Each numbered print comes with a certificate of authenticity in your choice of high-quality watercolor paper or canvas. Paper prints are shipped rolled. Canvas prints have two finishing options: 1) Shipped rolled in a tube or 2) stretched and ready-to-hang with a gallery wrap finish. Your print will be shipped within 10 business days of purchase.
Please contact me at James Ayers studios with any questions you might have.
A scout’s work is never done. In Brazos River Reconnoiter, a scout reports to his waiting party to describe what he has observed beyond the riverbank. He tells his tale to his wise war leader and to a young warrior who is eager to learn anything he can. There could be anything beyond the bank--buffalo, cavalrymen, other hunters--and the men must be prepared for whatever lies ahead.
My main objective in Brazos River Reconnoiter is to use contrast to draw the viewer in to the warriors and their adornments. Notice the strong horizontal line made by the bank against the strong vertical made by the society staff. This element draws your eye directly towards the warriors. Further contrast is achieved with the color palette: The blue sky against the golden leaves of the trees creates visual drama, with these colors also reflected in the creek.
The three warriors are outfitted based on their stature in society. On the left, the youngest warrior is covered with white war paint and wears a roach head ornament, made out of turkey beard and porcupine hair. In the middle, the war leader wears a red tradecloth shirt with intricate armbands and has several eagle feathers in his hair. His leggings are made of blanket fabric and he wears traditional Comanche moccasins. His horse has a circle around his eye to promote good vision and his reins are wrapped with medicine bundles and hair locks. The war leader carries a society staff, which indicates his high ranking and his membership in a society. Such staves are featured in many old photographs and paintings of Comanche warriors and leaders of high ranking. The staff featured in Brazos River Reconnoiter is a composite of many staves from my research. On the right, the reporting scout wears the traditional garb of a buckskin shirt with leggings. He has a quirt made of elk bone. His horse features coup marks on its leg, demonstrative of the scout’s bravery and prowess in battle.
The flora and fauna of the region is meant to evoke the rich Texas countryside, although similar lush terrain is found throughout the southern plains in Kansas and southeast Colorado. Scouting and hunting parties such as this would be a common sight across rivers and streams in the region in the mid-1800s. This landscape is based on one of my hiking/research trips. I came across a beautiful bend in a creek, lined with tall cottonwood trees, their leaves just changing colors due to the season. I could practically see the three men on horseback right in front of me, in a stream such as this one, from a bygone time.