Known best for his powerful portraits of Plains warriors, this gifted, award-winning artist shows his more contemplative side in this equally masterful, but more tranquil, painting.
As in most of his work, the inspiration is his wife’s Kiowa heritage, hence the teepees and rolling landscape.
The sky is cloudless; there is just a light wind, judging by the gentle wafting of the teepees’ smoke.
A bird is barely visible, very high in the sky; the sun is hitting just the tops of the trees and hills, so it seems as if the day is drawing down.
The light is luminous, and the entire painting seems lit by a slowly setting sun.
All is calm and peaceful. Looks like chores are done, and the neighbor ladies have a little time to catch up with each other.
Serene and mellow, the painting is masterful in technique, and captivating in mood.
The women are minimally depicted, but somehow perfectly realistic – notice the belt on the one at right, and the braids on the woman at left.
Bare tree branches, teepee poles, figures, and the hilltop, are not only beautifully painted, but indicate the direction of the waning sunlight, coming from the left.
Each depth of the landscape – foreground, middle, and background – is finely delineated and painted with total control.
The abundantly grassy foreground shows wonderful brushwork, and a lovely blending of fall hues, starting to move in on the green.
So too, is the is the rendering of the hilly terrain beyond, where golds and green mix, but less detailed, since this is farther away.
At the back, snowy tops catch the light, on a wall of rocky peaks.
The tree branches, teepee poles, and the teepees themselves, are painted with the same assurance and marvelous effect.
A charming subject, the equivalent of neighbors chatting over the back fence, is expanded into a gorgeously modulated landscape that is realistic, but dreamlike, as well.
This painting could serve as your meditation focus, it is so calm and lovely!
An award-winning painter at the top of his artistic game.