Ernest Smith (1907-1975), an established and highly recognized Tonawanda Seneca, Iroquois artist. He produced 240 watercolor and oil paintings in his lifetime, each one capturing a moment of daily life or illustrating Native American mythology.
Smith's work is wonderful, and clearly some is more simplistic with the image centrally located in the painting, and the background is simply left in the color of the original board.
Other paintings (his "Sky Woman", for example) are the opposite: the paint covers every inch, the images have depth, light, shadow, and movement. Smith's paintings are filled with symbolism and knowing what the symbols represent makes his work even that much more beautiful and complex.
The original of this watercolor was done in 1938 and after his death the Rochester Museum and Science Center began to reproduce his works as an important cultural legacy.
Notes from this watercolor say: 'Sunflower seed oil served to flavor soups and food, and was used as a hair oil, or consumed as medicine. Pouring boiling water over the wasted, ground and sifted seeds yielded a coffee-like drink."
His artworks retell the origin stories, the history and social life in a marvelous series of paintings that have preserved the simplicity and feel of his people. His work shows us how challenging life was for the subjects in his paintings.
Relatively unknown his work survives at both RMSC and the NYS Museum as well as a small collection at the Iroquois Museum and the Smithsonian.
Vintage frame is really scuffed but the lithograph is in good condition.
And please visit Etsy.OilArts.AffordableArts for more paintings.
Frame: 15 1/2" x 18 1/2" Image: 7" x 9 1/2"