Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) - Writing Inspiration #2

My holiday gift to my husband, an original by me.
If you missed the first installment of my Day of the Dead post, you can still read it. It explains the history of Dia de los Muertos and has more pictures for writing inspiration.

What I like about Mexican folk art is how colorful and imaginative the pieces are. There is a celebration of death and life. Since the Victorian mourning customs have gone the way of the dodo, talking about death has become a taboo in Western culture. We don't even like to think about it. When my brother passed away in 1998, I realized this personally. Many people seemed uncomfortable and didn't know what to say to me. It was sad.

When I moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2006, I delved below the surface of the Mexican art to discover the meaning. I'd always been fascinated by the subject matter and wanted to know more. It has enriched my writing background greatly and I still have yet to write all the stories I want to surrounding the characters from Mexican traditions.

The piece above is done in watercolor and black graphic ink pens. I am getting it professionally matted and framed. I can't do as much art as I would like, since I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2003. My hands hurt a lot, but I still manage to do a few pieces now and then, though it takes me longer. But like my writing, it is an escape from pain.

Here are a few more pictures from my art collection to inspire your stories:

Vintage 1970s piece. The Mask Maker.

Circa 1970s mask.

Mexican Nichos. 

Mexican Nichos traditionally feature loved ones that have passed on, Catholic saints, or cards from La Loteria, the Mexican version of bingo. Nichos originated from church art. In other Spanish speaking countries, they are known as retablos. They are made from tin. You can buy unpainted ones to create your own, something that I am pondering at the moment.

The ones you see here are La Loteria nichos. The top is The Siren and the bottom is El Diablo, the patron saint of lawyers.

I hope these bring you some writing inspiration today. As always, happy writing and happy reading to all!


Erin O'Riordan said...

All wonderful pieces, but I like your original best, Nora.

Sandra's Fiberworks said...

You are one interesting lady! Love following you! (And I couldn't help looking up bearded dragons on YouTube).

Nora B. Peevy said...

Thanks, Erin. I am shy about my art, but not my writing. Who knows why? Not me. LOL

Sandra, if you decide to get a dragon, let me me know. My husband and I have been on the herp forums for years and know a ton about them. We've got two now and lost our oldest last year on Dec. 4th. He was eight and my baby I raised from a tiny hatchling. I can surely answer any questions you might have.