Several months ago I purchased a shadow box from a "craft store" yes, a craft store. I thought I could do something different for a change. But I also wondered what the hell am I going to do with this? After all, I am an artist NOT a crafter!!
So, I painted it and adorned it with a picture of Frida Kahlo, covered the inside back of the the shelves with handmade paper and hung it on my wall above my workspace. There it hung for months with all of my calaveras, and trinkets people had given to me over the course of years.
Then as other artists have experienced, I discovered that my art and the art of many hadn’t been selling on the site to which I belong andhave sold my pieces. I needed money and thought about that shadow box. So I did some tweaking to it, added some fresh paint and placed it in my shop. It Sold. Hmmmm, I thought.
There is an ongoing debate about art vs. crafting and it was the topic of a chat I recently participated in. We agreed finally after a LONG discussion that, A crafter does what he/she does because it’s fun and relaxing. An artist does what he/she does, because they have to.
Since my muse has taken leave (it seems like an eternity since she came around to visit), my creativity has taken on a new kind of outlet. No, I am not going to be the next Picasso, Van Gogh or anything like that. I have resigned myself to knowing that no matter what, I HAVE to let the creativity that I hold inside, out. So, my newest turn/twist is painting nichos.
What is a nicho? A nicho is an object of Latino folk art. Nichos are made from mixed media and traditionally combine elements from Roman Catholicism, mestizo spirituality, and other cultural items of significance to the owner. Characteristically "nicho" objects have different names throughout the Latino culture, they may be called retablo or by other local names. It is common to see decorative boxes called "nichos" set upon tables and pedestals to display religious icons. These boxes may serve as a religious altar (to mark a significant religious event) or to honor a patron saint or to house calaveras (skeletons) of special significance.
These pieces are wooden boxes with a glass door. They can be used to house your calaveras or your special little pieces. The box door is painted and adorned with pictures in tin frames, skeletons (calaveras) and skulls. At the bottom of the box door is yet another adornment The shelves in the box are painted with acrylic paint and the back of each shelf is covered with handmade paper. The sides and back of the box are also painted. Shelves vary in height and length. The back of the box has a hanger with which to hang it on the wall with your other Latino favorites. It also latches on the side to keep your favorite items safe.
I have nichos on sale that aren't adorned on the outside. I can do that for you as a special order. Please note:
ALL OF THE NICHOS ARE FOR SALE AT VanFleetStreetDesign.etsy.com, vanfleetstreetdesign.1000markets.com, vanfleetstreetdesign.artfire.com. Take your pick of venues which to purchase from....I could use a few sales!