Adobe Memories

Hiking through rural New Mexico with a painting partner, I came across this abandoned adobe-walled homestead. There are many crumbling old adobes in the back country of this state, but few are as evocative of the past and aesthetically appealing as this one.

Eventually, without the protection of a roof and maintenance of its exterior walls, a traditional adobe structure—made of nothing but mud bricks and plaster with a few wooden beams (vigas) for support—will melt away to nothing. This painting clearly shows what years of harsh sunlight, strong winds, and pounding rain will do to an unoccupied adobe home.

I painted my original plein air (outdoor) study in watercolor, then took that study and some photos back to my studio and repainted the scene as a large watercolor. Later, I produced this acrylic painting as a close-up of the same structure. A Santa Fe gallery later sold both of them to collectors.

Click here to see the watercolor version, which I called “The Old Adobe.”

The original painting was sold to a private collector by an art gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Prints and note cards are available at

This painting and all reproductions of it are © Bernard Marks. No unauthorized use is permitted. All rights reserved.