Sunday, December 26, 2010

Santa Fe #1

Santa Fe #1, oil on linen, 36 x 36

This is a continuation of my Logo series. It has the Santa Fe Railroad logo in the background with a sepia colored American Indian in the foreground.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gallery 822 Santa Fe Christmas show


Daughter, 16 x 20, oil on linen

I'll be taking this new painting to Gallery at 822 Canyon Road for their Christmas Show. The artist's reception will be Dec 24, 5-8pm. I hope to see you there.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Santa Fe - Work in Progress

Santa Fe, 36 x 36, work in progress

The Logo is, of course, from the Santa Fe train line. Not much to look at yet. I've blocked in most of the back ground. I'm currently working on a non-western painting so this painting won't be completed for a while

Monday, November 22, 2010

Miniature Show in Santa Fe - Gallery 822

Crow Medicine, 10 x 8, oil on board.

I hope to see you this Friday, Nov 26 at Gallery 822 on Canyon Road, Santa Fe for the annual miniature show. The artist reception is 5:00 - 8:00.

Stop by, say hello and buy someone a gift of art.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Snake Dancer

Snake Dancer, 6 x 6, oil on cradled panel

The Snake Dance is a petition for rain, in which snakes serve as the supernatural messengers to the divine. The dance takes place in late summer when the rain is needed for the maturation of the corn.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Season to Dance- American Indian

Season to Dance 16 x 20, oil on linen

During the Cheyenne Sun Dance the Sacred Woman is painted 4 different ways during the ceremony. This is the First Paint. The white paint is a prayer that she may live to an old age, the time of white hair. The black line represents the straight road that leads to The Supreme Being.

Shalako Mana - Corn Maiden

Shalako Mana, 8 x 10, oil on Board © K. Henderson

The Shalako Mana is a deity representing the Corn Maiden and is believed to direct the clouds to the Hopi mesas.In the typical fashion she has terraced bodies representing rain clouds on her head and curved lines over her mouth.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sacred Fool - Koshare

Sacred Fool, oil on canvas, 24 x 36

Sacred Fool is yet another name for a Pueblo Indian Sacred Clown. These clowns participate in ceremonies trivializing important matters & exaggerating trivial events. Their purpose is to show how NOT to behave. They are teachers and keepers of tradition

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Red Indian

Red Indian, oil and gold leaf on linen, 30 x 40

And now for something completely different. This is the 3rd in a series of paintings using the logo of the Indian motorcycle. I was inspired by a red gas tank with gold lettering.

I like the contrast between the bright contemporary background and the more traditional and subdued colors of the American Indian figure.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sundown - cowboy

Sundown, 36 x 30, SOLD

This Cowboy just found a new home. I enjoyed painting the colorful clouds at sundown.

The Cowboy is wearing the typical regalia of hat, vest, and pocket watch

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cowboy's Sweetheart

Cowboy's Sweetheart, 20 x 30, oil on linen

I worked on the faces again. I think this is it. I couldn't decide if I should leave it as a sepia tone painting or if I should layer on some color.

What do you think?

Cowboy's Sweetheart - Work in progress 5

Cowboy's Sweetheart, work in progress

Almost there

Monday, October 4, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Cowboy's Sweetheart - Work in Progress 2

Cowboy's Sweetheart
, work in progress, day 2.
Today I continued working on the faces and hats of the left and center figure as well as applying the first layer of paint to the left figure's clothing.
When I do an underpainting like this, I start my mixing about 6 values of paint. These are not very precise mixtures. I do this just to make things go faster.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cowboy's Sweetheart - Work in progress

Cowboy's Sweetheart, Work in progress
I had a few folks asked me to post images of my work in progress so here it it.

FirstI draw the image on tracing paper the size of the canvas. Then, with carbon paper, I transfer the image to the canvas.

I start my paintings in different ways, depending on the subject and the colors. In this case I'm starting with a monochromatic (raw umber and white)underpainting. This is the results of 1 day's work

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Recent Question - Eagle Feathers

I recently had someone ask this question:

Q.I think the feathers in some of your paintings seem to be too large in relation to the man or woman's size. My eagle feathers aren't that big. Just wondering. By the way I think you're beautiful so this is kind of a backward compliment.

