A native of Texas, Harold Joe Waldrum moved to New Mexico in 1971 and, with the exception of a sojourn to New York in the late '70s, lived and worked in the state until his death in December, 2003.
Waldrum began painting in the late 1950s and initially produced work influenced by Abstract Expressionism. However, in 1971, upon moving to Tesuque, New Mexico, he began to develop the body of work for which he is now best known. The "window" series was the first to emerge from Waldrum's new direction. Based on images of wood-framed windows set in adobe walls, these works are a series of value and color studies. In 1980, the artist began painting his acclaimed images of New Mexico churches and penitente moradas, which have become Waldrum's signature work. Later, in 1983, he began producing the aquatints and linocuts of the same classic subject matter.
Waldrum relocated to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, in 1996, where he settled for his remaining years.