Santiago, Roseta – “Sublime Mystery”, Oil on Canvas, (30″ x 24″)
Roseta Santiago is best known for her luminous still life and figurative paintings of Native peoples and artifacts portrayed with dramatic lighting, Santiago is a master at chiaroscuro. She uses mostly living models, although a few historic people taken from photographs weave their way into her art. She says one of her goals is to honor Native American culture through her portrayals in her art.
This painting is entitled, “Sublime Mystery”. It is an oil on panel. The painting is of a classic Acoma jar. The fine-line rainbirds and clouds are beautifully depicted with the patina of age as well as the intensity of the fire cloud near the base The wooden table with the small drawer adds to the drama of the piece. There is certainly a “sublime mystery” to be found in the historical Pueblo works of clay. Roseta said of this painting:
“It’s exciting in the world of Native pottery that the materials are earth, water, and maybe a yucca plant that is the brush. I find that mystery of how such simple elements can come together to be fascinating. When you paint a design that is mathematical and precise, originally created using simple tools, that is part of embracing the mystery.”
Roseta Santiago is known for her dynamic realistic paintings. History reverberates in each of her paintings. Roseta Says of her art:
“The things that inspire me are the historical artifacts, historical people. My models are people with whom I spend time and who have something to reveal. It’s always about inner beauty. It’s mainly the interior of a person or thing. I can almost experience a pot being made when I paint it. I just see what the potter went through.”