The Old Squaw

Pamela Phelps

Phillipsport, United States

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Artist's Description

“The Kaatsberg or Catskill Mountains have always been a region full of fable. The Indians considered them the abode of spirits, who influenced the weather, spreading sunshine or clouds, over the landscape, and sending good or bad hunting seasons. They were ruled by an OLD SQUAW SPIRIT, said to be their mother. She dwelt on the highest peak of the Catskills, and had charge, of the doors of day and night, to open and shut them at the proper hour. She hung up the new moons in the skies, and cut up the old ones into stars. In times of drought, if properly propitiated, she would spin light summer clouds out of cobwebs and morning dew, and send them off from the crest of the mountain, flake after flake, like flakes of carded cotton, to float in the air, until, dissolved by the heat of the sun, they would fall in gentle showers, causing grass to spring, the fruits to ripen, and the corn to grow and inch an hour. If displeased, however, she would brew up clouds black as ink, sitting in the midst of them like a bottle-bellied spider in the midst of its web, and when these clouds broke, woe betide the valleys.”

Dreamscape inspired by dreams of a meeting with the Old Squaw of the mountains in which I reside. Then this morning, there she was looking out at me from the floor tiles in the bathroom!

Three images of the tile pattern, adjusted in blending modes, and outlines of her face burned for darker value.
1 Texture overlay courtesy of KerstinFrank of Flickr

Artwork Comments

  • Sheryl Gerhard
  • Pamela Phelps
  • JRGarland
  • Pamela Phelps
  • miroslava
  • Pamela Phelps
  • barnsis
  • Pamela Phelps
  • Carol Bleasdale
  • Pamela Phelps
  • Malcolm Chant
  • Pamela Phelps
  • TrixiJahn
  • Pamela Phelps
  • Guendalyn
  • Pamela Phelps
  • Charmiene Maxwell-Batten
  • Pamela Phelps
  • © Kira Bodensted
  • Pamela Phelps
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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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