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Peter Bowden | profile | all galleries >> Peteroglyphs tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Peteroglyphs

Peteroglyphs

Over the years I’ve enjoyed creating sculpture, watercolor paintings and, most especially, photographs. Since my wife Sharon and I have been visiting the American Southwest where I grew up, I’ve developed a passion for re-creating the rock art that we’ve seen. This was for my own amusement and display. Soon there were more than I could display since I was always creating new ones. On one of our trips to Utah, I showed the rock art to the staff at the Edge of the Cedars Museum in Blanding, Utah at the end of a long visit exploring their collection of artifacts including the stunning macaw sash. They liked my rock art “mixed media” pieces and it is now available there in the gift shop. It is a great honor to have my humble works displayed among those of the ancient weavers, potters and other craftspeople. That’s why I create Peteroglyphs…to honor those ancient and original artists. If you believe that art is communication, then you will understand that, while spending time recreating their art, I’m also able to come to know them just a little bit better. Once you do, you realize that they were just a talented and clever as we are; they were simply living in an earlier time with different resources and technologies.

The process

Rock art is never displayed on a flat surface so I chose rough canvas as the surface for my rock art re-creations. The wrinkles and folds create shadow and light very much like a real rock surface. Once each canvas is cut it is treated to fray the edges. Ancient Puebloans and other native groups produced rough cotton cloth which can be found on display in museums including The Edge of the Cedars Museum. These examples are often frayed from use and the passage of centuries. My choice of frayed, rough cotton cloth is pays homage to those ancient weavers. Once my canvas is ready, it is time to paint the backgrounds. Since this is a wet, messy process, I generally create them in batches. Working with the canvas wet, acrylic paint is applied in diluted washes. During the drying process, the pigment migrates through the canvas adding an organic look that can’t be achieved by hand. It is always exciting to pick through the backgrounds after drying to see what they’ve morphed into.

Next, a figure or scene is chosen for each canvas background. Sometimes the background seems to suggest what it wants painted on it. Other times I’ll browse through my collection of photographs for inspiration. For commission work, the background is created specifically for that scene.

Once the choice is made, the canvas is lightly remoistened and the scene is painted on. For a pictograph, the canvas is moistened enough so that the paint can bleed into the canvas just as paint might get absorbed into porous sandstone. When recreating a petroglyph, the paint is stippled onto a drier surface to replicate the figures chipped into the surface of the dark rock surface known as “desert varnish”. To be honest, this is the part of the process that I love the most. The focus is on applying paint. It is in these quiet moments of concentration that I sometimes feel that am making a connection with the original artist who spent many hours and days creating the image. This is the connection I hope that those who view my re-creations will feel as well.

Once the painting is complete, it is time for the mounting. To compliment the painting I hang them from willow twigs with wire. The use of shaved willow for mounting is a nod to the ancient’s use of willow in their daily lives. The wood is flexible when fresh and can be fashioned into many useful shapes. The bark can be striped off and woven. Willow wood was the choice for constructing the looms they used to manufacture cotton fabric.

The wire is formed in a spiral. Spirals are commonly found in rock art worldwide. There are many theories regarding what they represent. In the context of my creations, they represent time in and ever expanding spiral. Through alternative avenues of communication like art, we can know people of the past by leaping from ring to ring across the spiral of time.

Contact me at pbowden2@nycap.rr.com if you are interested in anything available below about or commissioning a depiction of your favorite rock art.

