In size and composition, this scene most closely resembles CR# 439H. Both paintings and a group of related works depict a tranquil scene along the Sweetwater River in which a group of Indian women pause to water their horses. Miller depicts the foremost figure in great detail, using crisp pencil lines to define the rider’s wardrobe and her horse’s tack. The artist’s use of saturated color, his careful modulation of light and shadow, and addition of white highlights give particular substance to this principal rider and her mount. The other figures are painted loosely with more muted colors. In fact, aside from the scarlet blanket draped around the central figure’s waist and the rich olives and jades of the shoreline, the rest of the scene is built up of translucent pastel and white washes.
In addition to his use of atmospheric perspective, Miller adds to the wonderful sense of depth in this composition by depicting a pair of Indian women on horseback in the left middle distance. The duo is dwarfed by the figures in the foreground and by the mountains behind; they were seemingly painted with just a few strokes of the artist’s brush.
Karen B. McWhorter