(blue mexican butterfly)
do you believe in hearts of gold?
i do...meet the talented, and kind
(blue mexican butterfly)
do you believe in hearts of gold?
i do...meet the talented, and kind
The shrine inside of the cigar box is actually made from an old clipboard,
and I have added various found objects such as tin milagros,
a ceramic Madonna and painted silk flowers.
The beautiful, vintage cigar box that houses the shrine measures 8x11x2-1/4".
I had the privilege of visiting Oaxaca in the fall of 2007,
and have not forgotten the beautiful smiles and faces of the people
(especially the children!) who live in this corner of southern Mexico.
It truly is a MAGICAL place, full of the love and pride of the
people who reside there."
Art Doll & Shrine for the Shrine to Hope Auction (click images to enlarge)
"I am delighted to be participating for the third time in the annual Cigar box Shrine Auction benefitting the Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots Organization. Please join in us in supporting this wonderful organization , the children and families they help, by bidding on this piece and/or any of the other shrines created by the artists who have donated a piece to this years auction."
~La Calavera Catrina & the Shrine to Saint Marcella~
My auction piece this year is titled "La Calavera Catrina & the Shrine to Saint Marcella". La Calavera Catrina is very much a part of modern day Mexican iconography and I thought it fitting to create one holding a shrine to Saint Marcella of Rome. Marcella (325-410 AD) was born into a wealthy aristocratic family. Widowed after only a few months of marriage, she dismissed society's pressures to remarry and chose to devote her life to God , living piously, in prayer and in the spirit of giving and charity. She converted her palace on Aventine Hill into a monastery where other noble women could study, worship and practice alms giving. She was known for her intellect and for not being afraid to question/debate matters of a spiritual nature. In 410 AD, the Visigoths invaded Rome and it was during this time that the elderly Marcella was violently beaten by those who wanted her to divulge where her great wealth was hidden. She succumbed to her injuries and died shortly thereafter but not before successfully pleading with her tormentors to not harm the other women in her company. They complied after learning that Marcella had in fact given all of her fortune away, "preferring to store her money in the stomachs of the needy rather than hide it in a purse."
Saint Marcella is said to have inspired many women to devote their lives to a higher calling, to live a life of simplicity and to help others in need in the spirit of kindness. Today, she is known as the Patron Saint of Noblewomen and her strength and humanity are the sources of inspiration for this shrine.
~Art Doll & Cigar Box Shrine Description~
This articulated La Calavera doll is approx 16" tall and 10" at the widest part her skirt She is made of polymer clay, gessoed and painted in layers of fine artist acrylics, and acid free ink. A light coat of antiquing stain has been applied to give her a slightly aged look. Her eyes and nose are coated with a layer of ultra fine black glitter.
The crown is made of sterling silver wire and I made each of the flowers out of watercolor paper. They are hand painted with acrylics,gouache, or watercolor and some are embellished with glass beads and ultra fine glitter. (The flowers on top of her shrine and on the back of her dress were created the same way). La Calavera Catrina's hair is upswept and is made of English black viscose. Her necklace is made of tiny glass beads and a sterling silver plated cross.The wire and findings connecting her arms and legs to her torso are sterling silver.
The dress is made of various silks~ black satin, black embroidered, gold and ivory duipioni and her veil is made of black silk chiffon (please note that this material frays a bit on the sides). The delicate sleeves and the lace over her skirt are both antique. At the base of her dress is a small string of papel picados that have been lightly coated in ultra fine glitter. Tiny rhinestones adorn the lace of her skirt and tiny glass beads and sequins have been hand sewn onto the neckline, sleeves, waist and skirt of her dress, all of which add a nice subtle glisten to her, especially in very low lighting :)
The ribbon/banner across her skirt reads in Spanish:
"Porque dando es como recibimos.. de La oración de San Francisco de Asís " ("For it is in giving that we receive.. from the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi").
The vintage wooden cigar box with the label "Marcella" has been cut down from it's original size and reassembled into a new box ( approx. 2.75" x 3.5" when closed). It contains two glass domes, one with a small tree, symbolizing both hope and spiritual growth and a sacred heart (handmade along w/the tree) which symbolizes God's love for humanity. I painted a small banner that reads "Marcella, the Glory of the ladies of Rome". She was referred to as such by Saint Jerome who compared her to Mary Magdalene in her devotion to Christ. On each side of the doors are tiny ex votos (offerings), reminiscent of the ones I saw in churches while traveling in Mexico ."
"I saw the wonderful shrines for auction last year, and I knew then, I wanted to be part
of helping these children through Rebecca's auction. I wrestled with the idea of a shrine. I really didn't know much about them. I knew they were to memorialize a person. I had at least three ideas running through my head. But nothing felt...just right, until I made it personal. My Shrine is dedicated to "Amy" the only daughter I had,
she was born a stillbirth
in 1975, I was age seventeen.
I never got to see or hold her.
It took me fifteen years, to be able to talk about her, without breaking down.
T his experience of creating her shrine, became very sacred to me.
I found myself choosing with utmost care, items to include in this piece.
As if I was being guided by a spiritual presence.
It was very peaceful and healing.
This photo is what I imagine her to look like.
The words around the edge say;
"Now is the time
for all little children, cuddled,
go to rest, sleeping."
Tiny delicate slippers to adorn her feet , a royal crown for the princess,
a teddy bear friend,
blocks and a ball to play with, pink of course,
a lock of hair, frozen Charlotte angel,
nesting pair of birdies, flowers, butterfly,
and glitter, a gloved hand with rosary beads.
