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.
Underneath the blistering Arizona sun, six Apache warriors stop for a brief refreshment. Part of the skill of trekking through the desert highlands of Arizona means knowing where to find this life-sustaining gift.
Red Rock Oasis was inspired by a hiking trip in through the red rocks in Northern Arizona around Sedona. As I came across watering holes such as these, I could picture a scene of how important it would be to get water on a hot day. The landscape depicted in this painting is not an actual place, but rather a composite of several such rock forms that I passed that day. Red Rock Oasis depicts the red rocks area of the Western Apache homeland. This region covered what is now Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, and the Verde river.
This painting is set in the circa 1870 time frame. The men wear light linen and cotton clothing, accompanied with headbands. Two have waistcoats, an iconic piece of clothing at the time in the eastern United States. They all have full length moccasins with toe guards, a necessary bit of equipment when navigating in cactus-filled land. To facilitate both their hit-and-run raids and defense against counter attacks, these warriors carry a bow and a quiver of arrows. Archery at the time was still a useful tactic for catching an enemy by surprise. The arrows were much quieter than guns at the time, as well as being faster to reload and more accurate than some firearms. The man in the upper middle of the canvas carries a Sharps military carbine from the American Civil War. This rifle was highly accurate with a long range; it would have been a prized weapon.
The Apache were fearsome warriors and raiders--in fact, the word “Apache” is a derivation of the Zuni name for the tribe, Apachii, which means “the enemy.” They were known for their expert tactical maneuvers, often working in small groups to ambush, fight, and raid their enemies as well as to defend their own homes and families. The Apache’s traditional homeland was vast, with numerous distinct bands covering parts of four modern-day U.S. states. These warriors were part of the Tonto band of Western Apache, most likely the Oak Creek or Tsé Hichii Indee - the “Horizontal Red Rock People” sub-band. Homeland terrain for the Oak Creek Apache was challenging to cross by horseback, so much travel occurred by foot as depicted in this painting.
In this painting, I strive for depth with a strong lead-in from the lighter parts of the stone pulling the eye in and the pools of water that recede into the distance. Notice the reverse S-curve of the figures (starting with the top left) and the backwards C-shape to guide your eye through the scene. Colorwise, the predominant shade is the pink-red of the stone. Contrasting shades of green and blue help make the figures stand out against the rocks and red/yellow headbands contrast with sky.