Apache Fire Makers–1993

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35" x 26" inches
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Cowboy Artists of America Gold Award 1985 Before the white man introduced them to the wonder of matches, the Indians had several effective ways of starting a fire. These Apaches have used flint and steel to start a spark in a handful of dry grass. One blows the flame into fuller life while the other prepares dry sticks to receive the glowing tinder. The artist explains the mental processes that went into this work: "Odd how a picture will assert itself sometimes. I had taken some photographs, just some simple record shots, of Arizona terrain one afternoon. In this particular area the sun was streaming across the desert floor, projecting fascinating patterns of light and shadow on the rocks. For some reason I though the overall effect impressive. It was simplicity itself—I saw in the mind's eye that little camp; corner of cavalry saddle, ropes, bundles. And that Indian with a spark from flint, blowing gently into tinder, and I saw the light cascading across the natural stage, carrying up the kneeling figure to the smoke, then traveling across to the left. Well, by placing that old hat on the Apache's face, I kept his face in the shadow, which put more emphasis on the smoke in the sunlight. I wonder if we ever understand the process of creativity?"