Story Behind The Painting: Seton Creek Site

story behind painting

This site is found near Seton and Cayoosh Creek in BC. The Seton River is a tributary of the Fraser River in the Canadian province of British Columbia. This site shows the greatest concentration of pictographs in the BC Interior. Most of the pictographs were documented by ethnologist and anthropologist James A. Teit (1867-1922) who befriended and supported the Salish Tribes of the Interior.

The main panel is more than 130 feet long with three smaller panels. The main panel faces South and the type of rock found is limestone, phyllite and granite. This site was located at the confluence of two well-used migration trails between Interior and Coastal regions and used by Cariboo gold miners. The colors are predominantly purple and bright red; but black, pink yellow and orange were also used.

Notes/ Techniques used:

I covered my surface with black gesso. Afterwards, I spread white gesso on the surface and put Saran Wrap over top and moved the wrap around so that the shapes underneath it would be interesting. Let it dry a few hours or overnight. Once the Saran Wrap veil is lifted, you ignore the pattern underneath. The goal is to paint around the symbols and pictograms in a negative painting fashion. So rather than paint the inside of a shape, you paint and think about what is around a shape. Once you negatively create your pictogram shapes you then need to link them together otherwise they look as if they are simply floating in space. This is where you use coloring pencils and linework to connect the shapes making certain that you vary the thickness, the width of the lines as well as the direction of your lines. Make certain that you have a focal point and emphasize it.

Colors used: White coloring pencils and Quin Gold Fluid

Image Size: 11”x 15”

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