The work of Kirby Sattler is fueled by an inherent interest in the Indigenous Peoples of the Earth. His current images evolve from the history, ceremony, mythology, and spirituality of the Native American. Sattler's ultra-detailed interpretations examine the inseparable relationship between the Indian and his natural world, reflecting a culture that had no hard line between the sacred and the mundane. Each painting functions on the premise that all natural phenomena have souls independent of their physical beings. Under such a belief, the wearing of sacred objects were a source of spiritual power. Any object - a stone, a plait of sweet grass, a part of an animal, the wing of a bird, could contain the essence of the metaphysical qualities identified to the objects and desired by the Native American. The acquisition of "Medicine" or spiritual power was central to lives on the Indian. It provided the conduit to the unseen forces of the universe.

The artist sates, "I attempt to give the viewer of my work a sense of what these sacred objects meant to the wearer; when combined with the proper ritual or prayer there would be a transference of identity. More than just aesthetic adornment, it was an outward manifestation of their identity and their inter-relatedness with their natural world."

At first glance, you're so struck by the incredible detail and authenticity that you might assume that Sattler's primary objective is to create a historically accurate portrayal of his subject. Wrong. Although he is meticulous about creating a true-to-life depiction of the clothing, artifacts and cultural traditions of the North Plains Native Americans, Sattler is more concerned with capturing a sense of spirituality and reverence. " I don't care if people like it or dislike it, as long as they have a reaction to it," he explains. Although his familiarity with the Northern Plains tribes might suggest to some that Sattler is a Native American, he is not. He doesn't pretend to be a Native American and doesn't claim to understand the issues they face. Although he recognizes the boundaries that separate him from his subjects, his appreciation and respect for the Native American culture is no less genuine. He admires the "inter relatedness they have with the environment and their reverence for nature".

Sattler has developed his painting into a distinctive style of realism, the methodology involves the painstaking layering of multiple under paintings with transparent washes. People will come up and actually touch the canvas, thinking the feather is going to move. This technique results in canvases that are rich in defined textures and surfaces. With the tediousness of each work, he produces a very limited number of paintings each year. Collectors have had to exercise patience in obtaining new works.