THE COMANCHES ARE COMING!

The Comanches are coming.

What?

Listen, the Comanches are coming!

What? What are you talking about?

Listen!

The muffled sound of drums. Approaching. Listen!

 

It was our first New Year's Day in our new adobe on the ridge overlooking the valley of the Rio Chiquito and the Rio Grande del Rancho. We were having breakfast with our overnight guests, Merrill and Jeanne Mahaffey, and Thea's sister, Alicia. Our neighbor ran over yelling They're coming. Hear them? The Comanches are coming.

We stepped out the kitchen door, as the drumming grew louder, and down our drive came a group of brightly feathered and painted… Indians? No. These were obviously Hispanic individuals, dressed as Indians.

They formed a circle in front of our house, a band of singers and drummers let out a few yelps and war whoops, then broke into song. The “Comanches” began to dance. A group of spectators, having followed them into our yard, formed a semi-circle on the other side. Our neighbor explained that they were here to bless our house.

Another neighbor, our good friend, CruzValerio, broke away from the group, went over to the pen housing our chickens and two turkeys, and began drumming and chanting, blessing them.

After several songs and dances, the group introduced themselves, wished us a Happy New Year, and drifted up to our neighbor's house for a repeat performance, then back up to the hiway and on to other houses. We could hear them until mid afternoon as they blessed other houses in the area.


We subsequently learned that there were other groups in the area, and, in fact that they also appear as far south as El Paso. None of our group could remember how it all started. They had been doing it longer than any of them could remember. The real Comanches, however, used to come into this area from out on the plains on raiding parties. They would take crops, livestock, and captives, striking terror into the hearts of the Spanish and Pueblo people living between the Sangre de Cristo mountains and the Rio Grande.

Some believe this ritual began as a sort of prayer to keep the raiders away, others believe escaped captives brought back songs and dances from their time living among the enemy. No one seems to know for sure.

Whatever the origin, we feel truly blessed by their visits, and have for a decade and a half, as we've watched some of the children grow into fine adults, with children of their own, continuing the tradition.

After Cruz's son, Alex, the leader of the Comanches succumbed to cancer a few years ago, the dancers became fewer, until, finally, we feared the tradition had died. But today, just as I was finishing my lunch, I once again heard the drums. They were back. Fewer in number, with fewer followers, even, but they were back.

Alex's son appears to have taken over in his father's place, and our house is once again blessed, as we are.

Hasta mañana.

P.S. To learn more about the Comanches, check out Miguel Gandert's book, Nuevo México Profundo, Rituals of an Indo-Hispano Homeland.

 

LITTLE MUDHEAD KACHINA WITH BLUE JAY FEATHER / Daily Painting #1291

Little Mudhead Kachina with Blue Jay Feather

Ink and Watercolor / 6 x 9 Inches

If you would like to own today's painting, send your bid (Minimum $200) in an email to: farnsworthgallery@newmex.com, or call Thea at 505 982-4561.

If you would like some expert help with framing your purchase, just call Thea, 505 982-4561, and she will take good care of you.

Also, please remember that if you would like to:

  • Commission a larger version of your favorite subject,
  • Check on the availability of a given image, or
  • Schedule a workshop…

  • We are just a phone call away, at 505 982-4561, or you can email us at: john@johnfarnsworth.com



HOPI DANCE MAIDEN DOLL / Daily Painting #1205

HOPI DANCE MAIDEN DOLL / Watercolor / 6 x 9 inches

HOW TO BID:

Bidding opens when a painting is posted and ends at midnight one week later (MST) Mountain Standard Time.

Send your bid (Minimum $200.00) by email to: farnsworthgallery@newmex.com

Highest bid wins. In case of a tie for highest bid, the earliest wins. If payment is not made within 1 week, sale goes to second highest bidder. If you do not receive a confirmation, please call 505 982-4561 for assistance.

The winning bidder will be notified by email the following day.

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Winning Paintings will be shipped as soon as the funds clear and the paint is dry. Wet paint can take up to two weeks to be safe for shipping.