A.I always thought that I was exaggerating the size of the feathers (artistic license, LOL) but take a look at this photo I recently came across) WOW! Those are some feathers! Can you imagine the size of that bird?

Any other question? I'll be happy to give my opinion

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bon Voyage Hummingbirds

If you've been following me on Facebook, you know that I've been feeding the hummingbirds this summer. After over 140 lbs of sugar they are finally thinning out and making there way to sunny Mexico , Guatemala and there about.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Plains Indian Bladder Bag

Plains Indian Bladder Bag
, 10 x 9, oil on board © K. Henderson

In the past, no part of a harvested animal went to waste. Bags like this were made from the bladder of an elk or deer. They could be highly decorated with quillwork and beads and might be carried on a belt. They were used to carry Quills or other small maker supplies and other small objects.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Crow Medicine - American Indian

Crow Medicine, oil on board, 10 x 8,  © K Henderson

The use of animals parts was a way to connect man with the the Spirit World. Using the talon of a hawk or eagle was a prayer to give the warrior the ability to strike his enemy as successfully as the bird strikes it's prey

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Successful art show!

Quiet of the Moon, 30 x 30, oil on canvas

I'm pleased to announce that all participating artists in Gallery 822's annual Indian Market show enjoyed success. Large crowds attended the openings and art work was sold.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Indian Market Group show at Gallery 822, Santa Fe

When We Dream, 30 x 40, oil on linen

If you will be in Santa Fe for Indian Market next weekend, please be sure and stop by The Gallery at  822 on Canyon Road. 

All 14 of the gallery's artists will have new work. Most of them will be at the Artists Reception on Friday, Aug 20 5pm - 8pm. Stop by and say hello.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Since 1901 - American Indian

Since 1901, 30 x 40, oil on linen.

I really enjoyed creating the painting 'Indian' based on the logo for the Indian Motorcycle, so I painted this second, larger one.

This one shows an American Indian wearing a feathered headdress as the Indian in the logo.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Spirit War - Ghost Shirt

Spirit War, 30 x 40, oil on canvas

American Indian prophet, Wovoka, began the Ghost Dance religion in an attempt to bring peace between the Indians and the Whites. It brought together element of Paiute, Christian, Shaker and Mormon religions.  From the latter, Wavoka made use of the Mormon Endowment Robe, a robe "emblazoned with sacred symbols… reputed to protect the wearer from Satan and physical harm"

The Ghost Shirt is painted with symbols as a prayer to ask for natures help in restoring Peace and Abundance. The shirt was also said to protect the wearer from bullets.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Indian - American Indian

Finally, a new painting!

Indian, 22 x 28, oil on canvas

Indian was painted in honor of America's Pioneer Motorcycle, The Indian, which was first manufactured in 1901.

With this painting I am revisiting a series of artwork I did several years ago which included  figures along with product logos using American Indian images in the background 

Monday, July 19, 2010

To the Victor - American Indian

To The Victor, 36 x 30, oil on canvas

This painting shows a Plains Indian with a half-painted face wearing eagel feathers, a beaded shirt with Hair Drops and carrying a shield

Hair Drops are tufts of hair used to decorate shirts, leggings, robes and other items, It is said that they were first made from scalp hair but later horse hair was substituted

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Heart of Courage - American Indian

Heart of Courage, 36 x 36, oil on linen.

We've all seen old photos of American Indians in uniforms.There are many reasons for that. Of course we remember the scene from Dances with Wolves where the 'discarded' coat was pick up and became the possession of the new owner. 

After a battle useful items would be taken including clothing. Not only was it practical but the items would be a sign of Victory.

Surplus military clothing was also given to the Indians when there were put on reservations.

And most importantly, lets not forget that the American Indians have fought in every war that this country has had.

