Monday, January 28, 2008

Hispanic Sacred Art - Painting a Ex Voto Retablo for my Sister

I painted this Madonna titled La Sirena Verde/The Green Mermaid for my sister, Alisa Acosta to celebrate the blessing of her 5 year anniversary of her recovery from cancer. Her dedication to all aspects of good health in the ensuing years inspires everyone who knows her. I gave it to her during the Christmas holiday. Thank you Alisa for all that you are! Sharing my sister's journey to recovery with her I am in awe of her strength.

Inspired by my Hispanic heritage, specifically my New Mexican ancestors, I painted this piece in the Hispanic artistic tradition of the Retablo in the Ex-Voto style. The image on an Ex-Voto is a visual acknowledgment and expression of gratitude for a blessing received.

Born in Los Angeles, we grew up on the Southern California coast. When we were children we spent many days at the beach across the street from our Abuelita's (grandmother's) house. Our memories of the beach are a source of happiness to both of us. We'd play in the waves, boogie board, pop buds on long strings of kelp, or walk out onto the jetty with brown sacks of warm tortilla chips fresh from my Abuelita's cast iron fry pan. On the beach, standing on the water's edge and facing west, with the Los Angeles metropolis of millions of people at our backs, we would look into the wilderness of the ocean. This strong, iconic mermaid reflects both the divine feminine along with the beauties and powers of the ocean. The dominant color scheme is my sister's favorite color -- green, the color of a clear, crisp ocean wave.

See more of my retablos. They are exhibited on the Hispanic Culture page of my website.

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