Saturday, January 20, 2007

charcoal, "Native Pride" 12x16


I've always been reluctant to do art work of native americans because most of what is done is without permission and a form of cultural theft, but I feel compelled to do so at this time because my neighbor and friend, Henry a.k.a. Hobo Stensgar thinks it is OK. I've lived on the Rez for 30 years and my children were raised here. That in itself doesn't give me any license but I do understand many of the issues faced by my neighbors and Hobo has helped me understand even better. I have a painting in mind that might reflect both my concern for the homeless I meet in Seattle, many of whom are from reservations and my regard for what Hobo has shared with me both about Native Pride and his relief of still being alive after a life of substance abuse and being homeless in the city. Hobo and I have discussed the painting and he is OK with it and sits for me while I sketch and he tells me stories of snagging salmon, hunting and the legends he knows. He is a natural story teller. It is difficult for him to sit still as a model as he likes to move around to tell his stories sometimes even dancing.

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