Monday, 14 May 2012

#235 Remarque: "Red-tailed Hawk at Sappa Creek"

I started modeling a red-tailed hawk years ago.  During those years I would occasionally tweak it but the desire to finish the work was not there.  All of that changed in 2007, after visiting with Howard Terpning at the Autry Masters of the American West Show.  In an
early book, entitled The Art of Howard Terpning, I had read about his painting, Digging in 
at Sappa Creek, and asked about his research.  He explained that a Cheyenne holy man, whose spirit guide was the red-tailed hawk, was killed by army troops at Sappa Creek and that every afternoon the holy man’s spirit came back to the site in the form of a hawk.  Howard had visited the site in northwestern Kansas and described his intense feelings as
a hawk kept calling and circling around him.  The story captivated me.  Energized, I too, visited Sappa Creek.  As I surveyed the lonesome site, I heard a breathtaking cry of a
red-tailed hawk circling above me.  At that moment, I was compelled to complete the work.

Saturday, during the opening of Howard Terpning's Tribute to the Plains People Exhibition at the Autry Museum, a film presentation and question and answer session was held in the auditorium.  Howard, again, spoke about the Sappa Creek incident.  His voice broke and tears came to his eyes while telling the story.  I, as well as everyone in the room, was overwhelmed by the emotional tale of the tragic event.

At left, I'm standing next to Terpning's painting, Digging In At Sappa Creek. After visting the site in northwestern Kansas, the award winning sculpture Red-tailed Hawk at Sappa Creek was completed.

Red-tailed Hawk at Sappa Creek
42”H 30”W 25”D  

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