Mineral Earth Painting of Eagle Dancer by Pablita Velarde

C4393B-paint.jpg

+ Add to my watchlist Forward to Friend


Pablita Velarde, Santa Clara Pueblo Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Santa Clara Pueblo, Kha'p'oo Owinge
  • Medium: mineral earth pigments on board
  • Size:
    11-⅜” x 9-¼” image;
    16” x 13-¾” framed
  • Item # C4393B
  • Price: $2,250.00

Pablita Velarde, the creator of this Eagle Dancer painting, was an influential artist from Santa Clara Pueblo.  Velarde is best known for these mineral earth paintings, which were made with mineral and rock elements.  She would grind these minerals into powdery substances using a metate and mano, and then use the powder to create her paints.  Her most frequent subjects were pueblo ceremonial dances and scenes of everyday Native life.  Pablita worked in water-based paints from time to time, mostly casein, but she is best known for her paintings rendered in the aforementioned mineral earth pigments. She would first draw her designs on Masonite panels that were treated with a coat of pumice. She then used her ground-up minerals as paint to fill in the areas she had drawn. To mix her paints, she combined the pigment with water and glue, and then painted with commercial paint brushes. She would paint each color with as many as seven layers to gain the consistency she desired. She then would outline the images—again, as many as seven times—to ensure that they were strong in color.

This particular mineral earth painting features an Eagle Dancer.  His knees are bent and his wings are outstretched.  His face is turned toward the ground, informing the viewer that he is performing the dramatic sweeping motions of the dance.  Velarde’s mineral earth pigments shine here, despite their mostly neutral tones.  The few areas of brighter color—the Avanyu kilt, red sash, and green accents—look strong and beautiful within their neutral surroundings.  Velarde did an excellent job with this Eagle Dancer.

Artist Signature - Pablita Velarde, Santa Clara Pueblo PainterThe painting is signed Pablita Velarde in lower right.  It is framed in its original frame.  It appears to be in original condition, with colors looking stronger than those we’ve seen in similar pieces.

Santa Clara Pueblo artist Pablita Velarde (1918-2006) Tse Tsan - Golden Dawn painted in the traditional style of the Santa Fe Indian School, creating accurate portraits of Native American life and culture.  Her most frequent subjects were pueblo ceremonial dances and scenes of everyday Native life. She enjoyed a long and productive career as an artist, and is generally regarded today as one of the most significant figures in the history of Pueblo Indian art.  Her daughter, Helen Hardin, and granddaughter, Margarete Bagshaw, were also successful painters.

Condition: original condition

Provenance: this Mineral Earth Painting of Eagle Dancer by Pablita Velarde is from a private Santa Fe collection

Recommended Reading:  American Indian Painting of the Southwest and Plains Areas by Dorothy Dunn

Relative Links: Pablita Velarde (1918-2006) Tse Tsan - Golden DawnSanta Clara PuebloDorothy DunnTonita PeñaNavajoClara Lee TannerHelen HardinNative American Painting

Close up view of a section of this painting.

Pablita Velarde, Santa Clara Pueblo Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Santa Clara Pueblo, Kha'p'oo Owinge
  • Medium: mineral earth pigments on board
  • Size:
    11-⅜” x 9-¼” image;
    16” x 13-¾” framed
  • Item # C4393B
  • Price: $2,250.00

C4393B-paint.jpgC4393B-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.