Posts Tagged ‘Spanish Colonial Arts Society’

h1

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!

Advertisements
h1

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!

h1

First Phase Screening for Spanish Market Passed!

November 4, 2010
La Conquistadora detail

©copyright 2010 Sean Wells y Delgado

I just received notice today that I have PASSED the first phase of screening for Spanish Market Artists 2011!  I am so excited to share my news.  Spanish Market is the annual show of premiere Spanish Colonial Artisans of the Southwest presented by the Spanish Colonial Arts Society held on the Plaza in Santa Fe, NM.  They maintain the highest standards of quality, craftsmanship and tradition and it is a true honor to have opportunity to participate in this show.  My brother has been a participant for many years now as a tinsmith.  His work is impeccable.  And we have always aspired to do this show together.

The Screening Process

There are two phases.  The first consists of submitting photos of three sample pieces.  The letter states “to ensure that your materials, techniques and subject matter fall within the general Guidelines for Spanish Market and that your work meets the minimum standards  for craftsmanship and artistry.”  I have passed this part of the review.  In the letter, they include some juror responses to guide the development of the work and I received some thoughtful positive comments that made me feel like they really spent some time reviewing the work.  One I particularly liked read, “Nice linear details.”

Alma de Maria (The Soul of Mary)

©copyright 2010 Sean Wells y Delgado

The second phase, which takes place sometime after the new year, requires submittals of actual examples of finished pieces.  As I understand it, this gives them an opportunity to inspect for craftsmanship and execution.

As the letter states, the the three pieces I submitted were juried anonymously.  I included the Alma de Maria retablo I completed at Juanito Jimenez’ retablo workshop, a Saint Francis that includes some simple carving and my first La Conquistadora (which became part of the banner image for this blog).  It is a larger retablo measuring 12″x18″.  I plan to do a whole series on her and will blog about them in a future post, I’m sure.  All three of these pieces were done using traditional techniques and earth clays or natural pigments, with the exception of the outlining.  I use a sepia watercolor.  I would like to replace it with a natural pigment, but have not found a suitable one yet and I like the softness and warmth of the brown over a harsher lamp black.

Saint Francis

©copyright 2010 Sean Wells y Delgado

I applied last year in a scramble and, although I liked the pieces I had submitted individually, I did not feel all that good about how I had represented myself, showing much older pieces with my newer work.  Disappointed, but not surprised at a rejection, I committed this past year to developing my style.  I thought finding a style would come from painting in large volumes.  Well, being a mother of two toddlers precludes quantity work.  I found that my confidence grew simply in developing my knowledge base.  I studied with two retablo artists. I read about the history of the Spanish Colonial arts as well as the traditions of the retablo artist (Santero).  I have familiarized myself with the work of other retablo artists.  I have been reading diligently about the lives of the Saints.  And, I have taken an active interest in the exhibits of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts.  I can feel all of this information coming through me when I sit down now to produce.  But, there is so much more to learn.

La Conquistadora

©copyright 2010 Sean Wells y Delgado

Well, thank you all so much for your prayers and positive thoughts as I awaited the good news.  As I told a few of you, although I wanted to jury in for many reasons, I trusted there is a very exciting plan set in motion for me this year whether I get in or not.  I don’t know if this blog is the right forum to mention this, but last night I had a wonderful dream that my brother and I collaborated on a large image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  The challenge in collaborating on a Guadalupe is that her image is traditionally oval and her flames want to be unbounded.  In the dream, I carve her flames and as they taper out, they become vines that swirl into flowers in the corners of the image.  The organic forms of the vines and flowers flow and fill the shape of the rectangle.  This allows my brother an inviting form to frame with a traditional classic frame.  His rosette stamp work reflects the corner flowers of the retablo.  It was a wonderfully satisfying dream.  I plan to make the board just as I have dreamt it.  I think the image in the dream is a gift from La Conquistadora, who has been shining on me lately.  Thank you, my Lady.