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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...

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