Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

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New Website!

January 23, 2012

I am in the process of rebuilding my blog in a new format that will give me more flexibility.  You can get to it with my main URL, www.DelgadoArts.com.  But, I thought I should put a note here in case people stumble across the old site here.  THanks for visiting!  Lots of great info on the Spanish Colonial Arts here in Albuquerque.

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Ornament Workshop & Event Reminders

May 4, 2011

Sean teaching student
Well, Jason and I successfully taught our first workshop together last week!  Jason’s an old pro having taught countless workshops to a range of students.  But, he invited me to tag along to one opportunity to work with special needs teens at West Mesa Community Center.  The teachers visited with Jason at Tintero Workshop & Gallery and knew their kids would enjoy experiencing the making of Spanish Colonial crafts themselves.  We put together several dozen ornament kits and gave a choice of tin or retablos.  I created a custom dove stamp for the occasion and let the students stamp their own ornament and then paint them using my natural pigment kit.  We divided the groups up, introduced ourselves and our respective crafts and then worked a bit with the students to get them going.  It was really a thrill to watch a whole group create from my preassembled kits.  They were so creative, open-minded and positive, it was a real pleasure.

ornament with cross tie using raffiaI forgot to ask permission to post face pics of students here, but I wanted to share this one piece with you (left).  This girl did a wonderful job painting her ornament, but then she took the raffia I had included with the kit to string the ornaments and she told me she made a cross.  I thought that was so clever.  We talked a bit about the symbolism of retablos and I was moved by her depth of understanding at the concept and her original translation.

We had a wonderful afternoon and would love to teach more classes together.  If you would like to discuss a similar group workshop, just drop me a line (505-500-4419)!

EPISODES TO AIR 5/4/2011 WEDNESDAY NIGHT 9PM:  Conveniently, the special collaborative episode showing Jason and I working together to finish the auction piece for the National Hispanic Cultural Center retablo auction will air tonight in Santa Fe Ch16 9PM.  Albuquerque Ch26 9PM will be showing Episode 03 Introduction to pigments and brushes and SAINT RITA.

AUCTION THIS FRIDAY May 6, 2011  6:00 to 8:30pm.  National Hispanic Cultural Center – Pete V. Domenici Education Building.   The NHCC in cooperation with the Hispanic Women’s Council will be holding their annual auction this Friday and will feature the collaborative Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe image in tin that Jason and I created in episode 13.  We will include a copy of the DVD of this episode with the winning auction bid for this piece.  I plan to go early to see the works by other artists.  There are several notable Santeros participating including Charlie Carillo and Arturo Olivas.  I’m looking forward to seeing their pieces.

Finished collaborative Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in tin frame

copyright ©2011 SWyD

Here’s a shot of the finished piece that Jas and I did.  He added the leaves at the corners.  I enjoyed working on this image with him so much that we may do a larger collaboration of it for market.

Here is the link to the official website for more information on the auction:  www.ABQretablo.com

Jason and I are available for demonstrations and workshops in tandem or individually.

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Coat of Arms: Delgado Family Crest

April 30, 2011
Delgado Family Crest

copyright ©2011 Sean Wells y Delgado

[Read more about the Delgado Family Crest origin and symbolism below.]

It was so timely that I viewed parts of the inspiring Royal Wedding on the same day that I intended to write the post for my recently completed Delgado Family Coat of Arms.  In the highlights of the wedding, the various media showed glimpses of the handsome program given out to guests.  As a graphic artist, I was very curious to view the layout and design of such a prominent visual article.  I checked online to see if there were any opportunities to view the program and was so pleased to find our most generous new royal couple had the forethought to share the program free online for all to see!

Click here to visit the official site to download the Official Program from the wedding of Catherine and William

Well, there were some very beautiful layouts.  I love the black and white photo of them.  I love the charming watercolor map of the parade route.  Although, I found the font layouts on most of the rest of the pages quite boring.  But, that’s not really what I wanted to mention here on this blog.  What really moved me to get on my article was the beautiful Coat of Arms layout (pg 25 of the program) that shows the crests of both families with text describing the symbolism.  It’s just wonderful.

The program goes into the clever symbolism shown in both William’s Royal crest and Catherine’s family crest.  I especially loved the playful visual split down the middle of Catherine’s family coat of arms as a pun reference to the name “Middleton.”

After completing the Delgado Family Crest using traditional retablo techniques, I had talked to my husband about the meaning and significance of the imagery to our kids.  I am not a Delgado by name.  My children are not Delgados.  My married name is Wells.  I am a descendant of one of the original Conquistadors, Manuel Delgado, that settled here in New Mexico more than 400 years ago.  But that is not why I honor the name in my retablo work.  I have incorporate the name in my artwork because it was my great-great grandfather  Francisco Delgado who defined himself as a traditional Spanish Colonial Artisan tinsmith and who made the great effort to give that legacy to his children and grandchildren.  Without him and his perseverance, I would not have found this important element of myself.