The Woz and the horses.jpg
The Woz and the horses.jpg
Rainmaker #3 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum, Blanding Utah
Rainmaker #3 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum, Blanding Utah
Buffalo Hunter #1 Sold
Buffalo Hunter #1 Sold
Sinbad #2 Sold
Sinbad #2 Sold
Dogman #1 Sold
Dogman #1 Sold
Rainmaker #2  Sold
Rainmaker #2 Sold
Rainmaker #4 Sold
Rainmaker #4 Sold
Rainmaker #5 Sold
Rainmaker #5 Sold
Rainmaker #6 Sold
Rainmaker #6 Sold
Rainmaker #7 Sold
Rainmaker #7 Sold
dogman 2 Sold
dogman 2 Sold
dogman Sold
dogman Sold
Rainmaker 8. Sold
Rainmaker 8. Sold
Buffalo Hunter Sold
Buffalo Hunter Sold
Buffalo Hunter 3 Sold
Buffalo Hunter 3 Sold
Natural Bridges Artist's Personal Collection
Natural Bridges Artist's Personal Collection
Brothers Artist's Personal Collection
Brothers Artist's Personal Collection
P1031943.jpg
P1031943.jpg
San Rafael Swell Artist's Personal Collection
San Rafael Swell Artist's Personal Collection
P1031945.jpg
P1031945.jpg
P1031946.jpg
P1031946.jpg
P1031947.jpg
P1031947.jpg
P1031948.jpg
P1031948.jpg
Abel  10-28-12  30x21  Sold
Abel 10-28-12 30x21 Sold
Anthromorph Buckhorn Wash Utah  24x11  Sold
Anthromorph Buckhorn Wash Utah 24x11 Sold
Buckhorn Wash Group 10-28-12  33x16. Sold
Buckhorn Wash Group 10-28-12 33x16. Sold
Cain and Abel 10-28-12 15x11  Sold
Cain and Abel 10-28-12 15x11 Sold
Dogman 10-28-12  11x11  Sold
Dogman 10-28-12 11x11 Sold
Horned Owl Moab Area 10-28-12 12x14  Sold
Horned Owl Moab Area 10-28-12 12x14 Sold
Magician Buckhorn Wash 10-28-12 19x9  Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Magician Buckhorn Wash 10-28-12 19x9 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Owl and Sheep  Moab Area 10-28-12  25x11   Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Owl and Sheep Moab Area 10-28-12 25x11 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Rainbow Man Buckhorn Wash 10-28-12  22x14 35.jpg
Rainbow Man Buckhorn Wash 10-28-12 22x14 35.jpg
Rainmaker 10  10-28-12  33x17  Sold
Rainmaker 10 10-28-12 33x17 Sold
Rainmaker 11 10-28-12  7x16   30.jpg
Rainmaker 11 10-28-12 7x16 30.jpg
Sheep Hunt 10-28-12  10x10   Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Sheep Hunt 10-28-12 10x10 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Snake Man Buckhorn Wash 10-28-12  22x13   Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Snake Man Buckhorn Wash 10-28-12 22x13 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Stick Man Buckhorn Wash 10-28-12 22x14   Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Stick Man Buckhorn Wash 10-28-12 22x14 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Warrior Newspaper Rock 10-28-12.jpg
Warrior Newspaper Rock 10-28-12.jpg
Buckhorn Wash Group 10-28-12  33x16 Sold
Buckhorn Wash Group 10-28-12 33x16 Sold
Abel  10-28-12  30x21  Sold
Abel 10-28-12 30x21 Sold
Temple Wash Group 10-28-12  Sold
Temple Wash Group 10-28-12 Sold
Anthromorph Buckhorn Wash Utah  24x11 Sold
Anthromorph Buckhorn Wash Utah 24x11 Sold
Sheep Hunt 10-28-12  10x10 sold.jpg
Sheep Hunt 10-28-12 10x10 sold.jpg
Magician Buckhorn Wash 10-28-12 19x9  30.jpg
Magician Buckhorn Wash 10-28-12 19x9 30.jpg
Rainmaker 11 10-28-12  7x16  Sold
Rainmaker 11 10-28-12 7x16 Sold
Owl and Sheep  Moab Area 10-28-12  25x11  Sold
Owl and Sheep Moab Area 10-28-12 25x11 Sold
Dogman 10-28-12  11x11  Sold
Dogman 10-28-12 11x11 Sold
Cain and Abel 10-28-12 15x11  Sold
Cain and Abel 10-28-12 15x11 Sold
Horned Owl Moab Area 10-28-12 12x14  Sold
Horned Owl Moab Area 10-28-12 12x14 Sold
Stick Man Buckhorn Wash 10-28-12 22x14  Sold
Stick Man Buckhorn Wash 10-28-12 22x14 Sold
Snake Man Buckhorn Wash 10-28-12  22x13   Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Snake Man Buckhorn Wash 10-28-12 22x13 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Rainbow Man Buckhorn Wash 10-28-12  22x14  Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Rainbow Man Buckhorn Wash 10-28-12 22x14 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Rainmaker 10  10-28-12  33x17  100. Sold
