"Ron and Pongo" - acrylic on Aquabord, 16" x 20" NFS.
Channeling my inner Fritz Scholder this week with an oddball portrait of the traveling pair who braved a trip across the country through three blizzards, a torrential downpour and the unexpected attention of a couple of state troopers in Nebraska (who were apparently fond of Great Danes).
Super Ron managed to unpack an entire household, assemble furniture, lug 24 bags of mulch (to make the unfinished back yard Pongo-friendly) and bring me icepacks. Pongo provided expert moral support. :)
This is not the first journey of its kind in the Walls family. Around 1846, John Freeman Walls made his way as a fugitive from a plantation in North Carolina all the way to Canada, where he built a log cabin and established a legacy that lives on today at the John Freeman Walls Historical Site. Some later generations of Walls' intermarried with native tribespeople in Canada, and then made their way back into the U.S.A.
Fritz Scholder - Man & Dog #17
So it isn't lost on me, this symbolic journey. It began with our move to North Carolina in 2006, where a Walls put his feet back in the state where it all began. A decade or so later, the Great Westward Walls Family Migration (as it is known in our household) started after a brief detour to Florida.. There is a sense of having made a long trek to somewhere more accepting of all kinds of humans. I imagine John Freeman Walls felt similarly when he arrived in Canada over a century ago.
Fritz Scholder, an American painter who long ignored his own Native American heritage, eventually became known for being that very thing - and for changing the concept of the "Indian artist." And on occasion, he painted a man with a dog, :)