Saturday Art Smorgasbord - Día de los Muertos

Greetings!  It's hard to believe, but All Hallows Eve (Halloween) is around the corner, which of course is followed by All Saints' Day, on November 1st, and All Souls' Day, on November 2nd.  These are holidays observed by most Roman Catholic Churches, as well as many Anglican, Episcopalian, and Eastern Orthodox Churches.  Although both of the latter holidays are considered important, el Día de los Muertos, or All Souls Day, is the one most closely observed by many Mexican descendants - click here for further information in my 2011 post.  Most of my artwork in this post was inspired by this holy-day, that unfortunately has been paganized and commercialized by our society.

© Arnoldo L. Romero 2012
First of all, I worked on an illustration for a t-shirt design for my school.  The students will be participating in an academic competition, and every year the school district has a theme for the event.  This year, the theme is Fiesta, so I decided to do a piece in commemoration of José Guadalupe Posada, the Mexican artist who brought the traditional Mexican folk art of the calacas, skulls or skeletons, to the mainstream art world.  His work has inspired artists throughout the world, including me - LOL!  I began by doing a pencil drawing, inking it, and scanning it.  Then, I used Caran d'Ache water-soluble wax pastels and Bienfang watercolor brush pens to illuminate a print of it.  I can't wait to see my illustration on the students' t-shirts!  I am submitting this piece to What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday #177, Illustration Friday - Haunt, Paint Party Friday - Week 33 Year 2, and Blue Chair Diary Illustrations: Sunday Sketches.

© Arnoldo L. Romero 2012
Next, I worked on my Twenty-Minute Challenge for the week.  I was inspired by a photograph I found on-line.  This is an example of a traditional costume used in the processions I described in last year's post regarding "El Día de los Muertos."  Although I've never participated in these type of festivities, they are fascinating to observe.  I used Conté pencils and micron pens, and worked in my art journal.  Although I didn't have time to complete the drawing in the allotted time, I feel I captured the feeling of the festivities.  I am also submitting this piece to Artist's Playroom #32 - Pairs, Inspiration Avenue - Trick or Treat, Take a Word Wednesday - Roses, and Order of the Opus Gluei - Leaf It Up to You.

© Arnoldo L. Romero 2012
© Arnoldo L. Romero 2012
My next project was inspired by the techniques of Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2012 - October.  I followed Tim's background technique, except I used a leaf stamp to simulate a graveyard.  As to the dry glittering technique, I did not tint mine, because I used one of Tim's grungeboard skull shapes instead of his BOO and spider shapes.  To get a sugar skull feel, I used various colors of Distress Stickles and crackle accents on the orifices.  To enhance the graveyard feel, I added various fabric and paper flowers, as well as a hand lettered label stating Descansa en Paz (Rest in Peace).  I finished my tag by adding a spray of various orange ribbons, a Tim Holtz journey token, a mother of pearl cross, and some glass beads.  I am also submitting this tag to Word Art Wednesday #51 - Anything Goes, Tag Tuesday-Halloween, Collage Obsession - NightArtists in Blogland: Fall Fearless and Fly (Second Challenge), Crazy Amigo Challenge - Halloween, and Craft Artwork - Extraordinary Times.  However, I'm dedicating it to my father, the late Right Reverend Leonardo Romero, DD, whom always supported my artwork and taught me the meaning of, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also," Matthew 6:21. 

© Arnoldo L. Romero 2012
Inspired by the same theme, I created a tablescape in my den area.  This is the kind of candle holder used in altars built in memory of loved ones during el Dia de los Muertos.  Although I was not raised with this type of tradition, I certainly appreciate the Christian connection that was made.  I am submitting this photograph to 52 Photos Project: Gallery 27 {On the Table}, A Rural Journal: Your Sunday Best #41Hood Photo Blog: Orange You Glad It's Friday #10, and Lorikart: Mandarin Orange Monday 16.

© Arnoldo L. Romero 2012
© Arnoldo L. Romero 2012
Last, but not least, I want to share two pieces I posted last week in other blogs that I'm a member of, as well as on Word Art Wednesday #50 - Blessings From God.  I usually post them simultaneously there and on my weekly post here, but I did not have a chance to post on my blog last week.  The wire heart I posted on Tag Tuesday - Rust, and the drawing of my wife I posted on the Twenty Minute Challenge.  You may recall the photograph that I used for the drawing from one of my previous posts (Click here to view).  I dedicated both of these to my wife, Lisa.

I hope you enjoyed my Saturday Art Smorgasbord as much as I did putting it together.  Thank you for all your encouraging comments, as well as to all whom have joined my list of followers.  Vaya con Dios - Go with God!

Comments

Rita said…
My goodness! You have been very busy! I would love to see a picture of the t-shirt when you get one. Wonderful work. Kind of creepy "pair" for APR--LOL! ;)
Have a wonderful Sunday!
TwinkleToes2day said…
Visiting from APR - What a post full of fun Arnoldo! I'm not a fan of halloween but I do like to see unusual artwork celebrating different festivals, and you have made some great funwork here :0)
Cheryl said…
What a fascinating array of artwork. You're incredibly talented.

Thanks for sharing with YSB this week.
You "spooked me", Arnoldo!

I just love that picture of your wife. She must just cherish that!

