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.
“We’ll Always Have Paris”
Santa Cecilia (Patron Saint of Poets and Musicians)
Every year, my mom helped us make May baskets to fill with candy and leave on the doorsteps of our friends. As mentioned in an earlier post, we’d ring the doorbell and run. If the recipient caught us, they could kiss or pinch us—their choice.
Some years we bought fancy handled nut cups from the dime store and used them, but I liked best to make my own. One year, my mother showed us something special to use for May baskets. Her family knew how to make these incredible tissue-paper ornaments that, with a cupcake liner filled with candy glued into the bottom, hung down in a web-like form. We’d pin them at the top and when you held them up they would fall down in a lacy accordion effect so they were a foot or two high. The only way you could really get the effect…
Please click on any photo to see the details in all of the photos.
I took these photos for a friend who had sold his house and was trying to sell these sculptures, some of which he had carved, others the work of another artist who passed away recently. Can you guess which one now graces my patio? If you are interested, I can put you in touch with him!
Big changes in my life in the past three days and no time to write about them. Since the prompt word today is “create,” I’m going to show some art work I’ve probably shown before, but no time to do more. I’ll explain what’s going on when I get back from Guadalajara this afternoon!
Art can be made from anything. These are all pieces made by my assistant and me when we were visiting forgottenman. Please click on first photo to see enlarged views of the work as well as my able assistant. (He made me what I am today.)
Jesus just finished his murals on the outside of my friends’ house. I took photos to send to them and decided to show you as well. I think they are fabulous.He did most of the murals on the outside of my house as well. (Click on first photo to enlarge them all.)