On the downslope of the trip, there was one last mission to be accomplished…a visit to the True West gallery in Santa Fe (https://www.facebook.com/TrueWestSF/). Earlier this year, I chanced upon their website thanks to one of my favorite artist’s announcement that his work was being featured there. I went online, and that is when I saw — hanging on a wall in a photo taken during a gallery open house — a stunning painting of an eagle. I zoomed in on it online…and immediately contacted them to learn if it was for sale. A day or so later, I got an email from the gallery owner with a positive answer and a surprise… “Dangerous Eagle” was indeed for sale and it was painted by Quanah Parker Burgess. I already had one of his paintings and quickly told Craig and Lisa — SOLD!
As I began planning our Great Southwest Adventure, I inked in the gallery visit and knew that — if Lisa and Craig were able to contact these artists — this would be one of the highlights of the entire trip. We were not disappointed!
Craig and Lisa believe in putting artists together with the folks who like and purchase their work. They weren’t surprised when I asked if they could help arrange a meeting with these artists while we were in the ‘neighborhood.’ They did, and we were able to spend two very enjoyable mornings with these talented craftsmen.
There is so much I could say about these meetings…but here’s the Reader’s Digest version. Bennie (Yellowman) is one of those people who you immediately feel like you have known forever. He is comfortable and candid…endearing and funny…and as proud of his family as anyone I’ve ever met. And…I love his art. The new one I bought is completely different from the bold and aggressive Warriors that hang in my den. He took the time to explain all the symbolism he’d included in it. This makes my enjoyment of the painting that much more complete. (http://yellowmanfineart.com/links.html)
My new acquisition hangs on the wall behind us…a colorful tee-pee with mountains and an evening sky in the background.
On Friday morning, we got a ‘two-fer’ when Quanah Parker Burgess (https://www.truewestgallery.com/quanah-parker-burgess) brought his brother, Nocona, along to the gallery. For anyone who knows me, they would understand that this event was more than just “Bucket List” — actually meeting descendants of the legendary Quanah Parker was…I cannot come up with a word that adequately describes it. I know, I know, I’m a little old to be a history groupie…but awe is not too strong a word.
Alex and I unembarrassedly picked Quanah’s brain — about his life, his art, his plans for the future. And then, while Alex and Quanah talked about the nuances of one of his paintings, I visited with Nocona. (http://www.noconaburgess.com/pages/biography) There were so many incidents that we had covered about his ancestor in our (SaveWaterTexas) Legend Series of the Dime Novels, that Nocona so graciously discussed with me. It was almost like going back in time to get to the truth of so many stories about Quanah and Cynthia Ann. He told me one story that I hadn’t heard before…and will share another time…but it shed some light on another tale. I left a set of the “Dimes” with him to fact check!
These two young men are blazing a Native American/Comanche art trail that is new and refreshing. Their styles are captivating and different, and I suspect we’ll be hearing a lot about them in the future. In fact, I’m hoping to have another opportunity before long to learn much more from them…
Quanah is on the left, Nocona on the right.
So, this ends the tale of this journey. A million thanks to Alex for his driving skill, his knowledge of the route and locations, and most of all for his patience. How many millennials do you know who would willingly spend nine days with his grandmother and drive almost 3,000 miles in the process?