Shawl Dancer Process
(Ladies Fancy Shawl is the newest form of Native American Women's Dance)
The colors and exciting movement reflect the Shawl Dance
I feel that in memory of the American Indian Culture my heart needed to honor the souls of the Native Americans who lived in the Napa Valley.
The symbol on the child's headdress represents the Thunderbird. Thunderbird signifies unlimited happiness. May it bring the same to you.
This piece reminds me of the first painting I did when I landed at this location 35 years ago. I had painted faces for 15 years and needed a break. On a giant piece of watercolor paper, I splashed color across the 40"x 60" image and called it "Indian Dreams."
From the moment I moved into this building, I have felt the spirits of the Wappo Indians. The Gallery was across the street from what was once Vichy Springs and seems a likely place for the original settlers in this area.
A Little Napa Valley History
Wappo villages were led by a chief, male or female, who was chosen for life. The villages were usually located along creeks, and were composed of oval grass-thatched houses. They were generally very peaceful, except for occasional warfare with the Pomo and struggles against Spanish incursions in the Napa Valley.
The name Napa was probably derived from the name given to a southern Nappan (meaning "Fairy Valley") Indian Village whose people shared the area with elk, deer, grizzlies and panthers for many centuries.
I believe the earth is holy and precious around me and just like this child, it holds the secrets of generations past, present and future. I honor the earth with this painting.