Posts Tagged ‘San Pedro’

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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.