Mission Statement

This blog journals my quest of art, whether it is a piece of work that is inherent in nature or one created by artists known or unknown or that I created myself. During this search, I have come to appreciate the magnificence and generosity of God who in his infinite wisdom surrounded us with exquisiteness everyday...everywhere and inspired our human spirit to create beauty that feeds our bodies and souls. Come join me on my journey to find art through my travels and my own creative endeavors. Maraming salamat.

All rights to all posts and contents on this blog, including photos and artwork are reserved by jojo sabalvaro tan.






Thursday, January 26, 2012

Native American Indian Paintings


For my first project for 2012, I decided to do a series of watercolors featuring native American Indian Chiefs. I picked the subject mainly because I like the colorful outfits, accessories and headdress they wore and thought that they would be a good challenge for me to tackle.  Again, I searched the Internet for inspiration but ended up using some black and white postcards I purchased at the famous Wall Drug during one of of our road trips to South Dakota. Because the reference postcards were black and white, I felt it gave me the freedom to use any color. I really wanted to make these in the style of contemporary southwest artist John Nieto whose bold, colorful approach to painting I admire very much.  But, alas, I chickened out.....maybe next time.

An example of artist John Nieto's work
I always have had an affinity for the Native American Indians. I actually can not explain why. It was cemented in the late 1970s when my husband and I drove from Phoenix to Las Vegas with a stop at The Grand Canyon and Sedona. During this trip, we came across an Indian reservation which was off limits to tourists. One of the guys from the reservation, invited us in because he thought I looked very Native American. We got to visit the homes of members of the tribe as they were making pottery, baskets, rugs and dolls that are going into the tourist trade. I was absolutely thrilled. Later, I actually found one of the same dolls at a gift shop at the Grand Canyon and bought it for my mom who was a doll collector.

I painted four Native American Indian Chiefs for this series. What was important to me is that I approached the paintings with the sensitivity and respect these great men deserve. These images are small, measuring 4" x 4". With each painting, I added an inspirational native American Indian saying. I think I will have these matted to fit an 8" x 10" frame and will be selling them individually on Etsy
Preliminary sketch of one of the Native American Indian Chiefs.
American Indian Chief III, 2012
Watercolor on Watercolor paper
4" x 4"
by jojo sabalvaro tan
American Indian Chief II, 2012
Watercolor on Watercolor paper
4" x 4"
by jojo sabalvaro tan
American Indian Chief I, 2012
Watercolor on Watercolor paper
4" x 4"
by jojo sabalvaro tan
American Indian Chief IV, 2012
Watercolor on Watercolor paper
4" x 4"
by jojo sabalvaro tan

Here are some of my earlier works featuring the Native American. These were inspired by one of our road trips to South Dakota.

Indian Dancer, 2004
Watercolor on Watercolor paper
Approx 4.5" x 6.5"
by jojo sabalvaro tan
This is one of the first paintings I did with the Native American Theme, It was done in 2004, inspired by a fully costumed man we saw at Burger King in South Dakota.

Native American Indian Women at Pow Wow, 2005
7.5" x 9.5"
Watercolor on Watercolor Paper
by jojo sabalvaro tan
And I'd like to share this prayer.

Great Spirit Prayer
By Yellow Hawk, Sioux Chief

Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind, whose breath gives life to all the world. Hear me; I need your strength and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset. Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people.

Help me to remain calm and strong in the face of all that comes towards me. Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock. Help me seek pure thoughts and act with the intention of helping others. Help me find compassion without empathy overwhelming me. I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy - Myself. Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes. So when life fades, as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame.

1 comment:

  1. jojo, I would like permission to post on my Facebook page your painting of Indian Dancer, 2004. I post art on my page and would like to share your painting. I share my posts publicly. Judy Brutz judybrutz@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete