When a rose blooms in December, it captures my eye and I am stopped in my tracks; I have to go and regard the bloom with wonder. I am drawn not because the rose is lush and fragrant, nor an element in an abundant display of splashy flowers. No, a December rose is usually a solitary bloom, smaller than its summer siblings, with only the mere hint of fragrance. The tender rose petals are the only bright spot in a winter-blasted garden, when the brightness of autumn leaves has been bleached by frost and stripped by wind. The pale rose appears fragile in this setting, but I see its strength and its graceful stubbornness.
At least that is how it appeared to me in Decembers in Chicago.
Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin had an experience of roses in December that was entirely different than mine. He had visions of the Virgin Mary and reported them to the archbishop of Mexico City in 1531 with the instructions to build a church, but the bishop sent Juan Diego back with an order for proof. The beautiful maiden of the apparition agreed to provide miraculous evidence and told Juan Diego to gather flowers from Tepeyac Hill, normally barren in December. He found Castilian roses, a flower not native to Mexico, and he gathered them up in his tilma, his cloak. The Virgin arranged the flowers, and when Juan Diego opened his cloak in front of the bishop, the roses fell to the ground revealing an image of the Lady imprinted on his tilma.
Juan Diego's tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe is preserved in a shrine in Mexico and has become an icon, appearing everywhere from key chains to bumper stickers. A representation to this image appears over my booth at the Santa Fe Railyard Artisans Market, and one Sunday I looked up and I knew that I needed to create a collage of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I worked on it eagerly – I wanted it complete before the Feast Day, December 12. I am pleased to report that she is ready. I have titled it “Our Lady of Peace in Love.”
I will display the original of “Our Lady of Peace in Love” throughout the month of December at the Market.
The Market has added extra days and the schedule is printed to the right. It would be lovely if you could come see the original of “Our Lady.”
I have also made high-quality giclee prints of this collage, reproduced on archival art paper. I have three sizes available: small (12” x 16” for $50), medium (16” x 20” for $75) and full size (18” x 24” for $100.) Of course I ship, and each giclee is signed and numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity.
Our holidays are often manic and sometimes lonely, but my wish for you is that you find peace in stillness, and that you find grace and strength in solitude, like a rose in December.
Peace and Love,
D E C O
Art, news and thoughts from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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