Tag Archives: images of retablos

Daily Post Photo Challenge: Saturated

These are two of my older retablos–both pretty colorful! Although the retablos were sold many years ago, I found these photos on an old photo disk. The top one is about 5 inches wide, the bottom one probably about 15 inches high.  Click on photos to enlarge.

 

For The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Saturated

Lonely Artist Covid Art Challenge, Artist #4, Jeff Brown

 

.                                           Jeff Brown’s contribution to the challenge.

The below commentary is by Jeff’s wife Debbie. Jeff is my artist stepson who lives in California. If Debbie would send some photos, I will send you photos of his art in another blog. Here are photos of Debbie and Jeff in Mexico.

“Jeff was on a lil Covid vacation. We went to Half Moon Bay camping and to see a change of scenery. One day we set up art camp and made retablos. Jeff made this because of fun times at Lake Chapala: playing Mexican Train and visiting Herradura tequila factory. Fond Memories. He says it’s still not done..but it’s a start.”

Our Lady of Notions

Earlier tonight, I was surprised to see Kelley Farrell’s blog entitled “Pin Cushions Look Like Tomatoes” because the pin cushion she pictures is exactly the pin cushion I developed an entire large retablo around a number of years ago. Below is my retablo and the story it develops.

This retablo, which includes a number of pieces of embroidery as well as tatting by my grandmother, also is an homage to the fine handiwork of so many Mexican artisans. In Michocan, there is a church where on the altar, an image of the Virgin Mary is surrounded by elaborate aprons sewn by the women of the church whereas the statue of Christ is surrounded by men’s serapes. I had a woman make the miniature aprons and then I decorated them myself. The humor of the piece, however, comes from the pincushion on the top. Two of the figures have cut themselves free from the pincushion.  The one in blue has almost completed its escape, using the string from one of the spools as a rope. A second figure clad in red is going over the side, using a needle it has taken as a weapon to threaten a third who is cutting itself free with tiny silver scissors to come try to stop them. That scenario is depicted below. Various antique sewing supplies including an old pattern marker are included in the retablo. If you want to see details, click on the first photo below and then the right hand arrows to enlarge all of the photos.

 

 

HERE is Kelley’s story about the same pin cushion!

If you are interested in learning more about my retablos and seeing others, go here: https://judydykstrabrown.com/2017/08/27/paying-homage/

Short Story

Short Story

Have you built a final fortress behind the winding wall
so you need not deal with this crazy world at all?
Is your lofty Shangri-la an adequate escape
from the headlines of the day—the raw world’s rub and scrape?
Have you left behind the saga of this noisy world
to hide out in your quiet cave where you are snugly curled
in your Barclay lounger, an old cat on your lap,
your only excitement rubbing against its nap?

How the needles click and clack as you knit and purl,
remembering small triumphs from when you were a girl.
No need for social intercourse or charity or giving.
Each year you knit out a life that contains less living,
striving for an entity devoid of stress and trouble,
sealed up neat and tidy in your private bubble.
This is really living, you tell yourself each day—
loneliness the only price that you have to pay.

 

Prompt words today were lofty, escape, quiet and saga.

Tracings

 

Click on photos to enlarge and see commentaries made about some during earlier postings.

Children are the parts of themselves that parents leave  behind when they die—actual physical tracings that will last for as long as their line reproduces. Yet, they have no control over what the children add to their genes to pass on down through time. Each generation melds together with the genes of other families to create a new assemblage composed of bits and pieces of the physical and mental characteristics gleaned from each side of the family to form a new identity.

Childless, I have only what I create to carry me forward into the far future—my poems, stories and books as well as the found object collages that I have created over the past eighteen years. In them I leave the tracery of my life—the long trailings of where I have been, whom I have known, what I have thought. But unlike children, they are glued down, painted, securely fastened to stay as I have intended them to be.

Vestiges of my entire  life story  are stored in them:  moments happy, sad, delirious, tedious, exciting, passionate, depressed, thoughtful, nostalgic. They are souvenirs of travel, heartbreak, reading, lost loves, found adventures.  I have no idea where they will eventually end up. In a trash heap?  On a table or shelf or in a box stored on a shelf? Or will they travel as I once did? Will the box that records Andy’s death end up back in Africa? Will that record of my early childhood school days wind up back in my prairie town?  Will some quantum miracle bring all of the items back to their origins by a force stronger than the one that bonded them together? Will the pieces fly apart, each going in its own direction?

