let it be
Art is everywhere in Santa Fe. So much so that one begins seeing it even where it is not. Or at least where it is not rendered by human hands in paint or pastel, bronze or beads.
There’s the changing shadow as the sun silhouettes the Spanish colonial lamppost against ancient adobe. There’s the colorful palette of Native jewelry display cloths on the sidewalk under the Governors’ portico.
Each time I visit this place, I bring home those natural images and the creative energy of one artist whose work spoke from a canvas or card or case. Sometimes, the souvenir is tangible. The rustic St. Francis sculpture by the Ortega family standing sentinel at my front entrance. The coyote bolo by John Nieto I rarely wear but still treasure. The signed poster by R.C. Gorman of a mother nursing her baby.
This time, it was a small show in the just-off-the-plaza Starbucks that drew me in. The artist is James Joseph Roderick, and the piece I would have purchased in a heartbeat if cash were flowing libremente (and intend to do so when it is!) was of Our Lady of Guadalupe astride a Harley Davidson.
I have loved the symbolism of the Our Lady for decades. To me she is the heart and soul of the loving and divine feminine. Her story is mystical and magical, but with enough human tellings throughout history to embrace even non-Catholic me. Her visitations during times of deepest sorrow, her protection during hours of paralyzing fear–that is mother energy that merits exploration.
And exploring is the heart of Roderick’s work. With great respect, he extends her image into a larger visual world. Realism cloaked in night-sky blue with stars and moon. Inspiration with Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera against a backdrop of their paintings. Connection, as reflected in the beautiful Nourishment. And one of his newer works–Candles–that I’ve included above because it makes me smile…and think. You can see his gallery by clicking here: http://www.jamesjosephroderick.com/
Finding this artist and his work was a sweet synchronicity for me as our swift trip to Santa Fe was specifically to gather some fresh energy. Al and I are both at that point when age/health/responsibilities/losses have made life more complex and likely to stay that way. The big question: how can we stay conscious and positive for the decade ahead?
Something tells me grace just handed me part of the answer. 😉 ~ C.
Image: Candles (c) by James Joseph Roderick. Included here with the artist’s permission. All rights reserved.