Sunday, December 1, 2013

Present Fascination with the Past

A Previous Zorro Set?
People ask me "...Why the paintings of Santa Fe?" My response is "Why not?" I was a big fan of Zorro when I was a little kid and Santa Fe, with its adobe architecture, looks like an old Zorro set.

Seriously, the choice of subject matter remains somewhat unclear. I suppose if I could pinpoint it, I wouldn't have to paint it. Still, there is a lot to like about Santa Fe. The fair weather, blue skies and sandy plains all take on different tints of blue, tan and even red, as the sun shifts throughout the day. CLICK HERE to review series.

East San Francisco Street (detail) by Tom Mallon
East San Francisco Street (Detail), by Tom Mallon

Early Indian Inhabitants of Region


The city too has lots to offer. Founded at the turn of the 17th century, Santa Fe is more than 400 years old. In 1598 Franciscan priests and Spanish conquistadors arrived on the site of what had been a village of Pueblo Indians dating back to 1050.

By the year 1607 Spain had made Santa Fe its capital city of the territory possession of Nuevo México, a colony that would encompass today's state of New Mexico as well as portions of Texas, Kansas and Arizona. By comparison, the English speaking Pilgrims would not arrive at Plymouth Rock for another 13 years (1620).

Queen of the Sea by Walter Stuempfig
"Queen of the Seas" by Walter Stuempfig (1914-1970)

Fascinating Sites

Pennsylvania artist Walter Stuempfig once said "I have to fall in love with a subject before I can paint it." Stuempfig would spend his career painting those subjects in his favorite towns of Manayunk PA and Atlantic City, NJ.

Earlier in my own career, I had the good fortune of being hired by the National Park Service to do paintings of historic buildings in Old City, Philadelphia. I suppose the combination of Stuempfig's influence as a teacher and that brief commission left lasting impressions.

Looking Forward

However, the days for painting a city portrait are wrapping up. The Santa Fe portrait is a study phase for me more than anything. Like being in a classroom, I'm waiting for graduation when things click and I evolve to the next step. I'm seriously missing figure work and feel that will be incorporated somewhere along the next stage of my own personal development.  

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Detail from Santuario de Guadalupe by Tom Mallon
You might also be interested in...

Santuario de Guadalupethe oil painting by Tom Mallon. This 42" x 22" canvas is the latest addition to the Santa Fe Portrait Series. The Santuario is the oldest shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe in the US.

Visit this later update by CLICKING HERE

Shostakovich by Tom Mallon
Latest Music Blog

Shostakovich and Cultural Snobbery, Could anyone survive Stalin's Purges, compose a large body, write for himself and the masses while producing constantly great work? 

Visit this later update by CLICKING HERE

Detail from Nubes de Sangre by Tom Mallon
Also of interest

Tom Mallon's website "MallonArt". This website will provide you with links to all his paintings, drawings and other artwork portfolios, including the ongoing series entitled the Santa Fe Portrait

Visit this later update by CLICKING HERE

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