The subject of this painting is figurines you may have found in the "Olden Days": a plastic Indian, a Chalk figure like you could win at the Fair, a tin horse with a Brave on his back and a ceramic American Indian salt and pepper set.
This Cowboy depicts a character from the Wild West around the 1880's. He
wears typical clothing from that period: Hat, vest, leather cuffs,
scarf, and striped pants. The outfit is completed with a beaded knife
sheath, pocket watch, holster and guns and leather chaps.
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 cornhusktassels at the tips. Tufts of cornhusks are also worn at the ears.
The Plains Indians would have personal talismans that they could wear as hair ornaments, clothing adornments or hang from their shields, horses, doorways etc.
This painting shows a beaded crystal attached to a shield painted with an image of a bear.
This painting is a continuation of my 'Top Hat" series. In the 1880's
The Powers That Be in the United States Government would invite American
Indian leaders to Washington. There they were given gifts such as
clothing, flags, hats etc. The recipient would then use these items as
they saw fit. This hat is decorated with parts of a flag, an emblem from
a helmet, ribbons and feathers
Aces and Eights is known as the Dead Man's Hand in a two-pair poker hand. The hand gets its name from the legend of it being the five-card-draw hand held by Wild Bill Hickok at the time of his murder (August 2, 1876). It is accepted that the hand included the aces and eights of both the black suits. There is still debate about what the 5th card was.
painting was interesting for me because it differs from my normal
Warriors in a few ways. The most obvious is that the subject is not
'looking' at the viewer. His eyes are down cast.
There are large blocks of geometric shaped color. This is intended so your focus is on the face and beaded amulet.
I also used a limited palette of black, white and raw sienna accented with red, blue and a touch of yellow.
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.
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
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.
painting shows a Plains Indian with a black hand (coup mark) painted
on his face. This is a sign of Bravery. a sign of bravery. To be first
to touch the enemy was regarded as the bravest deed of all, it was even
a point of bravado for a single warrior to rush in among the enemy and
strike one with quirt, coup stick or gun before attempting to fire,
thus risking his own life.
His shirt is decorated with beads. He holds a shield.
In Olden Days, American Indians would record events in pictographs.
These could be paintings on cave walls, robes, ledgers, tipis or
The events would be legends or stories or personal accounts. When the
painting told a story of a man own feats the pictograph would recall the
Power that helped the man in a particular circumstance and ask that all
who heard his story be
blessed similarly by the Power.
This Plains Indian holds a shield telling of a horse raid.
This Plains Indian carries a shield painted with Thunderbirds. These supernatural creatures are said to control rainfall.
Eagle feathers are worn in the hair of this American Indian. His face is
painted white and red, he wears a Trade Blanket and a beaded shirt.
This Plains Indian carries a shield with the symbols of hail and
lightning. These symbols were meant to protect the shield bearer from
the forces of nature and prayer for hail and lightning to fall on the
His hair is adorned with eagle feathers. His face is painted red, white and blue