Now is the time
for all little children, cuddled,
go to rest, sleeping." This is how I picture her
I have been blessed through creating a shrine for Amy
I hope others will be blessed through it."
Mary Raised A Fine Son
"I grew up in Asheville, NC and moved to St. Pete
and have been here, in Florida, for 20 years or so.
I am a musician and an artist and a secretary, you know how
modern women have to survive.
Most of my art is made out of left overs.
I make a lot of smaller shrines out of tin boxes and
bottle caps. anything that would normally be put
into a garbage heap, I try to make into something beautiful.
The larger shrines are made from wood that I find,
or people give me. I love it when I come upon a pile of old
kitchen cabinets, kitchen drawers make excellent shrines.
I love to find leftovers from construction projects.
Broken tile, scraps of wood in unusual shapes.
I try to make all of it into something new."
"I usually can find all kinds of words when I am describing my art
.... But, lately...I haven't been able to think clearly...
I lost my Mom this week and it has been consuming me.
all the details and all the sadness...
...and then here I go and do this shrine about a great Mom
... so now I am dedicating this piece to "Bunky" Moss...
who was my Mom...
and who taught me to be clever with my hands
and who taught me to make things out of whatever I could find
...and who taught me to tread lightly on this planet... Here ya go, Bunky.."
"This piece is very special to me.
It was the first Mix-Media painting that I have ever done in two dimensions.
It spoke to me in a way no words can explain.
That being said I just knew I had to donate her for such a great cause.
I also enjoy working with tissue paper, with which I have applied to the background, mixed with acrylic paint.
Her eyes are also hand made by me. She also has collage paper, fibers and fabric.
Her face is painted in watercolors.
I will be creating more unique Maria’s.
I loved every moment of making her."
"The little deer sits on top of the shrine in a bed of reddish orange flowers
...a symbol of fragility and vulnerability.
As a Latina,
I love the celebrating of my ancestry-
eating my grandmother's favorite cookies- and imagining her visit on the wings of hummingbirds..
Inside the door of my shrine is an original painting of a woman painted as a skeleton with flowers
in her hair and that familiar uni brow that we all love
...inside the shrine is a small glass jar.
I captured a very special little artist and placed
her in the jar with another flower and some branches with pieces of glass.
I originally painted her as a little girl and imagined what she might be like.
Impetuous, impatient, spirited, beautiful.
All of the things I think of when I see my own daughter.
Butterflies are a recurrent theme in my art work.
Something about them speaks of hope, transformation,
but also again- the fragility and impermanence of beauty
Because although life is full of losses- it is also full of joy and celebration."
Capturing my Joy
Growing up in the Southwestern part of the U.S.
and living on the U.S./Mexico border and being of Mexican decent,
I was surrounded with Mexican iconic images, language, and other cultural symbols.
It seemed so natural for me to create something that is so familiar,
so much part of who I am.
I completely enjoyed making my shrine of one of my favorite religious paragons,
La Virgen de Guadalupe,
or Lupita as she is referred to by so many of her devotees.
Around here, she is a rock star!!
I had no clue as to how I was going to begin this project,
but then, that's how I usually work...
first the words, then the idea, and finally,
the design and materials that I will be used to complete the piece.
I signed up for this wonderful project,
said the word "shrine," then, Lupita popped into my mind, but the materials came a bit later.
I was at Hobby Lobby soon after that and was asked by a very nice Croatian couple to help them out.
They didn't speak very good English but I spoke no Croatian, so they had it over me!!
As I showed them the unfinished wooden boxes,
there it was, a little box with glass panes...the "idea" was born!!
After helping them out,
the designs began percolating in my head,
clay, metal, tiny artificial flowers, paint...lots of paint...folk art (of course).
I couldn't wait to get home to begin my shrine.
I have to say,
I'm now hooked on shrines and since this project,
I have purchased more of these little glass boxes.
I decided to keep Lupita terra cotta because when I was a child,
my grandmother brought me back a small
terra cotta Lupita from Oaxaca (happy coincidence)
and I loved that raw, earthy little statue
till one day my brother decided I didn't need it anymore...typical little brother too!!
She brought back memories of not just the statue,
but my grandparents and how much they loved their Mexico
and attempted with their too "pocho" grandchildren,
to pass on that love, which happily, they succeeded.
I digress, but if you know me, you'd understand!!
So I sculpted the little Virgen
out of polymer clay and surrounded her with silver and copper foil.
Also, I took this little shrine to my mother's parish priest,
where he blessed it for me or rather, the new owner.
of a desert wanderer
she pins promises to the sleeves
allows words to
rise up like a vault blue sky
finds miracles in the desert
listens to her dreams.
desert wanderer, alchemist of resurrection,
giver of the lost and found.
"Remembering our gathering of familia,
compadres, and good friends
in the celebration of life.
Remembering the sounds of laughter,
the dancing, and the smells of good home cooked favorites
is what this shrine represents"
"In the Hispanic culture there is always time set for fiestas.
Whether it's for the birth of a new family member,
a baptism, a home coming, or a gathering of friends on a Sunday afternoon;
We grow up with music and dance.
Music surrounds our life, in our home, on the bus, at the stores, and on the streets.
That sound that makes us smile,
move our hips and shoulders, you know what I'm talking about.
At fiestas we bond and share our lives happenings.
Great memories are made at fiestas, sharing in the breaking of the pinata
whether it's for the kids or for the adults.
No matter how old we are, whether a toddler or like our abuelitos,
we will go on dancing and gathering at fiestas forever."
getting the fiesta started!!!