This post is about Joe and Jane from San Antonio, the patron saint of kitchen and cooks San Pasqual, and about a commission (…no woman is an island).
On Friday, March 18th, I receive an email from Jane. She found my blog and read about the San Pasqual tile mural I’d designed for Greg and Veronica, back in 2008. How did she find that posting, I wondered. I don’t know, but I’m glad she did.
I love your San Pasqual mural and am looking for same for my renovated kitchen that I am doing in Talavera tile. Are you still painting tiles?
Hit Reply, Yes. Send.
Our conversation continues over the telephone. Before the call ends, I’m surprised to learn Jane lives in San Antonio. I’m originally from Texas. I spent one college summer working in San Antonio. It’s good to make this connection and I am pleased to take the commission. She’s excited with her project. I’m excited with mine.
After more communication to gather information to personalize the small mural, I begin prep work and design. To be included are their 2 dogs: Sophie their pup, and Sarah who’s with them now, only in spirit. Jane bakes bread. Joe bakes Cherry pies, in a red pie pan. They love cardinals and squirrels. Jane sends along a quote that had been on the wall of the new home, Júntate con los buenos y serás uno de ellos. Gather together with the good ones, and you’ll be one of them. She shares a few more details for me to pick and choose from. My sketch takes hold. Later she sends me a photo of a heart that holds the couples initials. It’s a playful note her husband painted onto a bare wall, pre-remodel. Could you include this, she asks. Of course…it’s just the right story telling element.
San Pasqual has symbols connected to him, and some appear in the design. He’s devoted to the Holy Eucharist. It’s believed that he cooked in a monastery and his kitchen duties were miraculously taken care of because his devotion was so great. It is said he fed the poor, and story has it that his baskets were always miraculously refilled. I include the chalice, and a basket. I show him with a (grey and white) cat, because he is also caretaker to domestic animals, and a grey cat often accompanies his image. I use my tabby as the model. I include the cardinals, a red male and a golden female and below them, in a nest, a young male peeks out…(in this case representing the family).
Jane asks for Iris’s, Bluebonnets, and Geraniums. I want color across the bottom scroll of words, and this is the perfect solution. She tells me about the squirrels in their backyard, a squirrel appears at the upper right corner of the arch. I include hummingbirds, a personal favorite symbol. They represent spirit, holy spirit. Native American legend tells that if you are ever lost in the desert, look for the hummingbird to lead you out. Jane tells me Joe feeds and photographs hummingbirds all summer. I include a turtle, because I receive a card from Jane that Joe has designed. It’s a photograph of turtles.
Finally she tells me to please include the year 2011 somewhere in the composition. And then ends the email with…
Please sign the mural..and then visit it in San Antonio.
I can do that.