Happy Ingenious Peoples Day
In honor of Indigenous Peoples Day, I’m to sharing my personal interest in the original people who lived here long before us…
Eight years ago, I had an art show at Ancient Peaks Winery called “Sacred Spaces”. I created landscape paintings and sketches from Native American sites around our Central Coast as well as Sierra Nevada sites around Lake Tahoe. Here is my artist statement for that show:
We are surrounded by places where the original Americans gathered; their lives and movements through the landscape guided by seasonal plants, hunting trails and traditions passed on generation after generation. The traces of their passing are often scant, with many spots unnoticed by all but those who record archaeological sites to ensure they remain intact and undisturbed.
My inspiration is to observe a site and feel the sense of the place and its energy. Each place creates a space within the environment that is intrinsically human and connected to the people who energized it with their lives and culture. These spots are not random or accidental and I wish to capture their relationship and value to the native culture in my painting. In the spirit of these native nomads, I come and go, and leave the place undisturbed, taking my masonite landscape home with me.
In a way, this is western art at its purest – surveying with the aesthetic eye and depicting a site the original people made their own. It’s in this romantic spirit that I present these paintings and humbly convey the value and power of each location to the viewer.
SACRED SPACES is a series that visually records a personal interpretation of our western heritage.
TROUT CREEK MEADOW
A wonderful meadow in the Tahoe basin. In the distance is Mt. Tallac, a Washoe word that translates: “Earth that climbs to the sky”.
Located on the shores of Spooner Lake east of Tahoe. Among several spots to choose from, this one seemed most comfortable with a natural playground of granite rocks in foreground and a sandy beach nearby.
SANTA MARGARITA RANCH SITE
At one time I imagined this slab to be covered with an oak forest canopy. The wood has long been harvested and the summer heat beats down on the mortar slab.
This mortar slab overlooked a natural pathway from the Salinas River to El Camino. There are burned oak remnants from a fire and a dirt road to the gravel quarry.
EL CAMINO OAK
The original people used to train oak tree branches to bend low by tethering it to the ground for ease of harvesting the acorns. This particular oak has a branch that rooted itself and created a double trunk. The canopy shades the granite mortars.
In 1999 the EPA candidly reported: “Cave Rock is a Washoe sacred site”. The highway was blasted through Cave Rock in 1931, and then again in the 50’s. I wanted to paint the road cut and highway holes. This angle shows a hint of both.
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