Ellen Chavez de Leitner Arts 

Traditional Retablos - Religious Art of Northern New Mexico 

Ellen Chavez de Leitner lives in Chimayo, where she and her family have been producing traditional Hispanic art since 1986, continuing the tradition of their ancestors. She uses traditional materials – hand carved pinewood, homemade gesso, and water based paints made with natural pigments and dyes, and piñon sap varnish. Her main influence is the simple devotional expressiveness of the master santeros of the 18th and 19th centuries, but she also finds inspiration in 11th - 12th century Romanesque art, illuminated manuscripts, and Baroque and Renaissance religious art. Each of Ellen’s retablos is a unique, hand-painted work of art. The Museum of New Mexico and the Spanish Colonial Arts Society, as well as private collectors worldwide have collected works by Ellen and each of her six children.