Puzzled by Ruth Buffalo’s father


Ruth Buffalo’s Father Confronts Her Violator by Helen Andersen. Gouache on Arches paper. Image size approximately 13″ x 9.5″

I have searched for a myth or a story that might explain the subject here, but no luck so far. Maybe there will be a clue in Helen’s journal writings.

Clearly, this small piece is related to the Native Myths and Symbols series. It is also an example of Helen’s occasional use of metallic paint. In this case, she has brushed silver into the background. She used both silver and gold metallic paints on several pieces we have, some abstract, some representative.


Untitled composition by Helen Andersen. Paint, including metallic gold, on paper

She also experimented with adding real objects… bits of costume jewellry, for example, to some of her pieces. On one painting of Bosnians being driven out of their homes of an “ethnic-cleansing” campaign, she explained to me that “they had to take everything they owned with them”. That’s why Helen stuck little material objects right into her paint or glued them onto the surface.

One thought on “Puzzled by Ruth Buffalo’s father

  1. Danica and I see two larger tractor wheels in the foreground. At first glance, the figure on the left seems to be raising a spear, but on closer inspection, that may be the roof of the tractor cabin. The way those elements overlap the figure is confusing.

    Which figure is Ruth Buffalo’s father and which her violator? What’s the story?

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