This painting is from my wife, Leigh’s photo shoot with Michael “Bad Hand” Terry, Native American Indian. He is pictured here with his horse, "Apache", photographed in July 2006. “Bad Hand” is his given Indian name. Michael is an accomplished Actor, Stuntman, Authenticity Expert and Technical Consultant for nearly 50 motion pictures including “Dances With Wolves” and “Last of the Mohicans.” He is currently the nation’s most well known authority on Plains Indian history. Michael’s journeys take him all across the USA where he teaches, lectures and informs the curious public on Plains Indian history, culture, and corrects may of the myths and untruths propagated and compounded by generations of television and inaccurate historical portrayal. Michael’s mission is to undo the misunderstandings about the Native Americans from history and show the kinder, gentler side of their survival as a culture. Michael was kind enough to pose for me in Pinedale, Wyoming in July while he was there giving lectures on the Plains Indians history during the annual Mountain Man Rendezvous.
All the clothing, regalia, props, jewelry and such are hand-made by Michael to explain, educate and nullify myths and legends about the Plains Indians history through demonstration, story-telling and careful and accurate responses to questions posed by his audiences. Michael has posed and been painted for the last 30 plus years by the likes of Frank McCarthy, James Bama, Howard Terpning, some of the nation’s most well-known western artists.
In this image, Michael is dressed in authentic Comanche (time period 1870’s) buffalo skin coat, leggings, smock, and an otter hair hat. He is holding a US-made rifle designed especially for trade to the Indians. The stock of the U.S. government-issued rifle is covered with brass decorative tacks. There were mittens hanging around his neck (not shown here) that are also made of soft leather and were designed so that the trigger finger is gloved alone while the remaining fingers are together. The trigger guards on the specially made rifles were designed with a large opening to allow for this single gloved finger. It would be hard to feel the trigger or accurately judge the pressure on the trigger with an entire hand covered by a single mitten with only the thumb free. A lot of planning and effort went into making and trading items between the trades people and the Native Americans.
My portrayal here in full winter dress and, indicative of the harsh winter months suffered b the Plains Indians. This piece, appropriately titled, “First Snow” is the first in a series of “Bad Hand”: I forwarded a .jpg of this image to Michael last evening. Much to my surprise, he responded right away and not only conveyed how much he was moved by this piece but also offered a trade of future modeling or other such services. This man has been photographed and painted by many artists over the years and he states he has never requested an original before mine! I am so humbled and honored at this request……..I am truly moved and speechless.
This piece is traditional oils on gesso-covered Masonite Claybord, painted to the finished edges measuring 18 x 24”.
Original is for sale- $7500