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This Page Updated
4 Febrero,2002

Click on a thumbnail below to see a larger version and read about each wooden plaque

San Francisco,
"Recuerde el Lobo del Hermano y la Tecolote de la Hermana"

Lecciones al Cantar

Nature Themes

Celestial Themes

Here are a couple of Santos! Click on a thumbnail to see a larger view.

La Vieja Trae la Sabiduria
(The 'Ol Wisdom-Bringer)

San Isidro
Patron Saint of Farmers and Farriers

En Espanol, this plaque says:
"Shoot for the Moon. Even if You Miss it, You'll Land Among the Stars."

Acrylic paint on a plain pine board, @ 8" x 12", c. Luna Rivera, 2001.

About my Painted and Carved Wood Plaques

In the Mexican/New Mexican tradition, paintings upon wood often embellished with carved detail are called "retablos". However I feel that this term best belongs applied to pieces done in the traditional manner; which involves gessoing the wood, and the use of earth pigments in an oil medium, with religious iconography being the principal subject matter. Also there is a tradition of retablo creation carried down thru old Spanish families for generations, and I feel this term is rightly owned by them. For this reason I don't apply the term to my own work, although others sometimes do (including a gallery I was recently involved with). I just call my pieces what they are: "carved and painted wooden plaques", or plaques for short.

I enjoy doing these because I can combine my painting and woodworking skills into one finished work with them. I can do as little or as much carving as I like: whatever is appropriate for the image I'm creating, and paint as little or as much as I like too! I do NOT gesso or undercoat my wood, and in it's raw state I find it to be a similar surface to the unprimed canvas and handmade paper I love to paint on. I do use only acrylic paints, and lumber scraps for materials; so - like my sculptures, these are mostly either pine or redwood. Again like the sculptures, I like to leave some bare wood showing in each piece, and I varnish that area. Something else I enjoy about these is the fact that they comprise a "frame" and "painting" that are one contiguous piece.

My subject matter for these plaques ranges from nature subjects to icons reflecting my eclectic spirituality.

Right now (Feb. 2002), I am not really doing any more plaques. I tend to be doing images like I used to do on these plaques either as paintings on paper with fancy carved frames, or as simply fancy mirror frames themselves! The mirrors tend to end up with the nature themes such as animals and flowers, and the paintings with the more complex scenes and Santos. I hope these will be as well-received as my plaques have been in the past!