If you're not 100% satisfied with your new painting, for any reason, send it back and we will send you a full refund along with a free box of chocolates!

Please consult the artist prior to any reproduction or other use of the image. See also: Use an Image page above.

If you would like some expert help with framing your purchase, just call Thea, 505 982-4561, and she will take good care of you.

Also, please remember that if you would like to:

  • Commission a larger version of your favorite subject,
  • Check on the availability of a given image, or
  • Schedule a workshop

We are just a phone call away, at 505 982-4561, or you can email us at: john@johnfarnsworth.com.

ROOSTER TWO / Daily Painting #1155

Pen and Ink / Watercolor / 6 x 9 inches

Here’s another “confection”, the other rooster, an Old English Gamecock, that we raised from a chick, along with a variety of hens eight or ten years ago in what seems like another life already. This one was .

As I said before, there's just nothing more soothing to me than a yard full of clucking, pecking, scratching, contented chickens.

Be the first person in with a $100 bid, because the first hundred takes it!

So don't wait! Send your bid in an email to:

farnsworthgallery@newmex.com, or call Thea at 505 982-4561.

I'm having a great time with these, and apparently so are many of you.

If you would like some expert help with framing your purchase, just call Thea, 505 982-4561, and she will take good care of you.

Also, please remember that if you would like to:

  • Commission a larger version of your favorite subject,
  • Check on the availability of a given image, or
  • Schedule a workshop

We are just a phone call away, at 505 982-4561, or you can email us at: john@johnfarnsworth.com.

 

SKOOKUM / Daily Painting #1064

Watercolor / 6 x 9 Inches.

Be the first person in with a $100 bid, and it's yours! That's right. The first hundred takes it. Don't wait!

Send your bid in an email to: farnsworthgallery@newmex.com,

or call Thea at: 505 982-4561

Please remember that if you would like to commission a larger version of your favorite subject, if you would like to check on the availability of a given image, or if you would like to schedule a workshop, we are just a phone call away, at 505 982-4561, or you can email us at: john@johnfarnsworth.com.

 

OGRE KATSINTIHU / Daily Painting #951

Oil on Paper Mounted on Panel / 6 x 6 Inches

At the Heard Museum in Arizona in the Barry Goldwater Collection, there is a small Kachina carving. It is the old kind, the traditional kind given to the children to educate them in the Hopi way. Its paint almost worn away, this flat, nearly featureless carving still retains its presence, its character.

In the 1970s, I made a series of small monoprints based, loosely, on the that little ogre. Contrary to tradition, I've always preferred to make monoprints with oils, rather than with printer's ink. Either way, one paints on a sheet of metal or glass, or, as I did, on plastic. Paper is lain on top of the image and run through a printer's press, or, as in the case of these small pieces, rubbed with the back of a spoon.

The image is transferred to the paper, and in the process takes on interesting characteristics not present in the original. Occasionally there is sufficient ink remaining on the plate to allow for a second impression. A third, ghost impression, too weak to stand on its own may be added using oils, watercolors, even pastels.

Adding fresh paint to the plate, with different colors and different strokes, will result in more images that are the same, yet different. One idea, many original, one of a kind prints.

That series of Ogre prints has long since all gone away into collections, but, fortunately I still have photographs of them for my records. Today, as I was working on organizing my records, I came across them and thought I should do a painting based on one of the prints. The image had already changed during the making of the series, becoming more colorful and more three dimensional. I decided to approach the subject as though it were a newer carving, more typical of those made in the 1930s and 1940s, and less old, less worn, but still showing considerable age.

Anxious to take what I've been learning from doing my abstract series and apply it to a Kachina, I jumped right in. I'm really happy with the result!

NOTE! I have a special new WORKSHOP coming up in July. Click HERE for details. I hope you can join us.

Click Here to see my Daily Photographs.