Have a blessed week, and thanks for playing along at Word Art Wednesday.
Karen L
Jennifer McLean said…
Thanks for entering this week, just under the wire!! Great, spooky halloween drawing!
Electra said…
More terrific projects from you, Arnoldo! I can't believe you did that sketch in 20 minutes! I couldn't do it in 20 years. It's perfect for our challenge at Opus Gluei! I love your tag as well. Thanks for joining us for this challenge! We look forward to seeing you next time!
Gemiel said…
So glad to see the smorgasbord this week. Your captured your wife's beauty so perfectly in your sketch. Your fiesta skeleton makes me smile. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Word Art Wednesday this week.
Barb King said…
Hi Arnoldo, Thanks for linking to those great photo sites, I will try a few of those for fun. That skull looks great with all that glitter, that is an interesting tag. I'll be looking for that on Tag Tues. Barb
Gloria said…
What a great job on all your pieces. You've been busy. Yes it is almost time the big day. I've already prepared my altar for this year. I am making tamales and possibly some menudo. Great job. Happy PPF to you.
Tammie Lee said…
wonderful to see each of your pieces, so perfect for the season.
Catherine... said…
Great artwork, I especially like the first one... :) Have a great Sunday :)
ASHISH BARDHAN said…
Ohh That's a HELL Lot of Collection. I wish I could make that in a nick of time.

Anyways, Take a look on my work as well.
http://ashbeezone.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/sketching-graffiti-in-bengali/
}{appy }{alloween !! Trick-or-Treat !!
Sandy said…
Oh that skull that you are going to have on t shirts is just brilliant. Very clever with your 20 min challenge too. Sandy :)
You have been so busy creating such amazing art work. My favourite is your t-shirt design. x
Julia Dunnit said…
You are prolific! I love the tag and your dedication to your wife, and really enjoyed the tshirt illustration and the info about Posada.
Nancy Claeys said…
Love your artwork Arnoldo -- a big fan of Day of the Dead traditional colors and forms.
Leovi said…
Maravillosas tus composiciones a la muerte, divertidas y creativas. Saludos.
Such a cheerful skeleton Happy Sunday Sketches!
Victoria said…
So gorgeous..these are each spectacular and beautiful in their own unique way! I too enjoy and love all of these special-sacred festivals this time of year! Beautiful photos..and thanks so much for sharing..pure magic!!
HUgs and blessings dear friend!
Victoria
Bella said…
So glad to have you back this week :)
Wonderful photos & art work. Thank you for sharing.
Deborah said…
great post,
I celebrate Dia de Los Muertos
and look forward to every year!
Grannie Annie said…
Fabulous artwork Arnoldo I especially love the first skeleton he would make a wonderful greeting card.
annie said…
You have been busy! I love it all!
La Abela said…
Your compositions me hechorcordar my recent trip to Mexico and I loved Katrinas, profile portrait of very good. Saludos
Alexandra said…
You know, I really love the detail found within your artwork. I look forward to seeing your art each week. Thanks for joining us again. :)
Christine said…
lovely work this week! That was a quick portrait, it looks so good!
Carolyn Dube said…
You have such wonderful pieces here!!
Winnie said…
Love all your pieces. I am in awe of your drawings and sketches. Lucky wife to have a hubby sketch her. She is a beautiful. I love your tag from the 12 tags, and it is so wonderful that you dedicated it to your father. What a lovey scripture to use in your post. I light candles for the souls of those who have died on All Souls day. I always include my late hubby and brother. It is a special day to honor them for me.
Amazing artwork.
Thank you for stopping by the shop.
I look forward to visiting.
Marcia
As usual...you've been busy doing beautiful work.
Missy said…
What a wonderful collection of pieces, always love the tags you make.
You are blessed ~ very wonderful illustrations ~ (A Creative Harbor)
Lenora said…
my oh my puts our wee works posted to shame.. you are very energetic! today we are carving our 12 pumpkins for our graveyard for halloween night - ours is all homemade and full of candles and honours the dead, our others and some just in fun, the cycle of life.. and we also have a wall to honour the dead - the neighbourhood come by and participates, and we wind down with fireworks and hot chocolate for all.. every year i think this is the last year but when it comes round we find the time and energy adn are so glad! This week we will clean family graves though it will be in a downpour it appears, just another fiesta! Enjoy Los Dias, all Hallows, Guy Fox, All Saints, All Souls, whatever you name it and celebrate life!
Serena Lewis said…
WOW! You have been busy and I enjoyed seeing all creative goodness going on. Wonderful work!
Liz said…
You are so creative and talented. Nice work! Have a fabulous week.

Liz @ MLC
Liz @ YACB
So many projects, so many art... great!!!
I am not much of a skull person, its spooky for me :) But I loved all your creations esp the tag. I liked the last sketch as well.

Thanks for dropping by:)
Anita Houston said…
Totally fun tag, and just the best sketches ever!!! You do such amazing and unique Art!!! WOW!
Chubskulit Rose said…
Spooky but pretty!

Visiting from Mandarin Orange Monday.
Orange Tool
Have a great week ahead!
Rosemary said…
Arnoldo, you are AMAZING. You are so talented and you always write such a compelling post to accompany your pieces. I love that, it's a pleasure to read. I know what you mean about commercializing and secularizing holidays - I feel that way about St. Patrick's day as a Catholic, it's become a booze cruise on land. Very sad. So, let's get back to these wonderful projects. Your Opus Gluei submittal is very compelling, what an interesting inspiration you used. I am also in awe of your speedy artwork, that's amazing.

As always, thank you for considering our challenges and playing with us, we love to see you over at Opus Gluei! God bless!
Rita said…
I love the first painting, really cool!
Lou Anne said…
Once again, you've been very busy. I like the T-shirt image especially. Thanks for participating in the IA challenge.
Gallery Juana said…
love the dia de los muertos portrait of the couple.
stefanie stark said…
Wow! You are so creative! I like the t-shirt design and I like the tag and I love the wire heart!
minnemie said…
Man, you are prolific. No end to your creativity!
Maggid said…
I have enjoyed my visit to your blog.Really beautiful Stuff, thank you for sharing yourself with the world. -g-