El Malpais: Lava and Sandstone 19×25 Pastel


Painting of the “Narrows,” a prehistoric/historic trail between tall sandstone cliffs and lava fields in the New Mexico El Malpais.

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SKU: el_malpais_lava_sandstone_2018001 Categories: , ,


This painting features a place known as the “Narrows.”  It’s a sliver of land caught between sandstone cliffs and the vast lava fields of the El Malpais (or “bad country”) in New Mexico.  Several hundred years ago, if you were from the Zuni pueblo and traveling to the Acoma pueblo with your trade goods, or a Spaniard, traveling from one mission to the next, you most likely took this route.  The lava to the east was sharp, cutting boot and pastern; the sandstone cliffs to the west were high and unscalable; so you stuck to this narrow trail that threaded between these areas.  Today, the route is paved, and there’s a trail that takes you to the top of the cliffs for the view I depict in the painting.

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