“Many Pinnacles” is an original 30×24″, oil on canvas, and fresh off the easel. I painted this piece from a reference photo I took while visiting the Grand Teton National Park. It was a climatic moment as the sunlight highlighted the rugged spires. Perfect light, perfect composition, and a perfect moment to capture on canvas. It’s one of my favorite places to visit and paint.
This peak is Teewinot Mountain, it is one of the major peaks in the Teton range. It was originally spelled Tee-Win-At, it is a Shoshone word that means “many pinnacles”, thus the name of this painting. It is easy to see from Jenny Lake. In fact, because it is so visible many people mistake it for the Grand Teton. Teewinot is 12,330 feet in height, the 6th highest peak in the Teton Range. It is significantly lower in height than the Grand Teton which is 13,776 feet in height. I’ve heard that the view from the summit of Teewinot is one of the best views in the Teton range. I would love to find out for myself someday.
The Shoshone people are a Native American tribe who lived primarily in Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. They lived in seasonal villages in the Wind River Range, which is another one of my favorite painting spots. The villages were as high as 10,000 feet in altitude. Living in the Tucson, Arizona desert we have many people who are what we call “snowbirds”. During the winter they migrate to the warm desert and in the summer they move back to the high country. The Shoshone people lead the way in the “snowbird” concept, perfect weather year round when you live this lifestyle.
Here in the Southwest, the Shoshone are not as well known, however, they are a part of our history. The Southwest, actually comes from them. By the year 1,500 some of the Eastern Shoshone tribe crossed the Rocky Mountains into the Plains. They were met with warfare by several of the Plains tribes, the Blackfoot, Crow, Lakota, Cheyenne, and the Arapaho. The warfare forced them south and west and they became the Comanche tribe.
Sacagawea is probably the most famous person from the Shoshone tribe. She played an important role in the Lewis and Clark expedition as an interpreter and guide. She traveled with Lewis and Clark between 1804 to 1806 for thousands of miles all the way from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean.
I love getting to know a little history of everything I paint. It often will lead from one painting to another. Just knowing where the name for this mountain in this painting came from takes me on a historical journey. Now, I’m thinking I would love to do a painting of Lewis and Clark with Sacagawea.