Please remember that if you would like to commission a larger version of your favorite subject, if you would like to check on the availability of a given image, or if you would like to schedule a workshop, we are just a phone call away, at 505 982-4561, or you can email us at: john@johnfarnsworth.com

 

WARBONNET / Daily Painting #939

 

Oil on Paper Mounted on Panel / 6 x 6 Inches

If you would like to own this painting, just send your bid in an email to: farnsworthgallery@newmex.com, or call Thea at 505 982-4561.

Case in point. Two cases, really. Gumballs! from a couple of days ago, and today's Warbonnet.

The first is all about the subject, the realistic representation. Light, shade, colors all faithfully rendered.

The second translated, rendered, realistically, yet not “photographically”.

Someone once said: To translate a book, read it. Then read it again. And again. Then write it. In other words, not a literal, word for word, translation. That's what a computer can do, often with comic or even tragic results.

There is definitely an amount of skill needed to render a super realistic depiction of an object or objects, and I love doing it. I hope I manage to bring a little of myself to the piece, though. I certainly try.

But what of the second example. There's no mistaking what it represents. Most of its component parts are recognizable. But it's slightly more expressionistic, the language of the paint different, more important.

Or maybe I could put it this way: One is like words carefully printed, the other, words done in calligraphy. Both valid. Both justifiable. So what's the big deal? I've done both styles in the past, as well as variations of both.

For me, it's a big deal because through the recent series of abstractions I'm learning to exercise this handwriting deliberately, comfortably and with an authority that I have not previously had in oils.

I find the Gumballs! exciting the way they are painted. But I had avoided painting the Warbonnet ever since I photographed it at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles, because I felt it would be boring if rendered in that way. When I came across it again, but with the abstracts fresh in my mind, I couldn't wait to paint it in this language that I'm finally getting comfortable with.

OK, maybe it's not such a big deal, but it is a step in the right direction!

Click Here to see my Daily Photographs.

Please remember that if you would like to commission a larger version of your favorite subject, if you would like to check on the availability of a given image, or if you would like to schedule a workshop, we are just a phone call away, at 505 982-4561, or you can email us at: john@johnfarnsworth.com

 

STAR KACHINA Daily Painting #384

Star Kachina / Oil on Panel / 6 x 6 Inches / ©John Farnsworth

Star Kachina / Oil on Panel / 6 x 6 Inches / ©John Farnsworth

For more, click on Kachinas.

Bidding has ended. If you missed bidding on this or any of our other daily paintings, be sure to visit our Collectors’ Exchange page. Your favorite could still be available.

If you enjoy these daily paintings, please give us a hand. Spread the word. Tell someone you know, friends, family, and colleagues, about A Farnsworth A Day. They will appreciate your personal recommendation, and we will, too.

ZUÑI WAKAS (COW) KACHINA Daily Painting #383

Zuñi Wakas (Cow) Kachina / Oil on Panel / 6 x 6 Inches / ©John Farnsworth

Zuñi Wakas (Cow) Kachina / Oil on Panel / 6 x 6 Inches / ©John Farnsworth

For more, click on Kachinas.

Bidding has ended. If you missed bidding on this or any of our other daily paintings, be sure to visit our Collectors’ Exchange page. Your favorite could still be available.

If you enjoy these daily paintings, please give us a hand. Spread the word. Tell someone you know, friends, family, and colleagues, about A Farnsworth A Day. They will appreciate your personal recommendation, and we will, too.

KACHINA MOTHER (HAHAI WUQTI) Daily Painting #256

Come on over to the Collectors’ Exchange and share in the fun. See you there.

Kachina Mother / Oil on Panel / 6 x 6 Inches / ©John FarnsworthKachina Mother / Oil on Panel / 6 x 6 Inches

To see more Kachina paintings and to learn more about them, click here.

Bidding has ended. If you missed this or any of our other daily paintings, be sure to visit our Collectors’ Exchange page.

If you enjoy these daily paintings, please give us a hand. Spread the word. Tell someone you know, friends, family, and colleagues, about A Farnsworth A Day. They will appreciate your personal recommendation, and we will, too.