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Guarding the Lodge–2011

Giclee on Canvas Collectors' Resale
22" x 41" inches
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85 Signed by the Artist and Numbered
Museum quality edition with a hand-deckled paper edge.

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Let whoever may have attained so much as to have the power of drawing know that he holds a great treasure. -Michelangelo

There is a fundamental truth in art: learn to draw and the painting will follow. Drawing is the coordination of line, tone, perspective and proportion. It is the firm foundation on which a great painting rests. As a step in the creation of a painting itself, it is the part of the process by which the artist makes it clear to himself, not the spectator, what he is doing.

As finished art unto itself, Salvador Dali said, Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad. With Guarding the Lodge, we see just how remarkable and powerful a drawing can be. The original is a mixed-media charcoal drawing on masonite. It was the 1998 Gold Medal Award Winner for Drawing and Other Media at the annual Cowboy Artist of America show. During that same event, Terpning collected the Gold Medal Award for Oil Painting for Offerings to the Little People. To top off the evening of achievement, Howard took home the Artist Choice Award for Best in Show as well.

This Blackfoot warrior is placing his sacred medicine bundles on a tripod outside of his tipi. These sacred bundles were always hung behind the tipi, describes Terpning. The tokes and talismans contained in the bundle are the secrets of his medicine, a gift granted to him from the spirits through visions and dreams.

The People of the plains were preoccupied with spiritual concerns. Even in the best of times, there were those who wondered about tomorrow and became absorbed in uncertainty. There were portents and mysteries in the world around them, omens even in the clouds with vague messages from supernatural beings who lived just behind what the People could perceive. There was the continuing need to entreat the spirits for their divine assistance and protection in a world that was still wild. Spirituality colored every aspect of the lives of the People, as individuals and as components of the tribal whole.

In working on this composition, I felt that the tripod itself was such a strong design element that I wanted to make sure that it was prominent in the overall layout of the picture. The important thing was to make sure that the figure was clearly visible and that the viewer could see that he was attaching the bundle as he held the other items in his left arm.

As Michelangelo says, The power of drawing is a great treasure and Guarding the Lodge is an extraordinary treasure to possess. Reproduced on the finest archival watercolor paper, this Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Edition represents a distinct and impressionable aspect of the art of Howard Terpning. Order yours before this short-run edition disappears.