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.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

"Native Pride", 12"x!6" charcoal

This is a study of my friend and neighbor dressed in his fancy regalia. Hobo feeds my horses when I am away. We talk quite a bit about the Creator, the problems of the world and our own lives.

Hobo is proud to be Native American and has great hope for the future although not much for the present. His people have been here for generations beyond counting. He hopes we can survive today and that the future doesn't repeat the mistakes of the past.

He snags salmon 100 miles away at Chief Joeseph Dam, a wall where sea run salmon can't get beyond. Hobo lives on the Sanpoil River where, in days gone by, his great aunt would stop on the Sanpoil to catch Salmon on her way with her family from their home in Conconully above Omak, Wa., on their way to hunt buffalo with the Kalispell in Montana He gigles as he says, "Brother Salmon was so big Auntie would ride them like a horse out of the Sanpoil onto the grass." I can believe that. There were King Salmon weighing 70 lbs in a stream 4 feet wide. All gone today. There is a whole ecology of grizzley, wolf and pine marten gone today. Who knows what flowers and special plants no longer exist. There was a whole ecology based around the annual deposit of nutrients from migrating salmon that were so big and plentiful, their dead bodies fertilized the landscape after they spent their life on their progeny.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

"Old Lobster Trap" watercolor and ink, 6"x10" sold