Sunday, July 22, 2012

Devils Tower

Spirit of the Bear, 16x20 pastel, copyright 2012

Northwest of the Black Hills is the iconic Devils Tower, the remaining core of ancient volcano long since eroded away.   It stands in the middle of a valley, surrounded by red sandstone and prairie while the Belle Fourche River meanders at its base.  We took the shorter of the paths around the monument where aspen and pine predominate.

The monument is considered sacred to many Native American tribes, most of whom associate its unusual formation with the claw marks of a bear.  Throughout the forest many prayer bundles can be seen.  These are small offering tied to the trees in brightly colored cloths.   

Most images of the monument include only the tower itself, but I liked the idea of seeing it in its environment, as a part of a bigger landscape.  I still haven't decided, however, if I should remove some of the leaves to make it more visible.  But I am pretty happy with how the trunks and branches of the aspen turned out.


  1. OH YEAH!!! You finished it. It's beautiful Erica. The combo of colors you use for the sky really brings out the beauty of the whole picture. I love how we are looking through the branches of a tree to see the same picture seen a thousand time, yet you make it look so different.

  2. I did finish it! Actually, I just did a little touching up since you saw it. Glad you like it!