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Introducing "The Shortcut"


COLLECTOR UPDATE: The Shortcut has been sold.

High in the Rocky Mountains, a Blackfoot warrior takes a chance with the rapids

I'm pleased to introduce my new painting, The Shortcut.

2013 The Shortcut

The Shortcut | 48″ x 72″ | Oil on canvas

The Shortcut depicts a Blackfoot man taking a shortcut home. Deep in the forest, he is preparing to cross the river which is swift due to the spring thaw.

Painting details

You can see in his eyes that he is making choices, deciding which way will offer the fewest hazards.

A Blackfoot warrior surveys the dangers of the rapids

A Blackfoot warrior surveys the dangers of the rapids

The warrior rides a horse with a thick winter coat. Native American ponies would get wooly and fuzzy in the cold months. The pack horse is bearing parfleche bags--hide bags painted with maps and symbols and used to carry dried meat.

The Shortcut detail

Pony with fuzzy winter coat in "The Shortcut"

The Shortcut detail

Detail of parfleche bags

The man carries a Winchester Yellowboy lever-action rifle, which began production in 1866. This model of weapon was a favorite amongst the Great Plains tribes because it was one of the first repeating rifles. The fighters and hunters could shoot with it far faster than they could notch arrows into their bows. Plains people traded and raided to acquire these valuable firearms.

The Shortcut rifle detail

Winchester Yellowboy rifle detail

Composition details

My research for this painting took me high the Rocky Mountains in the early spring of 2012. At the time, I was struck by the shadows and highlights of the light in the cold air.

I took these impressions that early spring day and emphasized them in The Shortcut. Notice the contrast of the lights and darks in the snow and stream. This interplay of light emphasizes the rider, helping to draw your focus to him.

In addition, most of the background and foreground are cool shades whereas the warrior and horses are rendered in warm tones, also to bring emphasis to the rider.

Are you interested in acquiring The Shortcut?

2013 Celebration of Fine Art

I am displaying The Shortcut at the 2013 Celebration of Fine Art show.

If you are interested in The Shortcut, please contact me directly: James Ayers email.

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