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.
High in the Colorado Rocky Mountains after a long winter, a band of Ute Warriors is on a reconnaissance mission. The Pike’s Peak Gold Rush has brought strangers to the Ute homelands and there has been talk amongst the people of gold seekers nearby.
Spring snowmelt is making any narrow point in the river too swift to cross, so the warriors choose to cross a small mountain lake where the river has swollen and the water is slow.
Warm late-afternoon sun slowly melts the patches of snow on the surrounding hillsides and casts a warm glow across the grassy banks. At higher elevations, the snow has not yet begun to melt, seen by the still snow-peaked mountains.
Their horses have shed their winter coats, a sure sign of spring in the Rockies.
Each rider has prepared for the mission at hand.
The lead rider carries a Sharps Carbine, a powerful and accurate weapon of the day. Sharps rifles were produced by the Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company in Hartford, Connecticut. The guns employed a falling block-action mechanism, which made the gun easier to fire from horseback.
Looking off into the distance, the second rider wears a red trade shirt and brass armbands. He carries a quirt, a bow, and quiver of arrows.
Both the third and fourth riders are shirtless as a display of resilience against both the cold air and freezing water. The third rider carries a spear and his horse has a hand-beaded bridle. The fourth warrior carries a coup stick with attached coup feathers.
The fifth rider wears a vibrant shirt of hide colored with red pigment and completed with bead strips and hair locks. Take notice of his hide leggings (see gallery close-ups). The “U” symbol represents the number of horses he has captured--an act of skill and bravery. He carries a Yellow Boy rifle, a powerful weapon of the era. For more information on this rifle: Warrior and His Winchester
A sixth horse and rider are coming into the scene at the painting’s far right, cropped by the edge of the canvas. Composition-wise, this visual element implies that more riders are moving into the scene.
Because of their ancestral homeland in the Rocky Mountain West, the Ute are known as the “Blue Sky People” or the “People of the Shining Mountains”.
The tribe’s territory once extended from the southern Rockies (in present-day Colorado) to the Sevier River (in present-day Utah). They also reached the upper San Juan River in the south and up in to what is now Wyoming.