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.
Three Apache warriors silently look into the distance on a clear morning. Dramatic shadows fall upon their faces as they survey the land for encroaching foe.
This painting afforded an interesting composition opportunity. The boldness of the Arizona landscape lends itself well to drama and depth due to the clear skies, dazzling sunshine, and deep shadows. I built this piece compositionally around the center saguaro. Notice the center warrior’s spear--it lines up with the focal angle created by the cactus. The warrior in red, too, is in line with these figures. The rocks and boulders give a sense of strength to the landscape. They serve both as platforms and as ways to create more depth for the viewer. The sun shines at an angle to the figures in this piece, creating a strong diagonal to the shadows. This angles further increases the depth of the piece.
The man in the middle is resplendent in a Navajo-made blanket and Pueblo silver jewelry, signifying an older age and higher stature than his companions. He carries a shield, the design of which I culled from multiple research sources. (When I paint shields, I never replicate a historical design completely; instead, I take elements from artifacts and combine them to create an artistic interpretation of the artforms.) The other warriors are dressed in typical Apache garb of the late-1800s: full-length moccasins with toe pieces, linen and cotton breechclouts, and decorative brass arm bands.
The Sonoran Desert is home to unique plants and landscapes--many of which were a creative challenge to paint. I was surprised how difficult these plants were to paint when compared to those found on the Plains or high mountains. Unlike a forest, which can blend together, desert landscape plants stand as discrete objects that require as much attention in to painting as would an individual person or horse. Saguaro cacti (Carnegiea gigantea) are native only to this region. They live to be as old as 150 years old and seldom produce arms before age 75. Palo verde trees are common, easily identifiable by their green trunks.
This painting stems from my 2013 research trip to the Sonoran Desert, including picturesque Pinnacle Peak. The background comes from a composite of photos I took of the landscape and features the McDowell Mountains.
The nomadic Apache call themselves Dini, meaning “the People.” Their more common name, Apache, stems from apachu meaning “enemy”-- a moniker given to them by the Zuni, who feared the Apache’s raids of food and booty. Traditionally, the Apache ancestral homeland covered a great deal of what is now Southern Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico