There is no easy way from earth to the stars. — Seneca
In what on the surface might be mistaken as another cloud of so much New Age psychobabble (quoting an ancient Stoic doesn’t help my case), “Seneca Sutra” is an experiment in combining Western Indian and Eastern Indian elements in the same painting. I decided that I would accept, as the outcome, the process rather than the product, and did I ever. I pretty much had to.
The Native American subject of this painting is Cornplanter, the great and powerful Seneca war chief. The Western Door, the Seneca were called, were responsible for the Iroquois League’s dealings with Ohio and beyond, and they were badder than the whole rest of the League combined. They once tracked down and exterminated the entire Erie Indian tribe because the Eries had abetted fugitives from Seneca law. There are no Erie Indians today. The Seneca also sold Ohio, which was Shawnee land, to the US government. It was not theirs to sell, but the Western Door swung both ways then, and it hit lots of people on the ass on their way out. They knew, you’re either on Turtle Island or you’re not.
In this painting, I use Himalayan mural colors with flames of war doubling as flames of dharma behind the warrior chief. Cornplanter’s feathers are the colors of prayer flags.