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  • His Palomino Sentinel - Mountain Crow

His Palomino Sentinel - Mountain Crow

5.00 LBS
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    Fine art LIMITED EDITION signed giclee - prices start at $185

    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. Embellished giclees are only available as canvas, stretched, and ready-to-hang and take 8 to 10 weeks to complete. Read more about embellished giclees here.

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    Please contact me at James Ayers studios with any questions you might have.

    About His Palomino Sentinel

    A twig snaps in the distance, but the Crow warrior does not notice--he is thirsty from his long trek through the mountains and thinks of nothing but the cool, refreshing water. His Palomino horse hears the sound, though, and glances towards the source of the noise, before the warrior even notices.

    Details of the warrior and his mount

    Set in the mid-1850s, the warrior is equipped to handle the cold of his surrounding environment. He wears a hide shirt, dyed blue, and decorated moccasins. His leggings feature coup stripes; each stripe is a marker of his skill and bravery in battle. In his hair, he has both eagle and hawk feathers. He carries with him a bow and quiver, useful for both hunting and defense. The warrior’s four-legged companion is his trusty Palomino. His bridle is braided and has eagle feathers attached to it. On the Palomino’s back is a saddle blanket made of stroud cloth, an item most likely obtained through trade. These blankets were manufactured by clamping the edges of raw wool cloth and applying pigment. The ends were left un-dyed, a detail I have included on the white edges on the Palomino’s red blanket. This particular blanket is based on one I saw in the Colorado History Museum.

    About the landscape and my research

    In early April and May, Montana and Wyoming scenery is nothing short of magical. There is still plenty of snow on the ground (and the river water would be cold), but there can be dazzling sunlight that yields dramatic shadows. I have taken numerous hiking/research trips around Montana and Wyoming. On one such trip, I came upon a stream similar to this one. The forest opened up on this particular spot, with light coming in and highlighting the snow and water. Behind the stream, was a depth of forest so dark it contrasted vividly with the snow. I imagined the scene depicted in His Palomino Sentinel. The tranquility of this spot lent itself well to a slice-of-life scene. I liked the idea of someone taking a brief rest to drink some water, with his horse standing by observing the surrounding. Horses’ senses are more keenly aware than our own, so if given a stimulus such as a sound or even an odd smell, it would notice before its human companion.

    About the composition

    As you can see, all compositional elements of this painting are designed to draw your eye directly to the horse and warriors: The tree serves as vertical guide and the snow is the horizontal, focusing your vision on the central subjects. Colorwise, I used complementary hues of the orange-yellow of the Palomino and the blue shirt of the warrior.

    About the tribe

    The Crow call themselves Absaroka, meaning the “bird people”. Originally part of the Hidatsa tribe, the Crow split off in a dispute over bison. They migrated to the foot of the Rockies in the Yellowstone River Valley, in what is now northern Wyoming and southern Montana. The Crow who settled in the south in the Powder, Big Horn, and Wind River valleys became known as the River Crow, while the warrior pictured in this painting would have been from a highland band known as the Mountain Crow. The Crow were skilled horsemen, known for successful horse raids against other tribes and European traders. They were enemies of the Lakota and sometimes served as scouts for the United States.

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