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Collectors Corner!

 Ed Sandoval Gallery's Newsletter


102-B Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, Taos, NM 87571
edsandovalart@gmail.com
(575) 770-6360
The Enduring Beauty of Adobe
Me Inspecting Adobe (1980's)
This Painting Captures My Crew Laying Adobe When I Built My House
Can you imagine – hundreds and even thousands of years ago – coming to the beautiful Southwest and building (by hand) a home or village entirely out of the raw materials you found? In New Mexico, Native Americans and later on the Spanish and Hispanic people did exactly that. Thanks to their ingenuity, we have one of the most organic, beautiful and poetic building materials in the world: adobe. 

You know me as an artist, but back in the day I also owned a construction company and built adobe homes throughout Taos and even across the country. My dad had had taught me to build, and there came a time when I wanted to take a break from teaching art classes in Los Alamos. I got my contractor's license, started building and ran my company for about 25 years (but I always kept painting...). Around 1990, I opened my gallery, Studio De Colores, but I still did part-time construction for years after that.

Adobe is so simple and elegant – a mixture of mud and straw dried naturally by the sun. Formed from the earth, no other material allows you to personally sculpt such architectural details. You can form sensually curved walls, rounded kiva fireplaces, gently recessed nichos and smooth archways. The hand-formed bricks lie side by side, winding around and upward – layer upon layer – in perfect harmony with the desert landscape from which it arises. 
Members of My Crew (L to R): Me, Alejandro, David & Jesus
One of the Homes I Built - You Can See the Adobe Bricks Forming a Softly Rounded Kiva Fireplace
Adobe structures may look humble, but they are secure, strong and insulated extremely well against heat and cold, which is why they have endured over the centuries! These soft brown structures are also symbols of community – the result of an entire village’s cooperation where both men and women constructed the walls and applied the exterior and interior mud/clay plaster. And, for many cultures, it is the women (“enjarradoras”) who traditionally plaster the walls with their bare hands. 

Building adobe casitas has greatly influenced my painting. For me, adobe is an artform in itself, embodying the legacy of the enduring people who settled in New Mexico and their timeless traditions and craftsmanship. There is something so profoundly elemental about the pueblo style…it represents the heart and hard work of proud cultures that have sustained their way of life to this very day. Take the San Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos as an example – once a year the parishioners and community come together to re-plaster the mud walls…a labor of love. You can read an article about that annual event here .
Man Plastering the Exterior Wall of a Church in One of My Older Paintings
Woman Plastering an Exterior Wall by Hand in One of My Older Paintings
Nothing makes me happier than getting to tour the inside of an old adobe home. I can feel the presence of the people who lived there...always a good energy. I'm so glad that Taos has preserved our rich, cultural heritage by preserving our historic architecture.
A Home I Built on Blueberry Hill in Taos, Affectionately Referred to as the "Viagra House"
How I Came to Build Julia Roberts' Chapel
Now that you know all about adobe and my former career as a construction guy, let me tell you about one of my more memorable building jobs.

Around 2004, Julia Roberts came to tour my house. She had purchased an estate somewhat near Taos, and her real estate person had told her there were interesting features at my property she might want to see. She was sweet and friendly, just as you would imagine her to be, but what I remember the most is what she wore... She had on a sweatshirt and sweatpants, but they were inside out! The seams went up the legs and up, down and around the top. I thought that was pretty funny.

Anyway, we walked the property, chatted and ended up in my chapel. I was proud of that chapel, with its thick adobe walls, alter, hand-hewn pews, saints and santos, which reminded me of my mom's alter. It was quiet and serene. We stopped chatting and sat there in silence for a while. She was looking around and eventually turned to me and asked, "Will you build me a chapel like this?" I said, "Sure."

Julia was with Benjamin Bratt at the time, but I never met him. She did show me a Volkswagen that Lyle Lubbuck had bought her. That was pretty cool. Anyway, we began building in the winter, and it was so darn cold - we finished in January. It was tall enough to provide her with a loft up top, which she loved because she could go up there to relax and unwind.

Ironically, at some point after we built the chapel, she decided to buy another chapel that was adjacent to her property. Actually, it was an old morada (for a story about the Penitentes and moradas in northern NM, click here and scroll down).

She told me she wanted to buy it, and I said, "Wow! I love that morada. I want to do a painting of it." She said, "If you do, I'd love to see it." Long story short, I painted "Moonlight," and she bought the original. A few of you out there have a Giclee print on canvas of "Moonlight," but you might not know the story behind the image. I hope its history makes it even more special.

After that, I built a chapel for Mentor Williams, but that's a story for another day. I truly did love building with adobe - for me, it was as close to painting as you can get. So personal. So artistic. Today, I'm a bit sad that my construction days are behind me...but I'll still be painting for a long time.
M e During Construction of Julia's Chapel
Chapel at My House
Interior of the Chapel at My House
Second View of the Chapel Interior at My House
"Moonlight" - Painted in 2004
Featured Paintings

To inquire or to request a high-resolution photograph, please contact Ed at 575-770-6360 or  edsandovalart@gmail.com .
NEW: "The Taos Inn" (24" x 36")
NEW: "Cool Summer Rain" (24" x 30")
NEW: "Heavy Snow in Trampas" (12" x 24")
"The Watering Hole" (30" x 40")
NEW: "Out from the Pueblo"
(9" x 12")
New: "El Tempo De Musica"
(30" x 30")
Shout Out to Taos High School Culinary Arts
We recently attended a fundraising dinner for the Taos High School Prostart Culinary Management Team , who are preparing for the upcoming State Competition. These talented kids are incredible!!! They prepared and served all the dinner courses - delicious! These are all the dishes they will bring to the state competition. Good luck! If you have a chance to attend a dinner, we highly recommend it. They served:

Appetizer: Lobster Tamale with lobster, roasted corn relish, avocado mousse and green chile sauce.

Entree: Braised Beef Short Rib with roasted shallot sauce, roasted beets, turnips, zucchini fried beet chips and potato pancake.

Dessert: Chai Latte Cheesecake with a piñon oatmeal crust, citrus prickly pear cream and basil infused prickly pear sauce.
Taos Winter Wine Festival
Taos was abuzz with great food and wine at the annual Winter Wine Festival (Jan. 31 - Feb. 3).

My painting was selected as the poster image - El Viejito is facing forward! - and was auctioned at the Reserve Tasting on Jan. 31 at the El Monte Sagrado.

What a fun event! About a dozen of Taos' best restaurants served signature appetizers alongside 30 participating wineries that poured delicious tastings.It was very well attended - hundreds of people laughing and having the best time. After a glass of wine or two, I had a great time chatting with people while signing posters.
Me with a copy of the poster. They are available at the gallery!
(575) 770-6360
Would you like to be a featured collector?
If so, please send your personal story and photo(s) to edsandovalart@gmail.com.
Contact
Ed Sandoval Gallery  
 102-B Paseo Del Pueblo, Taos, NM 87571
www.edsandovalgallery.com | (575) 770-6360 | edsandovalart@gmail.com