Friday, February 5, 2016

Depicting the West


The Scottsdale Museum of the West has a huge collection of art works on various themes.  One set of paintings (and bronzes) told the story of the Lewis & Clark 1804 expeditions through the uncharted west to find a trade route to the Pacific Ocean.  Several of the men on the expedition kept journals of the trip describing what they saw, people they met and the perils along the way.  200 years after the event, artist Charles Fritz used those journals to create works of art telling the story.  The above photo is of a painting called "We Proceed On".  The artist states that throughout the journals the words "we proceed on" appeared many times indicating the drive to keep going and continue their mission.  He painted this image to represent that spirit to press on.


This painting is called "Descending the Grand Falls of the Columbia" and it shows what looks to me like the perilous way it was necessary to lower the boats down the falls.  These must have been some pretty tough and determined people.  I could never have stood on that rock between rushing waters waiting for a boat to be lowered down to me.


























No museum about the west would be complete without some Native American influence in the art.  This painting titled "Caught Between Two Worlds" by John Moyers of Albuquerque New Mexico has that influence.  In this painting, Moyers is displaying how indigenous cultures are now living in an increasingly diverse and transforming world.

Moyer is a member of Cowboy Artists of America and the museum is showing and exhibition of artwork from all 77 members of the group.

























This last painting was a favorite of mine.  I loved the simplicity of it as well as the intensity.  It's a painting by Bev Doolittle and the only thing in this painting that reminded me of a Bev Doolittle painting was the horse.   To see some of Bev Doolittle's work and compare for yourself, click here.


I cropped the photo above down to just the painting so you could see the image more clearly.  The man sitting by his campfire is reaching for his rifle because he hears something and it appears the horse hears it too.  The title of this piece is "Unknown Presence".

Tomorrow I'll end with a view of the sculpture garden at this museum.

12 comments:

VP said...

We do not see much of this kind of art, which I really like!

EG CameraGirl said...

It's great to see how artists saw the old west! These paintings are fabulous!

William Kendall said...

I'd enjoy this place. The Lewis & Clark story fascinates me.

Halcyon said...

I really like the paintings. Looking forward to the sculpture garden too!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Super link Sharon, Bev is a talented artist, I see what you mean about the horse, they do feature in a lot of her work.

Lowell said...

These are phenomenal paintings. The story of Lewis and Clark is one of a great adventure that required great strength and fortitude. I really love Bev Doolittle's painting ... you can just feel the sense of danger in the air by the attitude of the trapper and his horse.

RedPat said...

Oh I like all of these, Sharon! Especially the last one - I'm off to check out the link.

Catalyst said...

I love that painting by Moyers. The flag-enwrapped Native American(?) looks quite Caucasian to me and the Coke can at his feet is a masterstroke.

cieldequimper said...

They are all nice but I love Bev Doolittle! Lucky you!

1ondoncalling said...

These oil paintings are really beautiful.
I especially like the first one, "We Proceed On".

Lois said...

These paintings are lovely Sharon. The last one is my favorite too!

Jack said...

Western art is so much fun. I would enjoy seeing these.