evoke the warm-cool contrast of sunset in Montana’s Bison Range.

"Beyond"