Tuesday, May 2, 2017

"Big Man"

6 x 6"
oil on panel

I've been a bit stagnant lately with respect to painting.

It's normal.  Typically happens after a long stretch of painting for a show.  The well goes dry.  It's normal.  

To the surprise of many, I get inspiration from television.  An image will appear or colors will stand out that impress my brain.  Subjects come up and I make a mental note.  I watched a segment recently about the Osage Indians in Pawhuska, Oklahoma - I was born somewhat near the area - so I paid a little more attention to the story which was mainly about the horrible murders of many tribe members in the early 20th century.  

The photos of the Osage were stunning.  The faces, the bone structure... I am always consumed by the human face and form.  That was why I began the BUST-ED series and continue that curiousity.  So I've been pouring over photographs from over 100 years ago of various Native Americans, in awe of their beauty and dignity.

And it's something different for me - to paint with black and white.  It led me to this new painting - a portrait of Big Man.  He was of the Sicangu Oyate Tribe, a branch of the Lakota people who's home is South Dakota.  I don't know much about this gentleman, but Big Man in many tribes all over the world means the patriarch or a highly influential individual.  I found him to be an inspiration.

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