Big Dog Orig

Commissioned for Bow Valley Ranche in Fish Creek Provincial Park - May 2013

"Big Dog"

Mixed Media - 23" x 26"

Many plains tribes called the horse "Big Dog". They had no words to describe the beautiful and powerful animal brought back to North America by the Spanish, one that would change their culture forever. This museum-style mixed media piece tells how the horse came to the Blackfoot people and of the bonds they shared on the northern plains. It is my privilege to create art that honours the bravery and grace of the horse - and the courage and wisdom of those who lived here before us.

Clockwise beginning with:

Panel 1 - Big Dog (aged paper and print with paint, bead and feather embellishment) "He put us in mind of a stag that had lost his horns, and we did not know what name to give him. But as he was a slave to man, like the dog, which carried our things, he was named the Big Dog." Saukamaupee

Panel 2 - Origins (paint) The ancestors of Equus Caballus originated in North America over 40 million years ago, spreading to Asia and Europe before becoming extinct here.

Panel 3 - Explorers (plaster and paint with rosary embellishment) Arizona pictographs document Spanish explorers bringing the horse back to the Americas.

Panel 4 - Trade Horses (aged map and paint) After a century of Spanish rule, the Pueblo people revolt; Spain's monopoly of horses ends and Native American horse culture begins. Illustrated with trade map and warrior's carved horse effigy.

Panel 5 - Warrior's Song to His Horse (stitched hide and paint) "My horse be swift in flight even like a bird, my horse be swift in flight, bear me now in safety, far from the enemy's arrows and you shall be rewarded with streamers and ribbons red." Unknown

Panel 6 - War Paint (photography and paint with ribbon embellishment) The Native American war horse was highly regarded by his owner, who honoured and protected him by painting tribal symbols upon the animal's body. The symbols often told of the courageous heart of the horse and even of the horse's affection for the warrior who rode him into battle. This palomino paint horse was given a circle around his eye for alert vision, while feathers braided in his mane counted coup.

Bison Skull 1

"Bison Skull"

Mixed Media

This huge, old bull was honoured with acrylic, canvas, copper wire, leather, feathers and beads.



Acrylic - 8" x 10"

Maggie is a rescued border collie - a natural born cow dog with no cows to herd!

She delights in keeping the rest of her pack in line and she is a loyal and loving companion.



Acrylic - 12" x 12"

Griffin was painted for a baby boy. Mythical no longer. A miracle he is.

Marsh Wren

"Marsh Wren"

Acrylic - 12" x 12"

For a friend. A precious little bird with a beautiful song ...that we will always hear.


"Winter Pasture"

Acrylic - 8" x 8"

A hike up the hill to the winter pasture to check the horses inspired this piece.

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