Wednesday, January 15, 2014

La Entrada a la Plaza

Plaza Entry

History and Entertainment

Since 1610, Santa Feans have considered the downtown plaza to be the beating heart of Santa Fe's. Located at San Francisco and Washington streets the square continually hosts events, outdoor concerts and community gatherings.

The Plaza is also home to the Fiestas de Santa Fe, the Spanish Market, the Santa Fe bandstand and the Santa Fe Indian Market. Alongside the Palace of the Governors is where the local native Indian's sell their jewelry, pottery and crafts on a daily basis.

La Entrada a la Plaza by Tom Mallon
"La Entrada a la Plaza" by Tom Mallon

Click here to view additional details of this painting of the Plaza entrance.


San Miguel Mission by Tom Mallon
San Miguel Mission
Dating back over 400 years, the Palace of the Governors, located on the North side of the Plaza, has been home to considerable history. Today it is a registered national historic landmark and acts as the New Mexico History Museum.

Saint Francis Basilica
Initially, the Plaza and the Palace of the Governors was part of a fort, complete with defensive walls, a prison and barracks. Over time, the walls were replaced with houses built and owned by Spanish dignitaries. Just a few blocks down the road today, the San Miguel Mission stands. It was built the same time as the Palace of the Governors, outside the fort walls. Just down East San Francisco Street the Saint Francis Basilica is located.

The Loretto Chapel by Tom Mallon
The Loretto Chapel
The original road to the Plaza was the Santa Fe Trail, which dates back to town's origins. It stops at the Loretto Chapel, just one block from the Plaza, where the old fort walls stood.

Today, you turn onto Washington Avenue, which takes you the final block to the East side of the square. The homes of dignitaries have been converted or replaces with a variety of shops, restaurants, and museums. The Plaza remains the point of entry to the history, dining and shopping for tourists and locals alike.

The Painting


Detail from La Entrada a la Plaza by Tom Mallon
Detail from La Entrada a la Plaza
In the painting, La Entrada a la Plaza, the traffic is moving one way, from west to east, into the Plaza along San Francisco Street, on the Plaza's south side. The cross street is Lincoln, which marks the West edge of the Plaza.

The scene is of a sunny summer's day with some cloud cover moving in from the Southwest. The street is illuminated with sunlight broken by a large cottonwood tree. The viewer can look down San Francisco Street to just past the intersection of Don Gaspar.

Another detail from La Entrada a la Plaza by Tom Mallon
Entry point of Plaza


La Entrada a la Plaza is a dramatic diagonal composition. The movement of the vehicles forces eye movement to the bottom left corner of the painting (red arrow) and immediately back into the upper right had corner (blue arrows), as the eye passes down San Francisco Street. There are three major anchors, the foreground SUV, the structure on the intersection and the city worker.

The painting is just under 28 inches in width and 20.5 inches in height. Is was done with oil paints on prepared cotton canvas. For more details, just click on this link for additional information.

Composition study of La Entrada a la Plaza by Tom Mallon
Composition breakdown of La Entrada a la Plaza

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 La Entrada a la Plaza
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La Entrada a la Plazathe oil painting by Tom Mallon. This 27.8" x 20.5" canvas is the latest addition to the Santa Fe Portrait Series. The Plaza is the throbbing heart of downtown Santa Fe and is surround by history.  

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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

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