My Inspiration for the Southwestern Print Collection

Fri, Mar 11, 2022

Photo of Taos Pueblo, New Mexico, UNESCO site

A photo of Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, from my travels

I love traveling to experience different cultures and landscapes. And when I’m home, I like to surround myself with reminders of my travels. A wonderful way to do that is through an art collection.

I first traveled to New Mexico about 5 years ago, and fell in love. Having grown up in the south, and living on the east coast as an adult, I felt utterly transported. The native culture is so influential on art, food, and architecture. There’s Spanish influence as well; like my native New Orleans, New Mexico is a true melting pot.

New Mexico native pinon tree

An incredible tree I spotted in the desert outside Taos, New Mexico

And then of course there’s the landscape. The desert and cliffs, the fragrant native pinon trees that burn with their distinctive aroma. No wonder it’s inspired so many artists, among them Georgia O’Keeffe. I’ve been back several times to the Taos area, and also Santa Fe.  

These travels are why you’ll find so much southwestern and western art in my shop. Southwestern vintage art, however, can be hard to find in online public domain collections, which is where I source my prints to keep them affordable. (Santa Fe and Taos each have exquisite original fine art, and while I love to browse the art galleries, they’re out of my price range.)

The problem is even more dire for historical Native American artists, which has not generally been collected and preserved in the same way as work by non-native artists. The vintage art in my shop with Native American subjects was not created by native artists, alas. I’ve tried my best to be sensitive to this issue, and selected works of art that present their subjects in a respectful light.

All that said, I’ve found many wonderful southwestern-inspired artworks, and I’m always on the lookout for more.

Portrait of Navajo young woman, southwest art print

'Girl From Santa Fe' Print

For example, this 1917 painting of a young woman wrapped in a Navajo blanket is one of my favorite portraits. I love the colors: a palette of cool gray, cobalt blue, and the darker earth tones of the blanket. 

Painting of a cowboy from Mexico

'Mexican Vaquero' Print

The same is true for our best-selling print Mexican Vaquero. Present-day southwestern United States was part of Spain and then Mexico until 1848. Considering the history of this region, it has been part of the US only quite recently.

And then there are the landscapes. There are many vintage artworks depicting the raw beauty of nature in the southwest. I’ve selected several of these for my shop, and I’m continually adding more. 

Southwest landscape painting canyon desert vintage print

'Canyon Dusk' Print

Our Canyon Dusk print depicts the Grand Canyon at a dramatic time of day.

Vintage painting print western art landscape

'Canyon Gateway' Print

Our Canyon Gateway print, a reproduction of a 1925 work from Arizona, has a more thrifted, folk art feel due to being a screenprint. I love the pastel color scheme; it's currently hanging in my living room in the 18x24 poster size option.

Vintage art painting print New Mexico southwest desert landscape

'Desert Downpour' Print

This vintage artwork depicts a coming storm, gathering off in the distance across the mesa. Painted in 1925, it's local to Black Mesa, New Mexico.

If you're looking for more prints to build your collection of southwestern and western art, visit our Southwestern Prints Collection.

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