Watercolor on paper. The original is approximately 16 × 21 inches.
Built in the 1200s and located atop a 365 foot high mesa, Acoma Pueblo is one of the most spectacular of the nineteen modern pueblos of New Mexico. It looks like what it is, the home of the descendants of the Anasazi peoples of Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon. The San Estevan Del Rey Mission Church, I’ve painted there, is a late comer to the pueblo, built between 1629 and 1641. The church was built by the Acoma Indians by order of the Spanish government. Although it was built with slave labor, the Acoma people are proud of it, and did not destroy it during 1680 revolt against the Spanish. It is still a place of Christian worship today.
The building is made of sandstone and adobe, rather than adobe bricks. The result is sturdier than adobe, but when in need of plaster very rough looking. The stones were very much visible when we visited this last summer, though I’ve seen pictures of the Mission looking as smooth as any brick adobe building. I like the rough stones and I’ve done my best to give a sense of them here.
My painting is entirely poured (see a description of the pouring method here) from just four pigments: raw sienna, burnt sienna, quinacrididone rose, and dioxion purple. The hard edges caused by mask used for pouring and the limited palette, give the painting a raw graphic feel that reminds of seeing that massive building in the July heat