I painted the celebration of three generations of a Cheyenne family during the 1870's. I was excited to paint this scene because it shows the interaction of family members that most people have shared. I appropriately named this painting Cheyenne Family.
The scene highlights the rolling hills of Oklahoma. The regalia was created by historians, Ken Weidner and Curtis Carter. The reference photo was taken by Karen Voepel of Colorado.
It is surprising to learn how much of their clothing was from Germany and other countries and yet so many Native American tribes commonly traded to acquire the items I mention below. The woman on the far left wears a deer hide dress. The one on the far right, a trade wool or Stroud wool dress with elk teeth. Both women wear vermillion on their dresses. They both wear a dentalium shell choker. The young girl that is waiting to receive her drink wears a trade wool or Stroud wool dress with elk teeth like the one her mother wears. The tin cups and tin coffee pot are correct for the time period and were not uncommon in Native American camps. The red color down the part of their hair was common for Cheyenne women at the time. They are adorned with brass wire bracelets and German silver finger rings. In addition, they were dentalium chokers and earrings. You can see the German silver concho belt worn by the woman on the right. I sincerely hope others will appreciate the history revealed in this painting.
I presented this painting and another one in my plein air pieces at a workshop with Bruce Greene and Martin Grelle who served as instructors. Both of them are long time members of the Cowboy Artists of America.
This is a process photo that I complete in charcoal and pencil before adding oil paint to the canvas.