Happy Independence Day everyone

Friday, July 2, 2010

July Newsletter

Newsletter July 2010

Summer in the Sacramento Mountains lasts for about 30 day. We call it Summer, other folks call it June. The Monsoon season has started, cool weather and rain have returned. For those of you wanting to escape the heat of OK, TX or AZ think about coming to our New Mexico mountains

American Indian
Amulets and Talisman

This month I'm concentrating on a new series of small 8 x 10 oil paintings using amulets and talismans as my subject matter. Each piece is researched for historical accuracy and I provide the story behind each painting which can be seen on my blog.
I have completed 2 paintings and as each is finished they are posted on My Blog

I find the history of these small pieces very interesting and I hope you do too.
Greeley Stampede Western Art Show

You still have a few days left to see the Greeley Stampede Western Art show. It runs through July 4th

 Aug looks like it will be a busy month. Stay tuned for updates
Please go to my website to see information about the galleries that represent me

Subscribe to my Cowboy and Indian blog and you will be the first to see my new paintings and hear about upcoming shows
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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Assiniboine Amulet - American Indian

Assiniboine Amulet, 8 x 10, oil on canvas

Small leather medicine pouches or amulets were made by the Plains Indians and worn around the neck or attached to clothing or shields. These bags could be plain or decorated with beads, shells etc. It's what was inside the bag that was most important. These small bags would contain protection, luck, and healing power. Stones, feathers, metal, animals claws or teeth, and herbs may be placed in these bags. Each was personal to its owner and would contain items that were significant to the individual. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Time Passes - Greeley Stampede

Time Passes, 12 x 9, oil on canvas

This is one of the five paintings I have for sale at the Greeley Stampede Western Art show. The show in Greeley CO starts today June 25 and ends July 4th

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Eagle Medicine - American Indian

Eagle Medicine, 12 x 9, oil on canvas. 

I've been painting some large and complicated paintings lately and felt the need to paint something small.

This is a beaded amulet that would be worn as a necklace or in the hair. It could also be attached to a shield or a shirt. The Eagle talons were used as means to be connected with the eagle who was a messenger to the spirit world.

See more of my workon my website

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Greeley Stampede Western Art Show

Three Horses, 18 x 24, oil on canvas

If you are around Greeley, CO June 25th - July 4th stop by the Western Art Show.  I will have 5 paintings in the show.

The Art Show is open every day of the Stampede, and is free to the public. Children must be accompanied by an adult, but are encouraged to see the fantastic art on display. The Opening Night Gala will be held on Thursday, June 24th in the evening and many of the artists will be in attendance. Tickets are just $40 per person ($50 at the door) and can be purchased through the Stampede box office at 970-356-7787.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Time of Honor- mandan headdress

A Time of Honor, 36 x 30, oil on canvas

This modern day American Indian is wearing a Mop Top, Feathered Hat or also called Mandan Headdress. The origin of this hat comes from the Dog Men or Dog Soldiers The Dog Soldier was a common society amongst most of the Northern Plains tribes throughout the 18th century. As most societies which exsisted, it was exclusive to those who proved their worth both on and off the battlefield. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

We are the Dreamer of Dreams American Indian

We are the Dreamer of Dreams, 36 x 36, oil on canvas

I created this painting in 1999. It appeared in South West Art magazine that same year. I still get phone calls about it. I wish all my paintings were this popular.

What do you think makes me stand out from my other work? I have no idea. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We Must Walk the Path - American Indian Moccasins

We Must Walk the Path, 8 x 10, oil on board

These beaded and quilled moccasins are trimmed with red Trade Cloth. This wool was originally used in trade by the fur traders to obtain beaver pelts from the American Indians

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Heart Fears Nothing - American Indian

The Heart Fears Nothing, 40 x 30, oil on canvas

American Indians painted their faces for many reasons: Protection from the sun, ceremonial, personal recognition and others

Here, he wears white paint, white being the color of light, life and the Southeast - where the Sun rises with life-renewing power. The heavy white paint or clay is a prayer for long life.

