30" x 17" oil
This painting, as well as the head study below, will be offered at the 2015 Masters of the American West Show, at the Autry Center in Los Angeles, CA. Please visit the news/shows section for more info on the show. Description of the painting is below.
Head Study for The Ancients
9" x 12" mixed media
(click on image above to see step by step images of this piece in progress)
Painting information for The Ancients:
The North American Bison is believed to have migrated from Asia across the Bering Land Bridge, possibly 500,000 years ago. Fossil records indicate Bison Latifrons, the giant long horn bovine, as being here 500,000 years ago. It became extinct about 30,000 years ago, to be replaced by the smaller Bison Antiquus.
Bison Latifrons had a horn width of seven feet, whereas B. Antiquus was said to be about three feet. It evolved into the yet smaller Bison Occidentalis, which in turn evolved into an even smaller version that we see today. These Bison were present all across North America. The Eastern Bison was roaming the eastern woodlands frontier as the first settlers arrived. They were not as numerous as the vast herds discovered later on the great western plains.
Even so, they and the herds of eastern Elk had beaten an extensive network of trails through the thick woodland landscape as they migrated from feeding areas or salt licks. These easy walking trails were of course utilized by Eastern Woodland Nations & later the white settlers & traders. The Eastern Bison as well as later the Elk, became less and less evident. By the mid 18th century there were hardly any Bison to be found in the eastern region.
This old Native man in the painting has discovered evidence of the old days, and the old ways, when his people existed among the giants of the eastern woodland forests. Before the White man came with his gunpowder and flintlocks.
...My inspiration for this painting evolved after seeing a collection of eastern bison skulls owned by a friend. They were dug from an eastern river bank some years ago. One of his, a half skull, appears as if it could be that of the longer horned Bison Antiquus …or, as they evolved perhaps.