Friday, December 28, 2007

Memory of The Good Shepherd Home III

This 3rd memory of the Good Shepherd Home represents the celebration of Feliz Navidad, the Mexican Christmas season. I wanted to post this on Christmas Day but my memory of Christmas took awhile to recall the details, after all it was over 50 years ago :)

I will be very happy to read your comments so please share! I'd also like to thank Sweet Irene for the Courageous Blogger Award which is posted in my siderbar. I really don't feel very courageous but do feel a sense of healing when I make art from these old memories.

The digital collage was made using photoshop 5.5. There were 17 layers and one "apply image, difference" was used to give the building a bluish cast. It finished out with 5 layers. The image of the building comes from ($2). The little girl and the pinata came from the Library of Congress, the other girl and the nun were vintage images as is the blessed virgin who came from an old holy card.

If you want to know more about Feliz Navidad there is a good article at
while you can find out about the pinata at


John (Copyright JMM 2007) said...

Simply lovely. Peace and faith are evident. It is meditative and contemplative - a quiet celebration, heart felt.

Sue O'Kieffe said...

powerful image. my interpretation is that the home holds secrets while the little girls you play with are communion, and the vision of the holy mother offers compassion. it does have a dreamlike, long ago feel. i am in awe.
~sue okieffe

dianeclancy said...

Hi Bobbie,

Thank you for sharing this memory/collage ... it is wonderful!

I agree with Sue that is feels like a dream. You have such power in your images ... I am very taken with them and feel I am in the presence of divine inspiration!

Keep up the fantastic work!

~ Diane Clancy

Sue O'Kieffe said...

p.s. you've been tagged. visit my blog for more info! pleeeeeez

Belinda said...

beautiful collage and thanks for sharing the link. will check it out! i wish you the best for a wonderful and creative 2008!

Sweet Irene said...

I find this a scary and disquieting collage. There is something very threatening in it and when I enlarged it, I found it hard to look at. Do you have such memories, Bobbie?

I don't see the peace and the meditation in it, I see fear and oddness. A big secret.

Sorry, Bobbie, I am reacting quite strongly to this. It must be my state of mind.

Joy Logan said...

OH Bobbie these are an outstanding series of your memories! Keep recording them for us to see. Thanks for your kind comments on my blog,appreciated. It takes me back to Catholic grade school,which for me wasn't pleasant. But thats whats amazing that art can hold different meanings to us.

Joy Logan said...

OH Irene just read your post and yours sounds like my interpretation,funny?

Arizona Mama said...

I found this collage a little disturbing too.
The angel pinata for are going to beat the crap out of an angel? And the little girl in the doorway, looking on but left out of the fun (even if the fun is beating the crap out of an angel pinata).
The nun holding the rope looks like she can't wait to jerk the pinata out of the way and not let the blindfolded child get a good whack at it. The Virgin Mary is looking over the whole thing, but seems to offer little comfort.

I will be the first to admit, however, that I'm a pretty literal thinker and not much good at interpretation. I would love to know more about your memories, Bobbie.

Debi said...

I have enjoyed not jumping right in -- eager beaver -- with my comments this time. It was fun to read what others wrote.

First, I was alarmed that I was the only one who found this collage ominous. Then, as I read I saw a few that had the same reaction. Irene had a similar strong reaction, but Arizona Mama made me laugh.

While Arizona Mama says she's a literal thinker, she sure hit the nail (or the angel pinata) on the head. And now I think I view the image maybe a little differently, a little more impishly. Mom, are you maybe subconsciously getting some stuff out of your system? If so, go Mom!

And I look forward to more of all your collages -- serene and impish alike.

Bev said...

LOL Arizona Mama. I like a bit of art criticism that doesn't beat around the bush!

I think the colouring of the background makes this piece look a little ominous. But it is still a beautiful collage.

Arizona Mama said...

Oh man! I didn't even mean that I didn't like this piece. I did...very much. It's possibly my favorite one so far, probably because it DOES invoke such strong feelings. I'm just really not good at trying to interpret anything, but Bobbie deserves more that just "cool, I like it!", ya know?

It does feel disturbing to me, but not in a bad way. The feeling I get from the Good Shepherd Home series is that the artist has some good memories of the place, but never really felt like she belonged there. It seems like a lonely, unsettled time for her.

(Bobbie, feel free to set me straight any time here! *smiles*)

Bobbie said...

As you are starting to guess, the Good Shepherd Home was not as good as it may seem.

John: You are right on about part of the image, the part that the world saw, the good Good Shepherd.

Sue: The secrets inside the home were many and strange. I am still trying to make sense of them.

Diane: Thank you for your kind words. Divine inspiration comes from God still loving me and protecting me every day since.

Belinda: Thank you for the kind words.

Sweet Irene: You really picked up on the feeling I tried to give this seemingly happy scene. The nun, the bobbing pinata, the blindfolded girl, the girl who observes it all and knows better.

Joy: The unpleasantness of Catholic school was something I endured too, before coming to GS. The nuns are not all they seem to be. Most folks just call them mean.

Gina: I love your interpretation of this collage. You are right on!

Debi: LOL, maybe so. Hitting the pinata is accompanied by a song/poem which encourages the hitter to kill the devil.

"The decorated clay pot also called a cantero represents Satan who often wears an attractive mask to attract humanity. The most traditional style piñata looks a bit like Sputnik, with seven points, each with streamers. These cones represent the seven deadly sins, pecados - greed, gluttony, sloth, pride, envy, wrath and lust. Beautiful and bright, the piñata tempted. Candies and fruits inside represented the cantaros (temptations)of wealth and earthly pleasures.

Thus, the piñata reflected three theological virtues in the catequismo. (religious instruction or catechism)

The blindfolded participant represents the leading force in defying evil, ‘Fe’, faith, which must be blind. People gathered near the player and spun him around to confuse his sense of space. Sometimes the turns numbered thirty three in memory of the life of Christ. The voices of others cry out guidance:

¡Más arriba! More upwards!
¡Abajo! Lower!
¡Enfrente! In front!

Some call out engaños (deceits, or false directions) to disorient the hitter."

Rima said...

wow, Bobbie ... such strong emotions. This is the 3-4th time I came to look at this particular post, and every time, I would turn away before coming to comment. Today, I've decided to read the comments first, and opine second. I think I feel exactly the way Irene put it - ominous secrets, secrets too mysterious for young souls to comprehend... Beautiful but very eerie, again so evocative as to ellicit an almost physical reaction from the viewer...

Grownups and institutions do a bang-up job of complicating children's lives.

You know, we once had an exchange about the Harry Potter novels - I wonder if you'd like to pick them up again. There are a lot more layers in them than meets the eye initially...

Anonymous said...

This picture really captures what you were feeling.