The lines of flesh represent the straight roads that lead to the Great Spirit

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Gallery 822 - Show opening

Sings with the Eagle, oil on linen, 20 x 30

Hope to see you at The Gallery at 822 Canyon Road, Santa Fe this Friday May 07, 2010, 5-8 pm. I'll be there with the other gallery artists. Lots of New work

Friday, April 30, 2010

Ration Ticket Bag - American Indian

Ration Ticket Bag, 9 x 12, oil on canvas

Beaded pouches, rectangular in shape, decorated with tinkling cones or fringe and having short flaps, were used through the 1800's  to carry a strike-a-light steel, a flint, matches and often ration coupons

With each treaty signed between the Indian tribes and the US Government, rations of food were promised. The usual practise was to give each head of family a ration ticket, with the number of rations he was entitled to, at the start of each quarter. These were presented to the agency warehouse each Saturday, the ticket was punched and rations were given out.

The rationed varied over time but often consisted of beef, flour and pork with the occasional coffee sugar,  soap and tobacco. 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Quilled moccasins- American Indian

Quilled Moccasins, 9 x 12, oil on canvas

Porcupine quillwork is an art form completely unique to North America. Before the introduction of glass beads, quillwork was a major decorative element used by the peoples who resided in the porcupine's natural habitat.

In regions where the porcupine was not found, quills generally became a significant trade item.Although it was the practice to use the quills from porcupines, it was not an uncommon practice to use bird quills.
Quills were often dyed red, yellow, green, purple and orange.To get these colors, the quills are soaked in moss, roots, berries, herbs and other plants.

This painting is available from me for the next week. If you are interested in purchasing it please Contact me

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ball and Cone Earrings - American Indians

Ball and Cone, 18 x 24, oil on linen

The ear bob, also known as the ball and cone earring, was the most popular form of earring during the fur trade, and possibly the most popular item of the fur trade. The ear bob was made of a hollow two-part soldered ball suspended on a wire that pierced the ear, with a cone suspended underneath. It was not uncommon to see a Native American with ten or more ear bobs in each ear.(from

Friday, March 26, 2010

When the Moon Rises - American Indian

When the Moon Rises, 36 x 30, oil on canvas

I have many, many books on the American Indian which I use as references for my paintings. The shirt in this painting is based on a photograph taken by Carl Moon in 1910.

This painting is available from me, K. Henderson Studio for the next week or so.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hano Clown - American Indian

Hano Clown is oil on canvas, 20 x 30.
The Hano Clown, also known as a koshari, wears a black and white head dress with horns made of sheepskin. The horns are stuffed with grass and have cornhusk tassels at the tips. Tufts of cornhusks are also worn at the ears.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rides with the Sun - American Indian

 Rides with the Sun, oil on canvas, 20 x 30.

This painting can be seen at Miller Gallery's  show 50 Years-50 Artists-50 Paintings
A 50th Anniversary Celebration of Artistic Diversity

The year 2010 marks Miller Gallery's 50th Anniversary. The show dates are February 26 – March 14, 2010. The gallery is located in Cincinnati, OH

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hides from the Spirit - American Indian

Hides from the Spirit, 18 x 24, oil on linen

American Indians painted their faces for decorative purposes and for protection against the wind, sun, snow and insects. Designs of various kinds were used to designate membership in certain societies, to prepare for ceremonies, to mark achievement and to mourn the dead. When used for personal ornamentation there was no guide to the way the paint should be applied beyond the fancy of the wearer or for personal identification.

If a warrior had his face painted when he went on a raid into an enemies camp, he would change the face paint after the raid so the spirits of the dead would not recognize him and follow the warrior back to camp.

To see more of my work please click here to view K.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Summer Koshari - American Indian

Summer Koshari is oil on canvas, 24 x 36

Although the majority of my American Indian paintings are portraits of the Plains Indians, I also love painting the Pueblo Koshari.

They are a Hopi Clown that perform during spring and summer rituals. As a Sacred Clown, they are the keeper of tradition and values. Although their purpose is to amuse, the humor often pokes fun at individuals, leaders and attitudes that seem aberrant to the tribe.

Find out more about Hopi Clowns in the book Clowns of the Hopi: Tradition Keepers and Delight Makers By Barton Wright

This painting is available at K. Henderson Studio