Our Lady of Guadalupe Inspires Chicago Illuminator


Researching how to best create an illumination of Our Lady of Guadalupe for an upcoming week-long workshop (Jan. 18 – 23, 2009) on the Techniques of Tempera Painting and Gilding, Chicago-based illuminator Jed Gibbons drew unexpected inspiration from the following description of Our Lady of Guadalupe found on this website:  http://www.sancta.org/nican.html:

Then he climbed the hill, to see from were he was being called.

When he reached the summit, he saw a Lady, who was standing there and told him to come hither.  Approaching her presence, he marveled greatly at her superhuman grandeur; her garments were shining like the sun; the cliff where she rested her feet, pierced with glitter, resembling an anklet of precious stones, and the earth sparkled like the rainbow. The mezquites, nopales,and other different weeds, which grow there, appeared like emeralds, their foliage like turquoise, and their branches and thorns glistened like gold. He bowed before her and heard her word, tender and courteous, like someone who charms and esteems you highly.

For those interested in more details about this illumination or interested in attending the workshop, here is more information from the artist:

Come join us at St. Paul’s Parish Spiritual Center on Nassau Street, in Princeton, NJ, and experience a week in the illuminators workshop as we focus on the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe that appeared on the tilma of Juan Diego. Her image is surrounded by a border of Castilla Roses and silver milagros, the prayer charms coming in a variety of shapes such hearts, moons, angels, etc, brought to the South Americas by the Spanish. These were placed on altars for votive offerings and healings.

In this weeklong workshop we will hand-grind pigments to make gum tempera, the paint utilized by the medieval illuminators to craft their beautiful illuminated images. Techniques such as raising and shadowing garments to build shape and form will be taught, painting flora & fauna, various methods of gilding such as raised and burnished gold, making our own liquid 23kt gold and gilding with palladium and silver alum.

We will also discuss secrets of the tilma that we will be painting and gilding such as: the scientifically proven star constellation appearing in the sky that is also imaged onto Our Lady’s green robe, the meaning of the floral pattern on her inner garment, the black sash, the four petal flower and much more..

Come and experience this wonderful week with the “Woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet!” The end result will be a beautiful, illuminated work suitable for framing or for devotional use  in an in-home shrine.

For more information about the workshop, or to make reservations, call 609. 213.3388  or email: [email protected]

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