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 Greek 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.
The Native American subject of this painting is Cornplanter, the Seneca war chief from their Allegany settlement. The Western Door, they were called, responsible for the Iroquois League’s dealings with Ohio and beyond. They once tracked down and exterminated the entire Erie Indian tribe because the Eries had abetted fugitives from their law. There are no Erie Indians today. The Seneca also sold Ohio, which was mostly Shawnee-owned, to the US government. It was not theirs to sell, but the Western Door swung both ways and hit a lot of people on the ass on their way out.
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.