Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Bear River Massacre

South Mountain, Franklin County, Idaho
Size: W. 38" X H. 27"
Medium: OIL
Artist: Judy Vars

I loved doing this painting of a place in my heart, this mountain was part of a canyon where the Bear River Massacre took place one of the most shameful battles in American history.
More than 400 Shoshoni occupied a winter camp that offered ideal protection in Battle Creek Canyon. But they suffered a disaster unmatched in western history when Connor's Force struck at daybreak, January 29, 1863. It was a bloody conflict where even women and children fought fiercely, in the end they were defeated by the troops from California. The unruly troop raped women, burned the huts, stole the horses and left the survivors to freeze to death.

Why do I call this small mountain a place in the heart? It is because it was a landmark on the way to my grandmother’s house in Weston, Idaho. The stillness and loneliness of this place I recalled while painting this scene. The railroad tracks, the wind, the fields, the bees, the hay and a hot August day.
Remembering one frozen January years past driving with my mother to Grandmothers house, we drove for miles and miles not seeing a car, a person or any sign of life; it was so still and so cold so very cold. This scene seemingly unchanged is etched in my memory forever a place in my heart.

1 comment:

P.A. GIbbons said...

wow. your blog and the painting.