Friday, November 13, 2009

Aamsskáápipikani Pond

This is about 7" x 11" on 300lb. Fabriano Artistico 'rough' watercolor paper with a brawny deckle edge. It's got some fiber paste on it and then some Colourfix primer. I did an underpainting with gouache. The rest is about 90% pans and 10% softies.

I like the creamy water in the foreground. I don't know why.

This pic is 'after' an old 'photogravure' from the Edward S. Curtis image collection at the Library of Congress. The photo is described as "Two tepees reflected in water of pond, with four Piegan Indians seated in front of one tepee." The LC record doesn't say when or where it was taken, but the Piegan Indians are a part of the Blackfeet Nation, whose reservation is in northwestern Montana, just east of the glorious Glacier National Park.

Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868 - 1952) was a photographer in Ye Olde West, concentrating on American Indians. And was quite jaunty himself, as you can clearly see.  He is renown for his photos but also criticized for manipulating images to remove all traces of 'civilization' (see: the 'Noble Savage' concept) and for paying his subjects to pose in carefully controlled vignettes, in "inaccurate dress and costumes" and partaking in "simulated ceremonies". Still and all, he WAS mighty gosh-durn slap-mah-thigh cute.


15Nov09 ADDENDUM: Enjoyed the Kevin Locke Ensemble's 'The Drum is the Thunder, the Flute is the Wind' music, dance, and narrative presentation at the National Museum of the American Indian yesterday afternoon. The leader of the troupe's tribal affiliation and the origin of the story told in the first part of the program are both northern Plains Indian, so a nice segue from my (or to my) 'Aamsskáápipikani Pond' sketch. As well as a possible re-re-re-re-screening of the fan-fav Dances with Wolves . . . hmm.

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