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SPANISH HEARTS March 15 2019, 0 Comments

I've just returned from Mexico to Canada. In Mexico City I moved through history every day, on the streets and in the museums and the galleries. There are extraordinary works of art in Mexico, ancient and modern. Strangers smiled and warmly greeted me. Food invited me. There were earthquakes somewhere, but they were far away.

In Mexico, colour expresses itself everywhere. And it made me feel happy.

Colour is in the streets, in mercados, the food and in love potions, the clothing (ask Frida), fine art, and folk art,  ceramics in dance, and in Day of the Dead celebrations. The  Museo de Arte Polular is an especially joyous colour riot.

I brought some of Mexico's colour back with me. I've arranged many colourful hand-painted mirrored tin hearts on my wall. I see them first thing in the morning, then I look out my window, and look back to the colourful wall.

 

 I leave you with this song about the Spanish Heart by Chick Corea.

Hasta luego amigos.

Val

 


TIN HEARTS FROM A WARM CLIMATE February 21 2019, 0 Comments

I’m going down to Mexico City soon, with side trips to Zacatecas and Puebla. I’m looking forward to seeing again the fabulous art and architecture, ancient and modern, the food of course, and the music.

One of Mexico’s most appealing expressions of its culture is its folk art.

         

Although I love all Mexican folk art, my favourite is the hojalata (in English tin), the colourful charming tin art. Mexico celebrates Day of the Dead  and  Christmas with tin folk art.

In Mexico, the hojalata goes back to the 16th century to Spanish colonial times. Today, in Mexico, many people have tin folk art displayed in their homes, while other places such as cathedrals have symbolic religious tin art displayed.

Sheets of tin are cut, shaped and embossed with a pattern, then bright lacquer and enamel paint is applied. All tin folk art is handmade by Mexican artisans and craftsmen and craftswomen, who create with a sense of humour and imagination.

 

The mirrored tin heart is my favourite. Here are some hearts I brought back when I last visited Mexico.

I'll be wandering through mercados looking for more tin hearts. They'll soon be available on my website for your enjoyment and purchase. They are joyful things.

 

Hasta luego,

Val

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


THE HEART ENDURES January 21 2019, 0 Comments

 

What do we know about the history of the image of love?

In an article about the origins of Valentine's Day, we discover that the image of the heart as an expression of love had a dark and bloody beginning in ancient Roman, was sweetened and romantized during Shakespeare's time, and commercialized in the 1900s.

 

                                               

                                          How did we get from here to here?

I'm creating a series of blogs over the next few weeks which will explore images of the heart as an expression of love in history. The blogs will explore how the graphic heart shape became the ambassador of love.

 

                                   

If you are yearning to express love in graphic form, here are some heart-themed greeting cards, now available on my website.

We know that love will always endure.

Hasta luego amigos.

Val


Amo México - Hearts On Fire June 08 2018, 0 Comments


I’ve fallen in love with Mexican FOLK ART, especially the colourful tin hearts seen in markets all over Mexico. Although the heart symbol has many unique decorative expressions, including tattoos, my  favourite remains the tin heart. During my recent trip to Mexico City, I saw many.



History tells us that the heart symbol appeared in Mayan and Aztec civilizations long before the arrival of the Spanish, though not in the delightful lovely ways we see today.

                 

The Mayan civilization - 1800 BC to AD 250.  During the pre-columbia era, the Mayans held the ritual of human sacrifice. The most common method was decapitation and heart removal in the belief that offering the heart provided nourishment to the gods.

When the Aztec Empire flourished between c. 1345 and 1521 CE the heart held a central position. During the human sacrifice ceremony, the heart would be removed and raised to the sun as an offering to the gods. In the centre of the sunstone monolith (calendar stone) is the face of the solar deity, Tonatiuh, shown holding a human heart in each of his clawed hands. The altar-like stone vessel of the jaguar was used to hold the hearts of sacrificial victims.

Catholocism in Mexico
The Sacred Heart is one of the most common motifs in religious folk art created in Mexico. The Spanish conquest of Mexico brought with it the Catholic religion and images such as stained glass windows and sculpted silver hearts. The devotion to the Sacred Heart is one of the most widely practiced and well-known Roman Catholic devotions. 
                        

Mexican Tin Industry- In Mexico, traditional metal working dates from the Meso-american period with metals such as gold, silver and copper. After the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire metal working went into decline, especially for gold and silver jewellery, but rose again during the colonial period. Today gold, silver, tin and copper are are used to create decorative and functional items such as jewellery, toys, and more.
 
Here are images of some hearts I brought back home with me.



Hasta luego amigos,

Val