Indian Picnic

Indian Picnic, oil on canvas. This was painted from a sketch I did which won me a commission in a contest aimed at documenting the Timucuan Indians of north Florida in the 1500's.  The scene was to illustrate a family group crossing a body of water, the same theme originally drawn by a Spanish artist in about 1580, after a written account from 1550.  The goal of the contest, by a historical/environmental preservation group ( was to select 10 artist's to create modern day interpretations of scenes originally drawn in 1580, aiming for greater historical, cultural accuracy and also for the geography, flora, and fauna of Florida.  While waiting for my actual assignment, I painted this because as I kid I had been very interested in Indians, reading a lot, and I recently also had an urge to do some Florida landscapes.

I imagined everything except the upper body of the male was based on photo - of me! - back when I had been working so hard on building the house and was really fit.  OK by abs never looked like that but I was down to 138 lbs. so I was pretty wiry. 

I like everything but the middle distance water, the stance of the male, and the little girl seems a bit awkward.  The foreground water is pretty cool.  The photo is so so and the beauty of the scene is somewhat diminished.