Painted 11 Mountie subjects between 1959-1960. Irvin “Shorty” Shope was raised on a ranch in Montana and fell under the influence of the western painter Edgar S. Paxson while still in high school. Between 1919 and 1930, Shope worked as a cowboy on Montana ranches, while studying art through a correspondence course.
Beginning in 1925, he first exhibited his paintings in Montana and received some commercial assignments. Having sold his first painting at the age of thirty, Shope returned to college, majoring in art and history. In Helena, Montana, Shope began working as a commercial artist for the state government, and at that time also spent a few months studying under the well-known illustrator Harvey Dunn at the Grand Central School of Art in New York. The eleven paintings he created for The Northwest Paper Company in 1959 and 1960 also have the look of the west about them, often featuring the Mountie with Indians, ranchers, and cattle.