2008, oil, 44"h x 64"w
The foundation of Plains Indian cultures was the buffalo hunt, even before the acquisition of the horse in the early 1600s. The addition of the horse into this fundamental pursuit became the pivotal key that launched these Prairie cultures into their zenith period. The use of the horse for running buffalo made the hunt efficient and exciting, providing a rich and plentiful bounty.
Grandpa's Blessing presents us with a complex compositional design, masterfully accomplished by linking together the elements that make up the focal painting, and then weaving in all of the storyline subplots.
Commotion and activity! This Blackfeet band camp senses the excitement and anticipation from news brought in by the scouts.
Buffalo! A large herd is is traveling between the Marias River and the Bullhead Valley, moving in the direction of the camp.
An exuberant scene of preparation ensues, since each individual knows their part in the drama about to take place. The hunters gather and ready their buffalo horses, which are brought in by the herder boys, and assemble to go out as a group. The women eagerly prepare pack horses, travois and meat bags for the coming chase. Amid all this activity there was always concern, for running the wild herds over broken grounds of the western prairies held a high degree of danger for the mounted hunter. In Grandpa's Blessing, a grandson receives na eagle feather talisman (as a blessing for success and safety) from a man who has seen and survived many a hunt, his grandfather.