Posts Tagged ‘patron saint’

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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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Saint Peter | San Pedro

November 10, 2010
retablo of Saint Peter

© copyright 2010 Sean Wells y Delgado

As a Mom of two, it is difficult for me to set aside the time to focus on art.  I’ve actually been working on the previous sentence for the last 2 hours. So, to help me seperate my work time from my Mom time, I have decided to assign themes to my days.  Today was my first dedicated Retablo day.  It was very relaxing to feel I could unfurl my painting supplies and projects on the kitchen table without trying to accomplish 20 other things or worry about interruptions and tiny hands.  I intended to work on ornaments in preparation for the holidays, but there was a board that has been calling to me for years.  I stared at it until I remembered an image my Grandmother had always wanted me to paint. It was a Saint Peter.  She wanted me to paint him as if you were looking through a keyhole.

As I stared at the board imagining an image that would compliment the board shape, the image of the keyhole became clear and I knew it would be the perfect saint for this board.  I found the board at a yard sale in Alexandria, Virginia.  I was told it was an antique and used to stretch pelts of animals like muskrats.  It looks well-aged and has a wonderful deep and weathered grain.  It looks like it may have once been the top of a fence.  I really love the idea of using a reclaimed board since I think often, the santero used whatever substrates were available.  Nothing went to waste.  So, although the board is not hand shaped by me or even made from a local wood, using reclaimed resources is in the spirit of our pioneering predecessor artisans.

Detail of Saint Peter retablo

© copyright 2010 Sean Wells y Delgado

I read up on Saint Peter to refresh my memory and studied several images of him.  He is shown with an oversized key and is seen as the gatekeeper to Heaven. He is often shown holding a book, a symbol of wisdom.  As a fisherman himself, he is patron saint to boaters.  He wears a red robe.

I was most taken with the story that he denies being apostle to Christ to save himself as Jesus is put on trial.  He is ashamed of his action and confesses to Jesus and is forgiven.  Once called “Simon,” Jesus anoints him with the name “Peter” which, in Greek,  translates to “rock.”  Matthew 16:18 says,”You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church.”  Peter is not judged on his failure, but on his potential for success. He is given the key to the gates of Heaven in the greatest demonstration of faith.  He goes on to live up to that expectation as a loyal disciple and is generally accepted as the first Pope.

Once I had all the imagery in my head, I sketched out the image and the painting flowed quickly.  It is a larger piece measuring about 14″ tall.  It will be a challenge to hang since the board is not weighted symmetrically.  But,  I was pleased with being able to finish an entire larger piece in one sitting.  I really love the keyhole as well as his expression.

Saint Peter  |  San Pedro
feast day June 29
symbols:  book, large key, rooster, fishing net, red robe.