Posts Tagged ‘Paint retablos’

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San Miguel | Saint Michael

March 30, 2011
Saint Michael Retablo by Sean Wells

Saint Michael Retablo copyright ©2011 Sean Wells y Delgado

As prince of the seraphim the archangel Michael led the charge against the uprising stemming from Lucifer’s betrayal.  Lucifer, at that time was one of the most favored angels.  But, after Michael defeated him, Lucifer is cast down.  Although called upon to defend the Church throughout history, it is not for his military strength that he is revered most, but for his healing powers offering miracle healing at several fonts and on various occasion.  His name translates to “Who is like God?” signifying his humility.  Scales represent his weighing of the souls of Man upon Judgement Day.  His angelic wings imply swiftness and his sword represent his strength.

San Miguel  |  Saint Michael

feast day September 29

Patron Saint of artists, bakers, grocers, mariners, paratroopers, police, EMT’s, haberdashers, bankers

Invoked against illness

symbols:  Conquered Demon/Devil, Sword, Scale/Balance,wings

THIS RETABLO AVAILABLE ONLINE

Detail of Saint Michael retablo

copyright ©2011 Sean Wells y Delgado

NEW MEXICAN SANTERA TO AIR TONIGHT:  To learn more about Saint Michael and his connection to my family, be sure to tune in to Comcast Encatada TV tonight 9PM (Wednesday) to see the second episode on the Saint Michael retablo.  Channel 26 Albuquerque, Channel 16 Santa Fe.

It was a challenging retablo for me on many levels.  But, I have taken a big step forward in my development of the Saint Michael imagery.  I look forward to the opportunity to paint him in the future.  Pattern for this retablo is available on the link to the right labeled “09 Patterns” under “PAGES.”

Saint Michael Painting by Sean Wells

earlier Saint Michael painting copyright ©2011 Sean Wells

I also mention in the episode how I have attempted to paint him several times before I really committed to the study of the craft of retablo.  I like the resulting paintings, but never felt like they were retablos in the true sense of the word.  I found an image of one of the paintings that I promised I would share.  You can see, it is much more animated and realistic with muscles, shadows and has a cartoon graphic influence.  I like this image very much, but I think of it as a painting of Saint Michael rather than a retablo.

SAINT DATABASE LIVE:  I finally got the Saint Database so it is fully searchable!  Now, you can search for your favorite Saint my several criteria including symbols and colors!  I’ve always wanted to produce this database.  I am just starting it, so there are only a dozen Saints so far, but I will be adding to it continuously.  If you’d like to contribute to the development of this database, consider a donation. ¡Hasta Luego!

Saint Michael Retablo by Sean Younis Youth MarketUPDATE:  I located a couple of pictures from Children’s Market more than 2 decades ago!  Thought you would enjoy seeing me and it had a shot of the Saint Michael with my proud little 2nd place ribbon hanging on it!  I was still “Sean Younis” then.  It was actually purchased by one of the jurors.  So, if anyone happens to know who the owner is, I’d love to let them know what I’m up to these days!
Me beaming at children's market so many years ago! 

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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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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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Final Jury Piece #3 Complete!

February 4, 2011

 

SCAS jury review 2011

copyright ©2011 Sean Wells y Delgado

It was a disastrously unproductive 2 weeks with sick kids, sick Gramma babysitter and snow days that turned into snow week.  But with a bit of support from family watching kids, I was able to wrap up my 3rd piece to submit for SCAS final jury!  I will head up to Santa Fe tomorrow with pieces in hand and stay over for an early morning delivery.  I was so excited when I finished it and saw the three pieces adjacent to one another.  It looked like the work produced by a single artist (my goal for this year) and I was very pleased with the trio as a set.

St Francis Retablo

copyright ©2011 Sean Wells y Delgado

SAINT FRANCIS  |  SAN FRANCISCO  For the final piece, I created a companion board to the La Conquistadora board and chose the Saint Francis imagery.  It is a large 12″ x 18″ board, so I was able to get into some entertaining details and textures.

