John Buxton is a historical artist whose stunning works illustrate a time when birchbark canoes plied the waterways of North America. Three of John's pieces from his historical vignettes gallery feature some marvelous canoes and decorated paddles.
Below is piece entitled "New Canoe". He captures the eloquent lines and tumblehome of the bark canoe with a personalized bear claw decoration on the bow. The angular paddle being used features straight lines and a thick spine running the length of the blade.
Another piece entitled "The Agile Bark Canoe" shows a set of canoes being loaded with muskets and gear. The native in the foreground is paddling a similarly shaped paddle as the "New Canoe" but with chevron etchings at the throat and shoulders, echoing the chevron-theme decoration seen in many other historical paintings, especially that of Frederick Verner.
"The Agile Bark Canoe"
My favorite is "Dry Mocassins" which shows a solitary canoeist with his gear laid out on the rocky shoreline - very reminiscent of the Canadian Shield where I paddle. The two paddles in the foreground include another with a red chevron decoration and some curved, abstract patterns on one side of the blade. The 2nd non-decorated paddle looks very consistent with some of the Iroquois paddles on display at the Royal Ontario Museum - wide rounded tip, lengthy spine and short, flattened grip style.
Many thanks to John for the permission to reproduce these stunning prints on the site. Be sure to visit his page BuxtonArt.com for more of these historical masterpieces.