Why Paint a Buffalo? American Bison

February 9, 2016 at 3:28 am Leave a comment

bison ptgs no border

For twenty years my mother made paintings inspired by the cave art of Lascaux and Chauvet. Looking at the remarkable outlines of bears, elk and bison, I wondered why our ancestors of 40,000 years ago exaggerated the features they did.  I looked at the animal
with a new curiosity.

As a child, I used to see them live, roaming through the plains of North Dakota. They were big, rough, hairy, prehistoric looking beasts.  They were also the powerful stampeders herded off cliffs by Native Americans in the pages of National Geographic. That magazine was our window to the exotic outside world, when TV only offered four black and white stations.

Those paintings of hunting scenes made me sad for everyone, man and beast alike. These fleeting images float through my mind as I paint.

Current conservation efforts by many American Indian nations are reestablishing healthy bison population and reclaim and important part of their history.

 

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AUTHOR Amy Hautman Bates M.A, LPCC, ATR

After being a professional painter for 30 years, I broadened by scope from making art for personal edification to using art to promote health and healing in the world. I work as an Art Therapist with children and families in Santa Fe, New Mexico, witnessing  them tap into their creative energy to gain greater emotional stability, resiliency and peace.

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