Ten blue horses streak across the page in the Pony Express Fine Art Print by Piikani/Blackfeet artist John Isaiah Pepion. In nineteen shades of blue—from aqua to azure—these horses pay tribute to the horse culture of the Plains people.
“Horses were vital to the Plains way of life,” says John. “Hunting, war, traveling—we used horses for all of it. Horses often appeared on traditional ledger art as part of the battle and hunting stories Blackfeet artists told, they were that important to our lifestyle.”
John is known for his work as a contemporary ledger artist, continuing an art form that began in the 1700s. “Captured Plains warriors were imprisoned in a penitentiary in Florida,” shares John. “The US Government gave them used paper from old ledger books with some crayons and pencils to draw with. While Plains people had traditionally used earth pigments to paint scenes on hides, these warriors adapted, continuing to tell their stories but with these new materials.” The use of ledger paper became widespread among Plains artists, who recorded scenes of battles, horse raids, stories, and more on this highly portable medium. Artists used ledger paper from accounting books, as well as receipts, certificates, and sometimes even currency.
“Traditionally, only Plains men created ledger art, but now artists of all genders create ledger art. The artform has expanded beyond Plains tribes, too, and now many Native artists work on ledger paper.”
John drew the original Pony Express on antique silk ledger paper from a Virginia City company’s courier log dated September 2, 1891. This archival print of John’s original drawing is printed right here in our Seattle studio on acid-free paper.
Giclée fine art print (unframed)
Open edition; made by Eighth Generation
20" x 16" artwork size (w/ 1" border on the top and sides and a 2.5" border on the bottom: total print size including margins = 22" x 19.5".)
Canson Aquarelle Rag 310 gsm paper meets the highest archival standards
Professionally packaged and shipped flat
Hand signed by the artist
Eighth Generation’s fine art prints include "AC" for "Artist Centered." This unique denotation references our purposeful effort to align business practices with artist interests rather than collector interests.
Original work is pen and marker on antique silk ledger paper
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