I added some birds and framed him in trees to symbolize the tale of Saint Francis being swarmed by a variety of birds as he walked through the woods with his companions.  I included an owl to recall the giant owl my brother just encountered on a hike with my son. I typically include a stylized deer wrapping his legs, but decided to convert my deer into a wolf, after having heard tale of  how he saved a village from a killing wolf.  He befriended the wolf and convinced the town to feed the wolf.  In exchange, he asked the wolf not to harm the villagers or their livestock.

I sketched several iterations of the wolf, trying to capture ‘wolf’ and get away from ‘dog.’  I asked my two year old son if he liked the doggie in the painting.  I was so happy when he said (completely unprompted), “that not dog Mom, it wolf!”

The pattern in the leaves of the trees were inspired by illustrations from one of my kid’s vintage sleepy time books.  I had so much fun painting the leaves, I will surely be introducing more pattern fill and texture in future boards.

I chose to wrap the imagery of the leaves and tree trunk around the edge of the board.  I like the effect, but it is a more modern look, I believe.  And, it is not very enjoyable to paint on a curve!

Retablo St Francis detail

copyright ©2011 Sean Wells y Delgado

I feel myself getting more comfortable with predicting how the pigments and board will react to one another.  My brush strokes are getting more confident and I am loosening up.  I’m sorry I forgot to get a progress shot.  It was very cool at the color blocking stage.  I will be sure to get those shots in the future.

Anyway, no matter what happens with jury at this point, I feel I am putting my best foot forward and have represented my family’s name with honor.

TV EPISODE UPDATES:  Well, the weather started getting rough and the all the stations had some technical issues.  In short, both Santa Fe and Albuquerque will be rerunning this weeks episodes next week. I have updated the episode list to reflect the new air schedule.  Also, just a note, after we finish the Saint Rita episodes, we will start a Saint Francis board that will be based on this board!  We haven’t shot it yet, so if you have any thoughts on whether to put in a wolf or a deer, drop me a comment!

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Episode 3 Santa Rita

January 27, 2011

Stills from episode 33rd Episode of New Mexican Santera to air tonight (Jan 26) at 9:00PM on Comcast Encantada Channel 26.  I am so excited to watch tonight’s episode!  In this third episode, I talk about pigments, brush options and begin our first retablo, Sainta Rita de Cascia.  I ge t so carried away with the intro material that I will just only begin the retablo.  But I previewed the material and there was nothing I would want to cut.  So, we’ll be stretching out the Santa Rita retablo over several episodes.

In this episode, I introduce pigment options which include acrylic, watercolor, earthen clays and minerals.  I cover brushes as well.  I recommend a flat, round and liner brush as a basic set to start.  Then, we FINALLY begin painting!  I discuss some basic brush techniques.  I go in with a rough plan of what I want to paint, but I try to share the painting journey with you and make a lot of decisions on camera (which sometimes works out great and sometimes, well…it makes for interesting television, I suppose).

As I paint, I discuss the story of Santa Rita.  She has an intriguing story, married off at age 12 to a wretched man and suffers at his hands for nearly two decades.  Tune in to find out how her story ends 😉  I have posted the PDF of her image for free download.  Just click on the “09 PDF Downloads” to the right and click on EPisode 3-Santa Rita.  I will also make the Santa Rita DVD in its entirety (About 1 1/2 hours) available in the store later tonight.

Saint Rita of Cascia

copyright © 2011 Sean Wells y Delgado

We’re also pleased to announce we just got the notice that Santa Fe Community Comcast Channel 16 will begin airing New Mexican Santera tonight at 9PM as well!  It will also be followed by episode 1 of Jason’s show, New Mexican Tinsmith.

In Summary, Tonight Jan 26:
ALBUQUERQUE Comcast Channel 26 9PM Episode 3
SANTA FE Comcast Channel 16 9PM Episode 1

I am repeating myself, but I have to say thank you to my Dad, Toby Younis at Videotero LLC (www.videotero.com) for taking the immense time and energy to produce, edit and promote these videos.  Thanks, Dad!  This adventure is so much more fun with you on board!