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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Mamie Gregory IV.

Madame Butterfly

original painting by Pamela Hunt Lee
Madame Butterfly
40 x40
Acrylic on stretched canvas
6000.00


An exceptional basket weaver, Mamie Gregory was a Panamint Shoshone who lived from 1867 to 1947.  Born at Indian Gardens near Darwin in Death Valley, CA (one of the hottest places on earth) she is known for her elegantly created storage vessels.  

Madame Butterfly


As a young adult Mamie married tribal member George Gregory, whose name was adopted from his employer, and moved to the old mining town of Coso Hot Springs.  Working for a dollar a day she cleaned houses and took care of the laundry for neighbors.  She walked 5 miles to work each morning, returning home at night to weave baskets and prepare the materials needed for this craft.  All this in a dry, arid, harsh environment.

Madame Butterfly



Utilizing a high stitch and coil count, Mamie's baskets went from utilitarian storage baskets to smaller gift baskets coinciding with the Curio Trade of the early 1900's.  Now highly valued, her remaining baskets are housed in private and museum collections.  And they are spectacular!

Madame Butterfly


Frequent use of a butterfly design on her baskets earned her the title, Madame Butterfly.  The grace and beauty of her designs (which included lizards, spirals, and other shapes as well as the butterfly), the careful craft and excellent weave earned her the distinction as one of the world's finest basket weavers.

Madame Butterfly
40 x40
Acrylic on canvas
6000.00


Joining the other paintings in my Indian Women Portrait series, this painting is designed to honor Mamie Gregory and her elegantly created baskets. 

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


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mamie Gregory III.

Details

Get two artists together for conversation and you just don't know what might come up.  The other day over lunch I was asked, by a fellow artist, if I was using stencils on my current painting of Mamie Gregory.  She was looking at the lizards climbing up the canvas, the butterflies flitting around. Answer:  Yes.

Detail of lizards and butterflies.


I realized this might not occur to everyone, so I thought you might like to see the stencils I created.  Each was hand drawn, cut out of heavy paper, placed against the canvas, traced around with pencil.  After the outline was in place I painted around the image and then later filled in the image.



Paper cut outs used as stencils.


After painting around the outside of the stenciled image.


After the stenciled images of butterflies and lizards were painted in.

What the painting looks like today.



There is more work to be done to bring this painting to completion, but Mamie Gregory aka Madame Butterfly is almost ready to join the gallery of Indian Women Portraits on my web site.

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

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Mamie Gregory.

Madame Butterfly

I encourage you to scroll down through the images below to see the development and progress on the painting of Mamie Gregory aka Madame Butterfly.  An image is worth a thousand words....

Under painting the face.

Mamie begins to look out from the canvas.

The dress she is wearing in her photograph becomes inspiration for design elements in the painting.

Mamie's lizard basket motifs inspire more design elements.


Stylized image of a basket is added to the canvas.



Butterflies flitter onto the canvas.



How the painting looks this morning as I approach the easel.