Chief Niwot’s Encampment at the Creek painting

Chief Niwot's Encampment at the Creek, detail

I learned so much in creating this painting of a historical subject, painted on textured gesso board in acrylic, 18 x 24″. A departure in subject matter has to be a great challenge for any artist, don’t you think? I had no idea, at the outset, that I would become so engrossed in this subject in a personal way.

I did research on the Arapahoe native Americans, their homes and history. Chief Niwot said that whoever comes to this valley (Boulder/Niwot area) will never want to leave. His appreciation for the beauty of the natural area was heartfelt and from experience. I have had those same thoughts.

If you drive on the Diagonal Highway north of Boulder you can see many things. There are trees all along Left Hand Creek, (named after Chief Niwot, which means Left Hand). Those cottonwoods get so tall that American eagles nest there and people stop on the highway to photograph them.

Chief Niwot Encampment at the Creek, 2012, Karen Gillis Taylor

The hills near Lyons, just west of Niwot have the shape of the hill in this painting just behind the teepees.

I’m an artist and former history major, so it’s a dangerous combination if a person tends to romanticize the past, like I do. But I have seen the beauty of our landscape and I do focus on that. I love the light, the color and the dramatic shapes and shadows I have the privilege to see nearly every day.

In college the only philosopher who spoke about art that made any sense to me was Tolstoy. He appreciated beauty and I love the beauty of God’s creation. It is my inspiration and a source that never will run dry.

“To evoke in oneself a feeling one has once experienced, and having evoked it in oneself, then by means of movements, lines, colors, sounds, or forms expressed through words, so to convey this so that others may experience the same feeling – this is the activity of art. (Leo Tolstoy)”

See the previous post for the original abstract color sketch for the way this painting came about…


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2 Responses to “Chief Niwot’s Encampment at the Creek painting”

  1. sandy Says:

    Great colors Karen. I like the way you use them.


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