First Nation Meadow
Dawn light illuminates this ancient land of the Nez Perce First Nation people, the high desert country of eastern Oregon.
The high desert country of eastern Oregon is composed of the Great Basin in the south and the Columbia River Plateau in the north, east of the Cascade mountain range. It is known as a high desert due to its average 4000 foot elevation. In reality, this land is actually not arid enough to qualify as a desert. It is most accurately described as scrubland or steppe, with about 15 inches of rainfall per year. The highest point is Steens Mountain, at 9733 feet. Ancient volcanic lava flows from eruptions during the Miocene era, some 16 million years ago, are very evident throughout the region.
Wildlife inhabitants include pronghorn, coyote, mule deer, jackrabbit, cougar and birds, such as, California quail, sage grouse and prairie falcon. Plant species tolerant to the elevation and dry, hot summers include the Western juniper, featured in this painting, sagebrush and common woolly sunflower.
The Nez Perce First nation People lived in this area of the Columbia River Plateau. The name they call themselves is Nimiipuu, meaning The People. At the time of the explorations of Lewis and Clark, the Nez Perce territory covered 17 million acres, extending into what are now Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Idaho. In the early 1800s, the Nez Perce were the largest tribe on the Columbia River Plateau, with as many as 70 permanent winter villages and hundreds more of more temporary living sites. A migratory people, they followed a seasonal trail to hunt buffalo as far east as the great Plains of Montana and as far west as Celilo Falls on the Columbia River to fish salmon. They were known to be great horseman, who perfected selective breeding, along with their superb horsemanship, that has resulted in the beautiful Appaloosa..
Mid nineteenth century saw tragedy, an epic fight to keep the fertile homeland in Washington and Oregon, which dissolved into an epic flight towards sanctuary for 800 men, women and children. Harassed by 2000 US Army soldiers across 1170 miles, multiple ranges of mountains and four states, through 18 battles, Chief Joseph surrendered with a poignant message…”hear me, my chiefs, I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From were the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever…”
Jeanette French, paintings, photographs, canvas prints framed prints, metallic prints, acrylic prints, greeting cards, gift cards, fine art.
Creating portals of light, love, joy, beauty, compassion, hope and gratitude is my lifelong passion and gift for the earth, hence the name of my art business, For the Earth. My mother painted in oils when I was young and encouraged my own drawing, painting and handcrafting in all forms. My father, the photographer, gave me my first camera at age 8. As a result of these loving influences, I am a lifelong student of both mediums. I am grateful to my wonderful Pacific NW painter teachers, Stan Capon and Edi Olson, for training my eye and technique. I hope you will enjoy this image as much as I enjoyed its creation. More gifts for the earth can be found at these websites: jeanette-french.artistwebsites.com and jeanette-french.pixels.com.
November 24th, 2012
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