Rainmaker 10 10-28-12 33x17 100. Sold
P6054335.JPG  Sold
P6054335.JPG Sold
P6054334.JPG  Sold
P6054334.JPG Sold
Kokopelli Dancers Shay Canyon 11-23-12. Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Kokopelli Dancers Shay Canyon 11-23-12. Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Elk Moab Area 5-5-13 10  5x11.Sold
Elk Moab Area 5-5-13 10 5x11.Sold
Dogman Horseshoe Canyon 5-5-13  12x9.Sold
Dogman Horseshoe Canyon 5-5-13 12x9.Sold
Sheep Hunt 4-23-13  11x13.Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Sheep Hunt 4-23-13 11x13.Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Owl and Sheep  4=23-13  20x10.Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Owl and Sheep 4=23-13 20x10.Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Dotted Man 1-13-13  9x17Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Dotted Man 1-13-13 9x17Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Striped Anthromorph Horseshoe Canyon  2-13-13  26x28 Sold
Striped Anthromorph Horseshoe Canyon 2-13-13 26x28 Sold
Great Gallery Figures  1-23-13  17x34.Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Great Gallery Figures 1-23-13 17x34.Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Tribal Circle Escalante River  1-23-13   31x19 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Tribal Circle Escalante River 1-23-13 31x19 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Temple Wash Group  2-13-13  37x20.Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Temple Wash Group 2-13-13 37x20.Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Magician Buckhorn Wash  1-23-13  9x21.Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Magician Buckhorn Wash 1-23-13 9x21.Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Zion Canyon Group  3-13-13  25x11.Sold
Zion Canyon Group 3-13-13 25x11.Sold
Anthro Nine Mile Canyon   9-15-13   11X13.5 sold
Anthro Nine Mile Canyon 9-15-13 11X13.5 sold
Owl and sheep 9-2-13 26X13 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Owl and sheep 9-2-13 26X13 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Striped Anthro 9-6-13   13X14 Sold
Striped Anthro 9-6-13 13X14 Sold
Crow Canyon Group  8-15-13  18X11 Sold
Crow Canyon Group 8-15-13 18X11 Sold
Dogman Group 8-20-13   16X7.5 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Dogman Group 8-20-13 16X7.5 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Puma 9-2-13  21X13. Sold
Puma 9-2-13 21X13. Sold
Dine Corn  9-15-13   11X14. Sold
Dine Corn 9-15-13 11X14. Sold
Fremont Warrior  8-2-13   11-13. Sold
Fremont Warrior 8-2-13 11-13. Sold
Wolfman 8-7-13   15.5X15. Sold
Wolfman 8-7-13 15.5X15. Sold
Duckhead and warriors  7-27-13   19X9.5. Available from artist
Duckhead and warriors 7-27-13 19X9.5. Available from artist
Great Gallery Group 70X26   commission sold
Great Gallery Group 70X26 commission sold
Courthouse Wash Anthro 11-5-13 10.5X13.5  Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Courthouse Wash Anthro 11-5-13 10.5X13.5 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Snake Men Kane Creek 11-5-13  23X9 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Snake Men Kane Creek 11-5-13 23X9 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Mesmerized Shay Canyon  11-1-13. Sold
Mesmerized Shay Canyon 11-1-13. Sold
