Geometric shapes and stars – Harriette & Carl Tsosie


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acrylic paint on dried gourds 14 Inches x 10 Inches x 4 Inches

Carl A. “Cat” Tsosie (Picuris Pueblo/Navajo) and his wife Harriette collaborate to create one-of-a-kind rattles made from the gourds they grow in their garden. Their work incorporates native imagery, astronomy references, ceremonial symbols, animals such as buffalo, deer, elk, languages, and abstractions. Cat grows and cleans the gourds, inserts the rattlers (usually small stones), creates and attaches the handles, and gessoes the gourd’s surface. Both artists draw the designs and Harriette does the painting . When people ask them how, as marriage partners, they can work together without strife Harriette says: “It works because of Cat’s detachment. When he finishes a drawing and hands it over to me to paint, he is done with it. His permission for me to paint and alter it is understood. It is accepted that a painting and a drawing are not the same thing. The painting may evolve from the drawing, but it has a life of its own. “

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