So, I thought if I am to use this name, I should understand it more fully.  I have been using a generic Delgado crest here and there, but I thought it would really become a part of me if I painted it using my traditional retablo style and techniques.  I researched the name and crest symbolism.  I took my time with the piece and I reworked many areas, especially the text, to get it just right.

It was a wonderful exercise for me to recreate with my own hands
this symbol  that I had used so liberally to date.  It is a part of me now and I am a part of it.  With each step I take to slow down and kneel to the story of that which came before me, I feel enriched, blessed, honored and humbled to be a part of this flow.

And, now I look at this magnificent fairytale couple, beginning their journey into a life people think they would want, (but would probably hate) and I wish them good will in marrying their two disjointed symbols of family together.  And, they can now add their own symbols to a new crest that both honors the past and gives hope to a better future.  And, I will look forward to painting a Wells crest for my family and my children that will merge the traditional Wells crest (which I have yet to research) and perhaps elements of the Delgado crest into a unique and original crest for this generation.

DELGADO FAMILY CREST ORIGINS
The family name Delgado originates from the Latin word, “delicatus” (the root of the word “delicate”), and refers to the word “thin” or “fine.”

It is so hard for me to associate these meanings with any Delgado I can remember.  For me, “Delgado” conjures up images of war horses and canons, symbols of strength, power, confidence and leadership.  I am coining the word “aggressive creativity” as part of my description of the modus operandi of a Delgado.  The only association I can remotely connect with thoughts of filiment-like structure in the world of Delgado, is their very presence.  There is something about Delgados that is so fleeting and ethereal.  You cannot hold a Delgado in your hand, in your grip.  So slippery and mobile, Delgados are like the valence cloud around the nucleus of an atom–you may only roughly predict where they might go next.

DELGADO FAMILY CREST SYMBOLISM
The center shield in blue represents the quality of loyalty in both a personal sense and towards the Royal obligations owed to Spain.  The 7 eight-pointed stars represent the enlightenment of God.  I loved painting these elements and spent a great deal of time shading and shaping them.  I used to draw this exact eight-pointed dimensional star over and over as a child.  maybe this was why–some genetic memory of my family’s connection.  The blood red second shield represents the quality of honor and forthrightness.  The eight cauldrons represent the wealth of the (presumable) lord and perhaps specific number of estates held at the time.  I only own one at the moment, so maybe I should eliminate 7 cauldrons.  Although, technically, our lot is a compilation of two lots, so maybe I could keep two cauldrons.

Detail of stars on Delgado family crest

The outer shield (described as “silver”) is suspected to have been added later and may have been bestowed on the family by the King of Spain for acts of service for country or it may be some element added as part of a nuptial bond.  The Spanish phrase on the outer ring reads “Ave Maria Gratia Plena,” or “Hail Mary Full of Grace.”  Although I’m not sure if it was intentional, I love the balance of the symbolism of the light of God in the center and the love of Mary on the bounding ring.  This “silver” ring is an especially interesting addition to the crest since the tinsmiths were derived from the silversmiths of Spain.  I would have liked to somehow incorporated a hint of our family tin style, but I asked Jason to add a tin frame around the finished board.  I will post a picture of the finished piece after he tins it up!

I did not leave enough room to put the text in the way I had envisioned so I decided to ghost in the covered letters so that the full words could be read.  Although it was a correction, I ended up liking the effect.  I used a font with the thought that the letters should look carved from the material and added highlights using color lifting and shading as needed.  I used a more traditional calligraphic font for the “Delgado” banner.

Delgado calligraphy banner

This piece will be available in the Tintero Gallery in Old Town (as soon as Jason finishes the tin frame) and will soon be available online.  It measures 7″ x 12″ before the tin.  I’ll be offering framed and unframed prints soon as well!

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Happy Easter! Decoupage Egg Project

April 19, 2011
Decoupage retablo image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on an egg

Image copyright ©2011 SWyD

MAKE YOUR OWN  I made a short video to show you a simple Easter craft project idea.  I am using a color laser image of my Our Lady of Guadalupe retablo to make a decal that can be applied to real or artificial eggs.  I am providing the sheet for your personal use in the “[09] Patterns” link to the right or click here now.  It’s a really fun project.  You’ll need eggs (wooden, plaster or real), Mod Podge, access to a laser printer, a plate of water and a disposable brush.  You may want an acrylic base coat.  I used gold paint.

