The Medicine Man

Type of art: Painting, Drawing, Graphics & Photography

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"

Price: $4,200
Bryan Waytula
Cherokee Nation
Waytula earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Oklahoma and his certification to teach from Northeastern State University. Bryan taught grades 6th – 12th for 13 years before recently stepping away from the classroom to show his works full time across the United States. His works have been appreciated by professional athletes, charities, and numerous clients. Waytula is a 3rd generation Cherokee artist whose Grand-mother (Betty Scraper-Garner) & Mother (Vivian Cottrell) are Master Craftsmen & Cherokee Treasures in the art of basketry. He actively exhibits his award winning works in various Native American shows, exhibitions, and museums across the country. Born in Tahlequah, OK. he’s be drawing since the age of 5. Bryan works in a wide range of art mediums but has become known for his realistic works using colored pencils & charcoals.
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