Visitors entering the historic Taos Plaza off of Paseo Del Pueblo are likely to encounter Ed Sandoval, a Don Quixote character as colorful as the landscapes he paints. He is frequently seen putting a brush to canvas under a large red umbrella in the parking lot of Ed Sandoval Gallery – much to the delight of sightseers.
“Visitors and collectors wander by, and I invite them to watch a crazy artist at work. I enjoy describing my vision and the effect I hope to achieve. And when little kids get great big eyes watching me work, I give them a paintbrush and say ‘Help me out with this.’ I love to teach little artists!”
Ed’s connection to a child’s imagination comes from his deep reverence for the New Mexico of his boyhood. Life was slow and peaceful, and Ed brings the rural figures and scenes to life. After priming the canvas with a bold red undercoat, he outlines the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) Mountains pulsing with energy and warmth. Sagebrush and majestic cottonwood trees surround his weathered adobe casitas. El Viejito (the old man) walks solitary or with a companion down a winding pathway.
Ed was born in Nambe, NM. When he was still young, the family moved to Los Alamos so his father could work on the Manhattan Project. He also lived in Tesuque and Truchas before finally settling in Taos. Ed is drawn to New Mexico’s past, typified by places such as Mora Valley, where old casitas are being reclaimed by the elements. Their once-shiny tin roofs have darkened into a deep red wine color, contrasting boldly against a blue sky.
Ed adores the changing “symphony of color” he sees in the New Mexico sky and landscape.”What I paint is a feeling of impressionism and expressionism with bold movement.” When not painting or describing his work to curious observers, Ed rides his proud Arabian horse, Patron, through the plaza. He often rides as Zorro with a mask, cape and perhaps a sword.
Ed’s work is sought by collectors worldwide. In 2012, he received the prestigious Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. He has been featured in leading publications such as New Mexico Magazine, Cowboys & Indians and Southwest Art, and has been the commemorative poster artist for the Santa Fe Wine Festival and other celebrations. President Barack Obama chose one of Ed’s paintings to adorn his official thank you cards for New Mexico, and he was recently filmed by the travel channel.