Perhaps this is what happens to all of us at our death—subatomic particles flying back to some prehistoric origin, ready to start their journeys outward once again. Our whole lives are assemblages. Each of us assembles a life as much by our choice of what we draw into it as by what we are given by nature and by birth. Every life is, in a larger sense, a work of art; and how it is recorded—by human genes or by pinning it down on a board or in an assemblage or sculpture or representationally in a book or on canvas—is our choice.

Prompt words today are tracery, delirious, assemblage and identity.
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/03/23/rdp-saturday-tracery/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/03/23/fowc-with-fandango-delirious/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/03/23/your-daily-word-prompt-assemblage-march-23-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/03/23/identity/

Rabbit as Legend in Mexico

The Rabbit’s Navel

P7060076

Numerous Mexican legends surround Rabbit, and each object in this retablo depicts one of them. Even the name “Mexico” is derived from Nahuatl words for the rabbit in the moon; and its capitol, Mexico City, is built on six lakes in the form of a rabbitIf you open the box this retablo sits upon, you will find inside a manuscript that conveys the story of the rabbit in Mexican legend and how I was drawn to it. The Aztecs had a legend of 400 drunken rabbits who were the gods of pulque–a drink made of fermented Maguey–the same plant that Tequila is made of. The woman sitting next to rabbit might be Mayahuel, the goddess of Maguey, but it is more likely that she is the Jaina woman explained in the quote below from the book Maya Terracottas.

“Representations of Maya women occur more commonly as Jaina figurines than in any other medium. These Jaina figures represent two kinds of women, both archetypes of female behavior. One is a stately, courtly woman who is sometimes shown weaving; the second is a courtesan who appears with all sorts of mates, from Underworld deities to oversized rabbits. The imagery of both derives from Maya concepts of the moon, perceived as an erratic, inconsistent heavenly body, whose constantly changing character follows the monthly cycle of female menses…
…The second female type is far more active, and she projects her sexuality…she is usually bare-breasted, and she gestures, as if offering herself to others. The demure woman may be painted in various colors, but this one is generally painted blue…Nothing else in Maya art conveys sexuality more convincingly than these figures. Although they may be conceived as the moon goddess and her consorts, they also reflect human behavior. As companions for the dead – perhaps particularly for old men – they seem to promise renewed sexual activity. For the living, such Jaina figurines may have been titillating objects for private observation.” (Schele: 1986, p. 153). Cf. Kimball, Maya Terracottas, p. 23

Since Fandango’s prompt isn’t up yet and I didn’t post to yesterday’s prompt of Legend, I’m doing so now. This is a reblog of a post done three years ago.

The Conveyor of the Moon

The moon, a rabbit, a bottle of tequila and a simple Mayan figure of a woman convey to us many of  the legends of Mexico as well as one theory about her naming.  Eight years ago I created a retablo that conveyed this message, both visually and in a story that resides in a chamber within the box the retablo sits upon.  I sold that retablo years ago, but luckily I have this photo and these words that describe it. In case you missed it last time, here it is again: https://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/07/11/the-rabbits-navel/

 

The prompt today was conveyor.

Rich Harvest

© Sharon Knight
I saw this photo by Sharon Knight on Sascha Darlington’s blog and knew it was the perfect photo for this poem as well.  Thanks to both Sharon Knight and Sascha as well as dVerse poets, who sponsored this prompt. Like Sharon Knight, I grew up in the midwest and this photo could easily have been taken in my home state of South Dakota, a bit before the harvest time described in my poem.

Details from retablo “The Gleaners.” Painting by Anna O’Neglia, retablo and photo by jdb (Click on any photo to enlarge all)

Rich Harvest

The night that we brought in the wheat,
our weeks of labor now complete,
we raised our voices, beat our feet,
and in that stifling prairie heat,
weary and arm-sore, yet replete
with satisfaction for jobs well-done
earned in the dust and chaff and sun,
we ceased our labors and had some fun.

Hank gave the prim schoolteacher a treat
by lifting her from her safe seat
to move her to the fiddler’s beat.
Soon, her hairpins met defeat,
her wild hair anything but neat,
 and Hank was heard to woo the miss
and then to plant a tender kiss.
She remembers all of this

now that their family’s complete
with Rita, Sarah, and little Pete.
Now every harvest, when you greet
each townsperson you chance to meet,
chances are they will repeat
how Hank brought in the wheat that year
and afterwards, conquered his fear
and dared to call the school marm, “dear.”

The prompt today is treat.

“We Were Framed!” One Word Photo Challenge: Frame

(Please click on first photo to enlarge all.)

 

 

 

 

https://jennifernicholewells.com/2014/01/28/one-word-photo-challenge/