Posts Tagged ‘jury’

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Good News!

February 15, 2011

After having a bit of a cranky day, I came home to the best Valentine’s Day Card ever…a note from the Spanish Colonial Arts Society welcoming me as a NEW ARTIST FOR SPANISH MARKET 2011!  My husband actually debated whether to present it to me on V-Day or not.  He watched me check the mailbox every day since the jury.  And, he admitted to preparing a pep-speech should it be a disappointing note.  That was the best gift from him, knowing he is with me on this ride.  The letter came on a beautiful letterhead with a nice watermark of the SCAS logo.  It said the committee wanted to pass on some feedback on my work.  I’m not sure it’s something I should share, but it was generally positive with some constructive criticism that I will contemplate.  My husband and I had fun discussing our interpretations of the meaning of their comments.  I am just so pleased and I look forward to making plans with my brother  (he’s already juried in from a previous year in the tinwork category).  I am both relieved and exhilarated!

Our Lady of Guadalupe 001To keep my mind busy during the week, I worked on an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  It is not for Market, since it is on a reclaimed board.  It was a tacky board I picked up at a yard sale for a quarter that had an attempt at Tole painting on the front.  It looked like someone had abandoned the painting before completion.  So, I adopted the board and sanded off the old image.  I knew I wanted to paint the Lady of Guadalupe image on it, but it wasn’t until I decided to put the cherub below the votive shelf that the work really got interesting.  I used the imagery of the crescent moon  and the falling of the fabric of her gown to tie the top to the bottom.  I adore the face of the angel.  In the original Guadalupe, the angel is noted for a cherubic presence, but an adult face.

Our Lady of Guadalupe cherub detail

Since I knew it was not for Market, I also used a watercolor ultramarine blue to imitate the natural Lapis color of her gown.  I haven’t really been using blue to date, but wanted a brighter palette for this Guadalupana image.  I’m working on a formula to extract the color from lapis lazuli stones, but the color is still not satisfactory and the process is both expensive and labor intensive.

Our Lady of Guadalupe sgrafitto detailI’ve attached some close-ups of the sgrafitto work on the dress pattern that I’m especially fond of.  I asked my brother to add one of his sweet little leaf votives and it was the perfect compliment for her.  We decided to attach it at a 45 degree rotation so the leaves would frame her dress instead of competing with it.  It was fun to collaborate together, even on such a small element.  Most of the time, we’re just handing pieces off to one another.

The Guadalupana story is compelling and beautiful.  The symbolism of this iconic image is rich.  I made a conscious effort to avoid painting her while I got comfortable with my painting style.  I doubt there is a more recognized retablo image and I was afraid it would be too easy to slip into the kitschy niche she seems to attract.  But, I will save my full write up on her when I release the Guadalupana episode of New Mexican Santera (assuming we secure some underwriting for season two).

Jason installing tin votive This retablo is currently available at Tintero Gallery or in my online store.  She’s quite tall, measuring somewhere  around 15″ tall and maybe 8″-10″ wide.  Well, I suppose I should try to get some sleep.  Lots to dream about!

Oh, New Mexican Santera will be airing Wed Feb 15 at 9PM.
Albuquerque Comcast Ch 26 The final episode of Saint Rita
Santa Fe Comcast Ch 6 The first episode of Saint Rita

Followed by New Mexican Tinsmith!

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SCAS Jury Piece #2 Complete!

February 2, 2011

SCAS Entry Sketch

I thought some people might be interested in the Spanish Market jury process.  I have passed the first screening which is a paper portfolio submission and now I’ll be submitting three physical pieces for final jury this weekend!  Although I could submit the same pieces I submitted for preliminary review, I wanted to include some fresh pieces.  I will be resubmitting La Conquistadora 01, the one that now appears on all my marketing.

Saint Peter Detail

I’ll also include the new Saint Peter I just finished this evening and I have started a large Saint Francis that I hope to use as my third piece.   I sketched out a little plan to make sure I was designing 3 compatible, cohesive pieces and the sketch was so cute, I thought I ‘d attach it here.  I wanted to make sure the boards, designs and colors complimented one another.  I painted myself into a pickle when all of the backgrounds ended up migrating to yellow.  I’m not sure if that will hurt me, but it was the right choice for the individual boards, so I had to go with it.

copyright ©2011 Sean Wells y Delgado

I just finished this new Saint Peter board and wanted to share it.  I based it on the Saint Peter I painted a couple of months ago (see “Saint Peter” article), but with some small changes and a simple board shape, very classic.  I’m including some detail shots of the face.  I like the softness of his eyes and I think it captures the same solemn gaze of La Conquistadora.   I’m also including a progress shot so you could see it during the color blocking phase.  You’ll note in that shot I painted some exquisite yellow feather highlights on floral carving that I end up painting over.  I was just testing the brush technique in yellow and hated to paint over them, but they couldn’t be saved.  I was happy to bring them back in red at the end.  Anyway, I thought you’d enjoy seeing a progress shot.  It’s so fun to see it come alive.  I’ve also started introducing some architectural elements.  This is something I’ve been wanting to bring into my work.

I showed Daryl (my husband) and he gave me some very constructive criticism.  One thing he mentioned,  I thought I should share.  He noted that the vast majority of retablos I’ve been studying have the icon perfectly centered on the board.  I tend to let my figures drift to the right to give them some space in front of them (too much formal art training).  It was a simple observation, but I think it will improve my work to center up and would have improved this piece.  I have to constantly remind myself I’m not painting a picture or a portrait.  I’m creating an icon.

Saint Peter progress shot

You may notice that I have been reusing the same saints.  Whenever I paint a new saint, I read about it and collect contemporary and historical imagery.  I sketch out some ideas for my own icon and then design a board for it.  It’s a lot of time and work and I really wanted to familiarize myself with the saints beyond my previous superficial understanding.  The extra time invested has greatly improved the results of my retablos, but I have only a few that I feel comfortable with thus far.  I think it will be a great way to look back on my work when I am gray–to see that each year I add a handful of saints to my repertoire.  As I finish each new saint, I create a hang tag for that saint.  So far, I have 4 (Saint Francis, La Conquistadora, Saint Peter, Saint Rita).  But, the TV show is moving my education along much faster since I have to learn about the saint I will be presenting for each episode.  So, it’s been a bit of a crash course.  By the end of filming, I should have at least 5 new saints to add to my tag collection.  Anyway, I plan to finish up Saint Francis by Thursday and hope the weather improves so I can drop off my boards on Saturday for review!