So, I awakened a few months ago, and was dreaming of a most unusual event in history. It really happened, and was known as the “great removal”. A scourge in the annals of American history. It was also known as “the trail of tears.” This was when President Andrew Jackson ordered the Cherokee Indians to be removed from their homes and sent to the western territories.
If you’ve been following this blog, you may be familiar with the story, but if not I’ll remind all of the situation as it happened.
I dreamed of the Indians under great stress and anguish walking the more than a thousand miles through rough terrain and agonizing weather as their relatives died and were buried off the side of the trail to the tune of more than four thousand burials. I also dreamed of an anguished, disheartened spirit in the sky watching over the reluctant travelers.
As I awakened, I knew I must do something tho the incident happened approximately 176 years ago. I felt that I had to paint a picture of what I dreamed, or envisioned. There are others that have painted the incident, but I have not let their paintings influence me. I am hung up on my originality. My compositions are mine, and mine alone; and, as far as I know, they don’t have the spirit in the sky. I did a lot of historic research, mostly trying to get the clothing and head dress correct.
I also did sample paintings for practice while concerning myself with how to portray the anguished spirit.
My concern was whether to paint the spirit as I did the Indians (in full color), or did I want to paint it in a monochrome style? I decided on the latter, using the color of the sky, which at the time was already painted. All I did to get the depiction was to remove the paint with a wet brush, leaving the lighter color outlining the image.
I realized that with enough imagination, their could be several different compositions taking some of the Indians out of the paintings and rearranging them.
Although, I have many different ideas for paintings other than the Original Americans, and must get to it. However, by using the drawings and sketches already worked on, I intend to someday return to these compositions and paint more. Until then, they can patiently wait in a file drawer in my studio.
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