I can hardly believe it but this very slow work in progress (started last June) is now complete! It is called Vision Quest and is based on Crazy Horse, an Ogalala Sioux, who lived in the eastern Montana and Dakotas area. I wet felted the landscape background and hand needle felted his portrait and the red hawk. I used the Janome needle felt machine for the feathers and the war shield. The whole piece with frame is 30″ high by 42″ wide.
In his vision quest, Crazy Horse saw himself riding his horse through a thunder and hail storm with a red hawk flying above him. He was unadorned except for one eagle feather. Therefore, he only wore one feather in his hair. He also wore an inyan (fossil) behind his ear which I have included a felted one behind his ear. I based his portrait on a sketch found online. There are no known, verified photos of Crazy Horse.
This is a depiction of his war shield. It is painted felt. The blue and white dots represent hail stones. The yellow lightening bolt represents the thunder storm. The red piece is “trade cloth” and the feathers represent red hawk feathers. The other portion of his vision was the hands of his people always reaching for him. Crazy Horse lived during the time of the government placing all Native Americans on reservations and fought in the battle of the Little Bighorn. He resisted going to the reservations and was an honored war leader of his clan. After he finally relented and went to the reservation, he was arrested and killed. I wasn’t sure about this piece, thus it taking me so long to complete. I am pleasantly surprised with the outcome.