A return to in-studio classes this summer and fall
Introducing the Gold Leaf collection
Here is my latest painting on gold leaf:
two pines for Paula (a commissioned piece)
dreams of six grandfathers (Tunkasila Sakpe Paha)
media: Acrylic and Chinese watercolor on gold leaf
clouds arising aimlessly above the peaks
Long before four of the largest faces on Earth were dynamited into the granite edifice of what is now known as Mount Rushmore, the Lakota Sioux saw a different set of portraits. The Lakota saw a line of wise protective figures on the domed granite skyline of the sacred mountain they called the Six Grandfathers.
The site was officially renamed after wealthy New York investor Charles Rushmore only in 1930, years after its famous construction project began, but Tunkasila Sakpe Paha had been an integral part of Lakota identity for generations.
Before it was called Six Grandfathers Mountain (Tunkasila Sakpe Paha), it was called Cougar Mountain (Igmu Tanka Paha) because of many cougars or mountain lions living in the vicinity. Then around the early part of 1870, an experience by Nicolas Black Elk, a Lakota medicine man, changed the name to Six Grandfathers because of the six outcrops of the mountain and a dream or a vision he experienced there.
The vision was of the six sacred directions: west, east, north, south, above, and below. The directions were said to represent kindness and love, full of years and wisdom, like human grandfathers.
Bob Schmitt, brush painter and teacher, has been using ink and brush in the manner of Asian brush painters for over 50 years. He has trained professionally since 1998 in the study and practice of traditional Chinese landscape painting and calligraphy with Hong Zhang, a Chinese painting master from Shanghai who resides in Minneapolis. He also has studied with Chinese painting masters, Lok Tok and Yitong Lok of Toronto, Canada since 1995. Bob lives and works in his studio/home Laughing Waters Studio, a stone’s throw from Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis.
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