Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Keys4Art 2014 - Alebrijes!

Teri introduced us to a Mexican folk art which results in wonderful, colorful creatures.....alebrijes. Being the super organized educator she is, Teri's workshop came complete with visuals, handouts, and a brief history.

Here is what I learned about this art form: Alebrijes (Spanish pronunciation: [aleˈβɾixes]) are brightly colored Oaxacan-Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures. The first alebrijes, along with use of the term, originated with Pedro Linares. In the 1930s, Linares fell very ill and while he was in bed, unconscious, Linares dreamt of a strange place resembling a forest. There, he saw trees, animals, rocks, clouds that suddenly turned into something strange, some kind of animals, but, unknown animals. He saw a donkey with butterfly wings, a rooster with bull horns, a lion with an eagle head, and all of them were shouting one word, "Alebrijes". Upon recovery, he began recreating the creatures he saw in cardboard and paper mache and called them Alebrijes.

There was already a tradition of wood carved creatures in Mexico, and eventually there resulted in a marriage of the two arts.....traditional carvers began to paint their pieces with bright vivid colors. For our workshop we stuck to the paper mache variety.

Go, Teri! At home, she prepared our creatures with a coat of gesso so we could get right to decorating.
Here is what we were given:

I decided to paint mine black and then add patterns using paint, paint markers, and various pens (glaze, gel, souffle).

We decided to name our gators. Meet Floradora. And here are a few of her friends:

I knew just the right place for Floradora when I returned home. Here she is, happily climbing a wall with a couple of very distant relatives.

I found this photo online. What wonderful colors and designs! 

I would love to have an entire menagerie creeping and flying around my home. As long as they were just the imaginary kind, of course. A lone water bug once kept me awake in terror for an entire night. But that's a whole other story.


teri flemal said...

I have to say that you took to this art form like a water bug to a puddle. I love floradora's colors and style. You are a natural! Have I mentioned that Flora is my middle name?

Patzee said...

This was an amazing project--all the colors and patterns swirling around the room were delightful. Floradora is right at home and will no doubt guard against monochromatic interlopers. Thanks for another great recap. Teri, you are full of surprises. Thanks for the fabulous project!

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Elena said...

Whete is the comment I left earlier today!!!!!??????

I loved this project! Floridora was one of the cutest of the bunch ! I am pitting mine on the wall too!!

Jennifer R.D. said...

Another great post Eileen!
Flora looks so cool crawling on your wall!
Love it!

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Lori said...

How cool! What's nice is that you have some history to go with the art. Everybody did wonderfully!