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Friday, February 21, 2014

Delores Patencio.

The Small Study

original acrylic painting by Pamela Hunt Lee

Another busy week, filled with painting, travel, exercise, golf, mah jongg, working with my Northern California and Nevada galleries.  Truly there are just not enough hours in the day. Who ever said that first, knew what they were talking about! I keep getting up earlier and earlier to get into the studio to paint and because I have done this, the small 12x12 painting of Delores Patencio, Cahuilla Indian Basket Maker, is complete.  Read more about her by going back to my last blog post:  http://www.pamelahuntlee.blogspot.com/


My goal was to capture her intensity and beauty as well as giving me the opportunity to know how I wish to portray her in additional paintings.


This is a study for a larger work and the canvas for that painting is sitting on the easel.  So it is off to the easel for me.  This is one of those completely full days so bye for now.  Have a great day!

To contact me click HERE
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Delores Patencio, Cahuilla Indian Basket Weaver.


basket weaver, dolores patencio, cahuilla, 1912

She Was One Of The Most Famous Women In The Desert.



Living during the late 1800's and into the 1900's, Patencio wove magnificent baskets using traditional, organic materials she gathered and prepared.   Known as one of the finest Cahuilla Indian basket weavers, she created designs that were specific and carefully crafted.  Look at the baskets in this photo...amazing!  And look at that magnificent face.

Originally Delores Saubel, a Capuno Indian,  hailed from the Warner's Ranch area and was then relocated to Los Coyotes Reservation near Borrego Springs.  Her marriage to Frances Patencio brought her into the Coachella Valley.  It was here she lived and created beautiful, perfect baskets that have incredible value today, some of which can be seen on display at the Palm Springs Art Museum.


Sketch of Delores Patencio by Pamela Hunt Lee

Using a compilation of several photographic images I have begun sketching and painting portraits of Delores Patencio. She had  strong features, deeply bronzed by the desert sun. This is just the beginning, and I am working hard to capture her likeness, working to bring honor to this woman's wisdom and strength.


Beginning of Delores Patencio portrait by Pamela Hunt Lee.
Unfinished 12x12

You can see the grid pattern, a helpful tool,  used to set up the composition.  Working with layers of pigment to achieve the richness this face deserves, takes time and patience, much like the time and patience Delores Patencio gave to her basket making.  I keep reminding myself to have patience, to continue the effort.  And while these head drawings and paintings are small and a stepping off point for a larger work they are demanding.  

I am heading back to the easel, so there is more to come.....

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE

Monday, February 3, 2014

American Indian Women Portraits, Coachella Valley.


It's Been A Great Few Weeks.


Yes it has!  Besides working on a triptych of Fence Post Cactus, I have continued research of Indian Women who lived in the late 1800's - early 1900's.  Because I am spending a few months in the Southern California Desert, my current focus is on the women who lived and worked in this area, specifically the Coachella Valley.  These were Cahuilla Indian Women, and I have been 'introduced' to two women who were part of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Women.

My 'introduction' came about during a visit to the Palm Springs Art Museum where several spectacular baskets, created by Guadalupe Arenas and Delores Patencio,  are currently displayed.  

Guadalupe Arenas, Basket, Rattlesnake, Cahuilla, circa 1910, natural and dyed juncus and sumac on a deer grass foundation, gift of J. Smeaton Chase

But finding photos of these women, who lived in the time period of my interest, was difficult, and I need these images to create portraits of the women.  However this past week I was invited into the archives of the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum where I spent hours going through photographic records and was able to find several images that are wonderful inspiration for my paintings.  Many of the images are proprietary and so I am unable to show them here, but I am able to have the images and work from them.  

You will recall I have painted five portraits of Dat so la lee and one of Sally Snooks, both Washoe Indian Women who lived and worked in the Lake Tahoe and Great Basin areas, where I also live.  

Five Portraits of Dat so la lee, Queen of the Washoe Basket Makers
Pamela Hunt Lee

Here is a link back to my blog post about the Dat so la lee portraits:  Indian Women Portraits

Today I will begin work on a new portrait, a painting of Delores Patencio.  I started sketches a couple months ago after first seeing her baskets and now that I have wonderful images of her, I am able to get to work.

Check back to see how this starts out...

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE