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Spanish Colonial Art
Spanish Colonial Art

In 1598 the first Spanish Colony was established in New Spain (New
Mexico, U.S.A.). By the 1700's the Art of the Santero (saint maker) was born and had emerged to provide spiritual art to the lay people of Nueva Espana. This art form was greatly influenced by the European Baroque Style which was introduced by the Franciscan priests and clergy. Indigenous people of New Mexico had now begun to produce beautiful spiritual art, but not with the finest marble, plaster and gold like their predecessors but with material that was native to their land.
Pine and cedar trees were used to carve alters and saints and gypsum plaster and rabbit hide glue were combined to produce gesso (white wash) as a base for painting. The Chamisa plant (yellow), Indigo flower (blue), and Cochineal bug (red) were the primary colors. The fruit of the Yucca plant was used as the vehicle in which these rich pigments flowed. Pinon sap was used as glue and varnish to protect their holy art. And finally wheat straw and tin (poor man's silver and gold) were used to embellish.
Jerry's Santos are all produced with the same materials these Santeros used 400 years ago. Although his style is more contemporary, homemade gesso, natural pigments and pinon sap varnish along with tin and straw applique are the foundation of his
devotional art.