Saturday, November 27, 2010

Meet Santa Winifred

Want to hear a bit of heavenly gossip?? The day I unpacked Santa Winifred the first words out of her mouth were to inform me that she is Santa Winifred (her art sisters call her Winni) and she is a patron saint in training. Yep I guess Saint Pete thought that there needed to be a patron saint for us "aging beautifully artist gals". Well that's all Winni needed to hear. She was waiting at the PG (pearly gates) the very next morning with her resume in hand. She wanted to apply before the rush of other saints stared. Shhhh... I have it on good authority that she was the only applicant...but don't tell her, it would be a real blow to her self esteem. 

Any way after a greweling interview Saint Peter gave Winni the position, and introduced her to her new boss, Saint Catharine of Bologna. Saint Cat is the patron saint of artists. Just thought you might like to know :)

Actually I have lusted for an antique wooden "Santos" since I was a kid. I saw my first one at the little church in tiny village just across the Arizona border in Mexico. She was magnificent and had to be at least 200 hundred years old. I think that might even have been when I fell in love with patina. Latin American Santos are my favorite even though there are many different Santos statues in the Latin countries where they originated. They were created out of wood and plaster by the Latin American Indigenous to portray the catholic saints, the Spanish priest described. They are amazingly beautiful and folk art at it's very best. 

Many were half bodies perched on top of a wooden "cage" This allowed for them to be dressed in the appropriate robes for the different "church seasons" Like the picture above they can be anywhere around 50-400 years old though most of the ones found these days are from the late 19th early 20th century. They have layers and layers of faded dirty paint with lovely chips, dents, cracks and other well earned character marks!! As you can well imagine when and if you are lucky to find one they are very costly. The little blue lady above is considered inexpensive as she is only from the first years of the 20th cent. Inexpensive still being in the thousands$$. This one is much older, quite tall & in "pristine" condition. Lets just say you could buy a new car with what she is worth.
I have only seen one old one here for sale. Debbie and I found it in an antique store in San Miguel de Allende. He was not very tall, had been a home for termites, and was only about 60 years old. Yikes we both had sticker shock!!

That's when I decided that if I was going to ever have one perhaps I should consider a good reproduction. So I wandered around the internet window shopping. I found a site in Tenn. that had great looking ones that are handmade from resin and wood
Their top half is hand finished resin that has a couple of layers of paint, crackle,patina, and chips. They even use wooden pegs for the joints just like the real ones.
The cages are made from old wood to match their bodies. I fell madly in love with little Winni the minute I saw her. She looks a bit different then most of the others. She has beautiful natural curly hair, and cute chubby cheeks.
The expression on her face and eyes certainly say she is quite an imp, with just a bit of mischievousness. She fits in the family rather well I think! :)
So right there and then I ordered her, well first I checked with my galfriend and partner in crime Jackie D to see if she and her husband might be willing to mule Winni down. When she said  yes I couldn't hit the paypal button fast enough. :)
You never know one day I might stumble across a nice old (affordable) Spanish/American Santos but I'm sure not going to hold my breath. And I'm more then happy that Santa Winifred, the patron saint of  "aging beautiful artist gals" (in training) has come to live with us!!

Have an audacious art filled day no matter where in the world you are.   p;)

PS. Don't tell LW but we think Winni might be needing a companion or 2...shhhh... ;) (just sayin)


stregata said...

Winni is really quite different - her face looks much more like an angel's. But she is beautiful and I so understand why you needed to give her a place in your home. May she help to bring blessings into your home and heart.

SummersStudio said...

Thanks for Winni's story. She is like an angel and really you'd kind have to be a bit angelic to take on patron saint of training. I happen to love religious art, especially Latino. I think though if I had to choose a saint it would be Frank. I know he's rather commonly known, but there something about the birds he attracts.

Riki Schumacher said...

Ah, she's wonderful Pattie! Love her. I do think she needs a companion. Thanks for stopping by, I'm so glad you like my new stuff. Please do borrow whatever inspiration you can take away fellow artisan sister. Have a ball, and happy holiday season. Play well. Hugs, Riki

Rustic Tarts said...

How interesting!
And I love her too...

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