The Medicine Man
2019 mixed media on canvas (Old Medicine Labels printed on ledger paper adhered to canvas with acrylic & enamel painted) also fixed in a custom shadow frame.
This contemporary painting depicts the portrait of Mr. Toby Hughes, a Cherokee Nation citizen, a master craftsman, a Medicine Man, and a keeper of our traditions. A man who still remembers and practices the old ways of the Cherokee, Toby acts as a keeper of our traditions who can write, read, and speak our native language. This piece integrates a mixed media of paper, glue, ink, and acrylic paint on canvas. The ledger paper seen in the background is from 1919 and has old medicine labels printed on them of what my grandmother, a Cherokee National Treasure in basketry, use to call ""snake oil"". Many of these remedies claiming to be medicine were made up of nothing more than alcohol, food coloring and some sugar. The earth provides all that we need to heal with and ""The Medicine Man"" pays tribute to the progression of using our healing plants into the medicine we use today. Even the ongoing debate we're seeing now on the benefits/drawbacks of marijuana or the oils taken from an earthly plant can be used to treat and heal our bodies. Similar to the uses of black gum bark, honeysuckle, ginger, mullein, rosemary, sage, sumac, elderberry, and many more. I'm guilty of not educating myself enough in many of our traditional ways, including the arts, and wanted this piece to bring a contemporary awareness to the value of passing our traditions down to our youth of what Mother Earth gives us. There may come a time when Tylenol, Pepto-Bismol, or even hamburgers or hot-dogs, become extremely limited and being able to identify natural resources can become valuable to your family or tribe's survival as we've become accustom to having Amazon or Wal-Mart deliver these medicines directly to our front door.
Materials: Ledger paper, spray paint, glue, canvas, ink, acrylic
Technique: Mixed media
Size: 36" x 48"