Art of Betty J. Billups<BR
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For the next several years while doing illustration full time,
I was offered a commission from the U. S. Army, and through that,
a one artist show at a museum in Helena Montana for the summer of '77.
This painting, and the one following were two of the 42 pieces I created over a two year period.
(I did not have the freedom to work full time on painting,
since I had to support myself with illustration.)
In 1976, Peggy Osterman asked me to be the official photographer
at a Centennial presentation in Century City California.
It was a presentation of a sculpture of Chief Sequoia
(out of a Sequioa tree) to the then chief of the Cherokee Nation.
There was a full weekend of celebration, of dancing, and other Native American activities.
One of the troup was a flute player.
I gave Peggy 10 rolls of film, and kept one roll,
which I used for reference in creating this and a few other paintings.
Then, around '79 while I was going to a workshop in Taos NM,
I stopped at a ceremonial in Gallop NM,
and photographed a flute player who performed there.
As he walked by, he had the same sash and heart shaped beaded bag
as the original flute player I had photographed years before!
Then, around '83, after I did the cover for American Rendezvous Magazine,
I was in Denver, at the Natural History Museum,
where there was a lecture on the Indian flute.
I approached the speaker, to give him one of my brochures with this painting on it.
Ed Wapp Wahpeconiah exclaimed:
"Oh, that's my cousin, Tom Ware."
Well, it took me years to locate Tom, through different sources
(mostly people who were selling his flute tapes and CD).
I finally located him a few years ago,
and was able to send him a couple dozen limited edition prints
that I had published of another image, called "Love Song."