Process of creating painting of Tecumseh shared at Maidstone Bicentennial Museum

At a special event hosted at the Maidstone Bicentennial Museum, recently,Tom Rindlisbacher and his mother, Eleanor Rindlisbacher, displayed the art piece they created, which depicts Chief Tecumseh. They conducted a lot of research to create the piece.

by Sylene Argent

On October 28th, at the Maidstone Bicentennial Museum, Tom Rindlisbacher and his mother, Eleanor, were invited to speak about how they created a painting of Chief Tecumseh in recognition of the 250th anniversary of his death. The influential historical figure, who was popular for his way with words and uniting Indigenous communities, was killed during the Battle of the Thames, near Moraviantown on October 5 in 1813.

  Rindlisbacher said the idea of creating the painting began from a conversation he held with his mother, Eleanor, who has been painting since she was 11, beginning with art lessons that earned her a job painting doll faces at a factory when she was 14.

  While Eleanor was painting historical figures on rocks, Rindlisbacher asked her to paint Tecumseh. Eleanor agreed, but wanted an accurate sketch to help guide her.

  The two discovered 16 sketches of the Chief, but learned only one, created by French Fur Trader, Pierre Le Dru, was done while Tecumseh was alive. And, that sketch was done in secret as Tecumseh would not allow anyone to draw him, Rindlisbacher said. It is now housed in the National Archives in Ottawa.

  A description of Captain Glegg, a British Officer, was also used to help aid the project.

  Because of all of these factors, there was a lot of variation in the sketches of Tecumseh they found.

  With research, using technology, and speaking with a descendant of the Chief and a historical author, Rindlisbacher blended the most original image and added Shawnee features. The process took him 10 months.

  Eleanor then painting the results, which took her around two weeks.

  So far, the duo said they have received good feedback about the painting they created of Tecumseh.