Monday, 20 September 2010

More Amerindians

Geronimo. Chiricahua Apache 1898

Geronimo is one of the most famous indian leaders. He is famous, infamous at the time, as his band of 36, including 20 women and children were the last hostile indians to surrender on September 4th 1886. This in effect brought an end to the Indian wars, although the Ghost Dance problems  with the Crows in 1887 and the Sioux in 1890 post dated his surrender. Geronimo, who led the band with Naiche Cochise's son,  was hunted by 5000 soldiers and Apache scouts under General Miles. Without the assistance of fellow Apaches  hostile to Geronimo they would probably still be free. As it is very small numbers of Apaches remained thereafter in the wild mountains of Northern Mexico and reports of them raiding continued into the 1920's. Their descendants  may still be there. The above photograph was taken at the Trans Mississippi Exposition in Omaha, 1898 when Geronimo would be nearly 70.

This is Geronimo, on the right, at around the time of his final surrender. He would be about 57. Contrast this with his later more civilized appearance when he appeared in circuses and generally capitalized on his fame, including selling pictures of himself..

Geronimo. Waterford 16" x 12" Not  Second Version

Geronimo. Fabriano Artistico 15" x 11" Not First Version

The reason for two versions is that I first did the version above in a sort of rosy sepia colour. There is a story why I did  but I won't bore you with it. Initially I was pleased  but gradually realised the colour did not reflect the dark side of Geronimo, the hard eyes and slash of a mouth. I then did the second version with slightly different dimensions. Comparing the two I thought I might be able to improve the intial painting and put some additional washes on it to darken both the face and the hat, with slight touches on the clothing. Colours used were Cadmium Red Pale, Raw Sienna, Cerulean Blue and Ultramarine Blue. Touches of Hookers Green around the eyes with Viridian and Permanent Carmine for the tie. Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Quinacridone Gold also featured in the clothing with Ultramarine and either Burnt Umber or Burnt Sienna for the darks. I an fairly pleased with both these portraits.  


Mick Carney said...

Peter - Are these labelled correctly? They seem to fit the words better if labelled the other way around. Anyway regardless of that I find both enjoyable but the lower one has much greater impact, great value range and vibrant colour. Good work here.

Peter Ward said...

Yes, they are in the right order Mick. Probably I should have put them the other way around, but the reason I placed them as I did was because I actually worked on the bottom painting last and changed it quite a lot.
I like both of them myself, different interpretations, although the bottom one is a better likeness and, as you say, has more in the way of value.