Anthro B Sego Canyon 11-12-13 12X13 45.Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Anthro B Sego Canyon 11-12-13 12X13 45.Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Anthro A Sego Canyon 11-12-13  12ZX14  Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Anthro A Sego Canyon 11-12-13 12ZX14 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Shay Canyon Kokopelli 11-3-13    12X13  45.Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Shay Canyon Kokopelli 11-3-13 12X13 45.Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Circle Anthro 11-3-13      13X13.5 55 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Circle Anthro 11-3-13 13X13.5 55 Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Antennae Anthro 11-2-13   12 X19  45.Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Antennae Anthro 11-2-13 12 X19 45.Available at Edge of the Cedars Museum
Sego Canyon ram  32 X 48 Commission Sold
Sego Canyon ram 32 X 48 Commission Sold
many hands 8-9-13.Sold
many hands 8-9-13.Sold
many hands 7-7-13.Sold
many hands 7-7-13.Sold
Migrations 11-19-13  24X14  Sold
Migrations 11-19-13 24X14 Sold
Chauvet Cave Horses 34X29  Commission Sold
Chauvet Cave Horses 34"X29" Commission Sold
Circle Anthro 11-27-13.jpg Artist's Collection
Circle Anthro 11-27-13.jpg Artist's Collection
Coso anthro wlizard  44.5 X 20.5.jpg  Available at the Hogan Gallery, Moab, Utah
Coso anthro wlizard 44.5 X 20.5.jpg Available at the Hogan Gallery, Moab, Utah
Buckhorn Anthro 2-13-14 8.5X24 Available from Artist
Buckhorn Anthro 2-13-14 8.5X24 Available from Artist
Circle Anthro 2-13-14 16X18.Available  the Hogan Gallery  Moab, Utah
Circle Anthro 2-13-14 16X18.Available the Hogan Gallery Moab, Utah
The Crane SE Utah 2-13-14  20.5X23.Available  the Hogan Gallery  Moab, Utah
The Crane SE Utah 2-13-14 20.5X23.Available the Hogan Gallery Moab, Utah
Duckhead and warriors Potash Rd  2-27-13    19X9.5.Available the Hogan Gallery  Moab, Utah
Duckhead and warriors Potash Rd 2-27-13 19X9.5.Available the Hogan Gallery Moab, Utah
Duet Shay Canyon 2-13-14  14X16.Available  the Hogan Gallery  Moab, Utah
Duet Shay Canyon 2-13-14 14X16.Available the Hogan Gallery Moab, Utah
Owl Nine Mile Canyon 2-13-14 14.5X12.Sold
Owl Nine Mile Canyon 2-13-14 14.5X12.Sold
Circle Anthro Courthouse Wash 12-1-13  10.5X9.5.Sold
Circle Anthro Courthouse Wash 12-1-13 10.5X9.5.Sold
Sego Ram 2-13-14 20X24.5. Sold
Sego Ram 2-13-14 20X24.5. Sold
Kokopelli Dancers 2-13-14 30X18.Sold
Kokopelli Dancers 2-13-14 30X18.Sold
Great Gallery Group 2-13-14 21X12.Available  the Hogan Gallery  Moab, Utah
Great Gallery Group 2-13-14 21X12.Available the Hogan Gallery Moab, Utah
sego canyon ram group 1-23-14.Sold
sego canyon ram group 1-23-14.Sold
Mesmerized Shay Canyon 12-10-13 20X12 50.Available at the Hogan Gallery  Moab, Utah
Mesmerized Shay Canyon 12-10-13 20X12 50.Available at the Hogan Gallery Moab, Utah
Sego Ram Group 4-6-14 36 X 24.5  Available  the Hogan Gallery  Moab, Utah
Sego Ram Group 4-6-14 36 X 24.5" Available the Hogan Gallery Moab, Utah
Two Dog Panel 7-6-14 24X14.5
Two Dog Panel 7-6-14 24X14.5
Galaxy 7-6-14 23X22.jpg
Galaxy 7-6-14 23X22.jpg
Galaxy 7-6-14b.jpg
Galaxy 7-6-14b.jpg
Galaxy 7-6-14a.jpg
Galaxy 7-6-14a.jpg
Puma 7-6-14 Petrified Forest 18X9.jpg
Puma 7-6-14 Petrified Forest 18X9.jpg
Jackrabbit Legend Rock Wyoming. 6-23-14 16X18.jpg
Jackrabbit Legend Rock Wyoming. 6-23-14 16X18.jpg
Dogman Panel 7-23-14 x 13.jpg
Dogman Panel 7-23-14 x 13.jpg
Alans Coso Cowboy 8-3-14  11.5 x 15.jpg
Alans Coso Cowboy 8-3-14 11.5 x 15.jpg
Animal Anthro 4-22-14 10X14.jpg
Animal Anthro 4-22-14 10X14.jpg
Mesmerized 6-23-14 18x11.5 30
Mesmerized 6-23-14 18x11.5 30
Striped Anthro 5-23-14 17x25 70.jpg
Striped Anthro 5-23-14 17x25 70.jpg
Many Hands 5-13-14 23x12 30.jpg
Many Hands 5-13-14 23x12 30.jpg
Flute Dancers 8-5-14 10x22.5 50
Flute Dancers 8-5-14 10x22.5 50
Circle Anthro 7-23-14 12 in.jpg
Circle Anthro 7-23-14 12 in.jpg
Owl 6-23-14 11.5x13
Owl 6-23-14 11.5x13
The Crane 5-23-14 20x14 55.jpg
The Crane 5-23-14 20x14 55.jpg
Fringed Figure 6-23-14 6x12 20.jpg
Fringed Figure 6-23-14 6x12 20.jpg
Stick Man 7-23-14 9x23.jpg
Stick Man 7-23-14 9x23.jpg
Fremont Group 6-23-14 13.5X25 50
Fremont Group 6-23-14 13.5X25 50
Frog Man 7-23-14 15X20 35.jpg
Frog Man 7-23-14 15X20 35.jpg