Original Acrylic and Watercolor on canvas 44″ x 42″
We had been planning for a long time to attend the famous Rosebud Pow Wow in South Dakota, and 2007 was the year. The land had been graced with 3 days of much needed heavy rains which subsided the evening of the first Grand Entry, not the best element for an outdoor traditional Pow Wow but not much will stop these celebrations.
I was drawn first to the strong contrast of the feathers in the headdress of Little Thunder, on the left, and the more contemporary outfits of Jim Yellow Hawk, on the right, as they waited for the sound of the drum to begin their dancing. The two men are wonderful Lakota dancers; I have watched them at several Pow Wows. They each design and make their own outfits. I asked them if I could photograph them and maybe one day do a painting. I had a giclee print made for each of them when the work was done.
I drew the composition onto the canvas with an orange pastel pencil and started the canvas with my more familiar medium, watercolors, and then went to liquid golden acrylics. Blue just seemed to fit the scene that day; maybe it was the blue sky after a good rainfall. Otherwise, no particular reason for To, Lakota language word for blue, except I had been waiting for some time to do a painting with blues. I love blues; I love most colors.
After testing about a dozen blues, I ended up with one warm and two cool hues of blue. Then some complimentary red-orange, as little notes here and there, and the color choices were done.
This was one of those involved detailed structures that turned out to be enjoyable! (Well, all but the varnishing!)