Commissioned for Bow Valley Ranche in Fish Creek Provincial Park - May 2013
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
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.
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.
Acrylic - 12" x 12"
For a friend. A precious little bird with a beautiful song ...that we will always hear.