Wednesday, October 26, 2011

(G2,G3) American Indian Legends and Symbols (The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush (Part II)

In The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, Little Gopher "finds his brushes filled with paint, each one a color of the sunset.
When he is done creating his sunset, he leaves the brushes on the hillside.
When the people awoke, the hill was ablaze with color.
The brushes had taken root in the earth and multiplied into plants of brilliant reds, oranges and yellows".

Castilleja commonly known as Indian Paintbrush.
It is the Wyoming state flower, Texas 

Students used water colors to paint sheets of brown paper bags.
We also painted sheets of paper red and green and made our Indian Paintbrush flowers. 

In looking and examining the illustrations on the book, we learned how the Native American Indian used pictorial language to represent words.
The above is the symbol of the sun representing life 

This is the symbol of a Morning Star. The brightest star on the dawn's horizon.
It was considered an important spirit and honored as a kachina with most
Pueblo Indians.

We looked at a reproduction of Indian Fantasy by Marsden Hartley (1877-1943)
This painting is part of his "Amerika" series done in the summer of 1914
It is part of the collection in the North Carolina Museum of Art
We discussed how this artist incorporated mystical references and symbols in his art.
We also discussed the balance and visual rhythm of his composition.
The students commented on the boldness of his colors and patterns.

The sun as a symbol of life giver. Warmth, growth, and all that is good and well.

Home coming symbol.
Student comment: "It looks like a heart".

The thunderstorm symbol represents change, renewal and fertility.
Related to snow which is a higher blessing than rain.  

Horse as a symbol of journey

Teepee, a symbol of a temporary house

Waves as a symbol of the cycles of life, renewal and springtime

Feathers as symbols of prayers, sources of ideas or marks of honor.


  1. Que bellos colores, unas obras preciosas, creativas y luminosas. Un abrazo

  2. I like the story about the Little Gopher ...

  3. your work always looks so loose and fresh and free. thanks for being an inspiration.

  4. Fabulous artworks and colors. They are really ingenious. Specifically i like the sun and teepee.

  5. Delicious pictures with nice colors, excellent execution.

  6. Lovely composition spiral delicious.

  7. the art of young people is so uninhibited...Native American Art a wonderful inspiration...the color the shapes the meaning

  8. Ohhhhhh... these are gorgeous. Klee is a wonderful artist to introduce to children. His work has that sense of childlike whimsy with lovely line, and colour.

  9. Jo Murray's comment accidentally went to the wrong post. This comment belongs to "Lines and Shapes in the work of Paul Klee" post.

  10. Very interesting!!! Thank you for your visit!

  11. I adore Marsden Hartley's work. Thanks for sharing your kids work on Pinterest!