I’ve had a lot of fun with this painting. It’s the biggest oil I’ve done, 60″ x 48″ although that’s small in comparison to the scenics and murals I used to do – sometimes 30′ high. That was a different life and scenario though. I premixed color then from a palette of one gallon cans of acrylic paint. It did take me quite awhile after the mural phase of my life to adjust to painting small paintings like this one!
“Shades” is based on research gained from an artist’s rendezvous I attended last summer. My model is Jay Red Hawk, a Lakota Sioux from South Dakota. Jay is quite knowledgeable about the history of the plains Indians and their encounters with the white man over time.
He has been playing & making Siyotanka ( Northern Plains Courting Flutes) for 22 years that are traditionally hand carved. He has performed with those flutes in many venues, including the ’92 “Good Red Road / Sacred Hoop Concert; as a soloist with the MN Orchestra in ’95; and has recorded music for 20 documentaries, including “Dakota Exile” (PBS) which won a Grammy for sound.” He has also been in movies and documentaries, as has his horse Lady who is now 25 and just officially retired. Jay also is the Founder/Director of the Plains Horse Archery Association. He can be found on Facebook.