Santiago, Roseta – “Kateri”, Oil on Canvas, (30″ x 48″)
Roseta Santiago is known for her dynamic realistic paintings. This painting is entitled, “Kateri“. It is an oil on canvas. The painting depicts a girl in a blanket surrounded by flowers. The piece is signed, “Santiago”. Roseta said of this painting:
“Kateri is the first and only female indigenous saint. Her story is that she had physical deformities and when she died she became a beautiful woman. She took care of animals, the environment, she was a healer and also called “Lilly of the Mohawks”. I wanted to portray her in an ethereal environment. There is a very thin halo, so representing after canonized. For me, the background is filled with an emotional contenet as I rarely paint blues. It has a mystical feeling to it. The plants and trees are abstracted. Like to mix linear and literal, so she is realistic but parts of the painting that are impressionistic.”
History reverberates in each of her paintings. Roseta Says of her art:
“The things that inspire me are the historical artifacts, historical people. My models are people with whom I spend time and who have something to reveal. It’s always about inner beauty. It’s mainly the interior of a person or thing. I can almost experience a pot being made when I paint it. I just see what the potter went through.”
She is best known for her luminous still life and figurative paintings of Native peoples and artifacts portrayed with dramatic lighting, Santiago is a master at chiaroscuro. She uses mostly living models, although a few historic people taken from photographs weave their way into her art. She says one of her goals is to honor Native American culture through her portrayals in her art.