If you are downloading the PDF for classroom use, I recommend you watch Episode 13 online to learn more about Our Lady of Guadalupe.  She has a beautiful story.

still from the egg episode

Click image to WATCH THE EGG SPECIAL ON YOUTUBE NOW

Guadalupe eggs in a basket

Image copyright ©2011 SWyD

OR BUY FINISHED EGGS  The finished eggs are also available in my online store.   I only have a dozen or so.  I have some at Jason’s shop in Old Town, too.  If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out.  It has a fantastic selection of traditional New Mexican arts.  If you’re in Santa Fe, you can find them at Susan’s Christmas Shop off the plaza!

Happy Easter My Friends!

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Saint Francis Episode

February 23, 2011

The new episode 1 of 2 on Saint Francis will air Albuquerque on February 23 9PM Comcast Channel 26 Encantada TV. It was a fun shoot, although I was a little slow to get going.  The first episode takes you through most of the main painting and the second will focus on the border.  I talk about the imagery and symbols of Saint Francis.  I also have lots of fun, interesting and touching stories about Saint Francis that I cover as well.  I find his story especially compelling.  Here is the text I include on all my gift tags with my retablos of Saint Francis:

ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI [SAN FRANCISCO]

1181-1226AD | Feast Day Oct 4

Patron Saint of the city of Santa Fe, the environment, families & animals

The son of a wealthy cloth merchant, Francis searched for meaning in his life and was moved by the goodness of the Church.  He surrendered all of his worldly possessions and vowed a life of poverty in devotion to God, unknowingly founding the Franciscan order of monks.  He received the marks of Stigmata, appearing only on the most devout of followers.  He is often shown with the marks.  He may be shown with skull, cross, animals.  He will have three knots on his rope belt signifying the three vows of his order:  poverty, chastity, obedience.

Retablo Saint Francis 004In the episode, I mention watching a few videos on Saint Francis.  The two films I can recommend are:

“Francesco” 1989 starring Mickey Rourke and Helena Bonham Carter.  It’s gritty, rough and honest.  Although physically, Mickey does not allow you to enter an authentic view, I think he did a fantastic job capturing the essence of humility, peace and compassion that Saint Francis represents.

“The Flowers of Saint Francis” 1950 directed by Roberto Rossellini.  This is a beautiful portrayal through vignettes of his life in black and white.  The director employed local monks to play the roles of the Franciscan disciples.  It feels like you are watching actual footage as it has an aged quality and everyone is speaking Italian throughout.  It is so sweet and gentle, like Saint Francis might be.  Even the “violent” scenes are done with a quietness.

I painted this board with my sister-in-law in mind.  She told me that as a child, she used to play with a Saint Francis image at her Grandparent’s house that had removable birds.  She had fond memories and still plays with it from time to time.  I had my brother create these pajaritos based on some Christmas ornaments he made for my sons this year.  It is a pattern from my Grandmother.  I tapped some upholstery tacks into the wood and glued magnets onto the back of the birds so they could be removed, rearranged or rotated!  I’m sending the board to my sister in-law for her birthday 😉

I’ve asked my brother to add the bird ornaments to his online store.  If they are not available yet, they should be by tomorrow.  Just visit the Tintero Online Store.

I’m also adding a simplified version of this image of Saint Francis for your personal use in the Patterns link on the right under PAGES.  I’ve left out all the symbols so you can add your own.

I am very moved by Saint Francis’ strength of character.  I especially like his prayer, which I believe is recited in all of the movies I saw.  I want to include it here for you.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

 

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NHCC Retablo Donation Request

February 16, 2011

The National Hispanic Cultural Center is holding their annual NOUVEAU RETABLO 2011 – a fundraiser presented by the Hispanic Women’s Council & NHCC. Proceeds benefit HWC Scholarship Fund and NHCC Arts Education. They invite donations of original retablos from professional and emerging artists for auction.  Artwork due APRIL 15.

Click here for submission forms and guidelines.

I’ve included a snapshot of their gallery page for inspiration.  Click on the image to view the original and to see full size images.

Nouveau Retablo 2010 gallery

I love participating in these auctions.  It’s a great way to give back to the community and just be around positive energy.  This year, they are emphasizing the literal meaning of  “retablo.”  They are encouraging artists to paint on wooden boards.  They are providing artists with 9.5″x10″ boards if you should need.  I just added a basic gesso kit to the online store if you wanted to try making traditional gesso for your board.  It really is a unique experience to paint on such a fine surface.  I’ve also started offering pre-gessoed boards to allow people the opportunity to experience painting on traditional gesso.  If you do end up entering a piece, please send me a snapshot!  I will post my image as soon as I complete a piece for the auction.  I think I will work with the board size they are providing.  I like the idea that all the pieces would be unified by the board size, even if the finished pieces have an independent direction.