by YONA C. RIEL

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...