Friday, December 4, 2009

La madre de todas mis santos patronas (the mother of all my patron saints)

     If you been following my blog you know that a month ago I returned from Oaxaca.  I went down there to take a class with Michael deMeng.  The class was of the mixed media/assemblage variety and it focused on diablos and santos (devils and saints).  I had a few ideas about what I was going to do down there but foremost was to celebrate the death of a relationship I no longer wanted hanging around in my psyche.  What better place to go than Oaxaca for 'dios de los muertos'. 
     I packed a rusty old vintage singer oil can into my bags along with several of the paints Michael recommended.  I also packed a couple of gears and an old round tin that used to hold saddle soap.  Below you will find an image of La Madre in her first incarnation.

     By the time I got home I already knew she wasn't done.  She was supposed to be the mother of all my patron saints.  When I left Oaxaca 'La Madre' could barely stand up without leaning against something.  And where were all my patron saints?  I liked the singer oil can for a body and I liked the gears.  I also liked that I used some tin pieces from Oaxaca like the flaming heart on the front of her body.  The wings hung downward like a mother bird protecting her young so I knew those were okay too.   First thing I did once I got home is I added a base.  It made the whole piece a lot more stable.  Then I painted the red lines along the bottom edge of her wings so they would not be so distracting.  After about a month of toying around with 'La Madre', I am pretty sure she is done.  Below is a view of her in her new incarnation.

       The pink and gold spirals going around the base have the names of several made up patron saints written in black.  I purposely wrote them in the spirals, in spanish, making it impossible for anyone to read.  (I guess I forgot to say before I started this piece that I am not religious and it's just catholic kitch to me).  First I made a patron saint for older women who live alone.  Then I made one for women who feed the birds and for women with long necks.  There is even a patron saint for all the goddesses (diosas) and one for whimsical women.  I added yet another heart that I found in Oaxaca to the top of the figure thinking it needed more overall balance.  Then I added a glass bead in the shape of a spiral in the center of the base that she stands on.  Lastly I wrote her name in gold on the top of the base.  "La Madre de todas mis santos patronas".
     I'd say she is done.  Tell me what you think...


  1. yona, i really like her new incarnation! the base is beautiful and adds a totally new dimension to the piece. gorgeous!

  2. I liked the first one, but then when I scrolled down and saw how you finished it...I loved it! You did a great job on this! I hope your psyche was cleansed also.

  3. Beauty-full. Thanks for sharing your process.

  4. Exquisite Yona, please do a workshop.

  5. Yona! I love the changes! You are just so damn creative! How can you stand yourself? It was SOOOO good to see you today...reminds me of Oaxaca and wandering the streets in search of reckless creativity! Keep making masterpieces.

  6. rogene, you made me laugh really hard... thanks everybody for reading... and, 'create like crazy, just in case....' :)

  7. Hey Yona
    Okay, this is where the link did not go when I tried it last time. I think the changes you made make the piece more powerful.