Paying Homage

Paying Homage

A “retable” or “retablo” was originally a frame or shelf enclosing decorated panels or revered objects above and behind an altar. It has since come to also designate the painting or other image it encloses. In Mexico, it is common for families to have smaller versions of the larger pieces seen in churches in their homes. At the time I moved here in 2001, I could buy the undecorated, unpainted ornamental metal frames for retablos in a local artisan market and I started making retablos myself that paid homage to saints, Mexican legendary figures, artists, family members and friends.  Over the years, my subjects have grown, as have the retablos.  Here are a few of the hundreds I’ve created over the past 16 years.  Recently, as the metal frames get harder to find, I have started using simpler boxes which I have constructed for me.



Jugetes (Toys)


“We’ll Always Have Paris”

IMG_5362Santa Cecilia (Patron Saint of Poets and Musicians)

DSCF9505 DSCF9531DSC01454
Self Portrait


Hidden Kiss 

Version 3
Sunrise Madonna

The Circus

Sunday Afternoon Sala





CDSCF9504 IMG_5393

judy8Homage to Picasso

judy6 - Version 2
Rainy Season

HIMG_5357 DSCF9481 DSC09797


 Our Lady of Notions

The prompt today was homage.

This entry was posted in Art, Art Collage, Arts/Crafts and tagged on by .

About lifelessons

My blog, which started out to be about overcoming grief, quickly grew into a blog about celebrating life. I post daily: poems, photographs, essays or stories. I've lived in countries all around the globe but have finally come to rest in Mexico, where I've lived since 2001. My books may be found on Amazon in Kindle and print format, my art in local Ajijic galleries. Hope to see you at my blog.

13 thoughts on “Paying Homage

  1. koolkosherkitchen

    These are incredible! How I would love to have some of them (Homage to Picasso or Toys, for instance)! I know, the answer is – go make them yourself…
    But seriously, do you sell those pieces? I would assume you do, if you display them in galleries.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. koolkosherkitchen

        I live in Miami Beach. I didn’t mean specifically the Picasso piece, although I would dearly love to have it. That was just an example of what speaks to me. I do have paintings that are larger than 20 inches; that’s not an issue, but it has to speak to me. I will e-mail, thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Judy Reeves

    How I love seeing all these retablos, Judy, knowing there are, what, hundreds? more on your walls and in your studio and all around the place. Gorgeous and inspiring. Makes me want to create another.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lifelessons Post author

      My art is more putting things together. I was a sliversmith for 15 years, but when I came to Mexico wanted to change what I was doing. Metal smithing skills help a lot in the assemblages but I like the thought and design aspects more than the actual altering of metallic shapes. Another factor is that I developed an allergy to metal–especially copper and brass–so the less time in contact with them, the better.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. lifelessons Post author

          Possibly. I’m mildly allergic to silver around my neck, possibly because of an interaction with sunscreen which reacts to the copper, but wear silver rings, earrings and bracelets with no problem. I’d never thought before why this is so, but you may have solved the mystery.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. janebasilblog

            When I sold silver it bothered me that so many people claimed to be allergic to silver, but not gold. I think of silver as the cleaner metal of the two, as gold tends to contain nickel and/or zinc (and/or copper). Gold plays havoc with my skin.


  3. Pingback: Our Lady of Notions | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

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