An Argentine Angel

About a month ago or more I did a search for crafts or art characteristic to Argentina. And almost immediately and very happily I came across something called “Fileteado Porteño” one of Argentina’s Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage (the other being Tango!). I was so surprised because I had never seen or heard of this painting style even though I lived almost half of my life in the same continent!

Fileteado Porteño has the following meaning… “Fileteado” comes from the Latin word “Filum” that means thread, referring to the fine line that serves as an ornament in this style. “Porteño” is after a person from the port city of Buenos Aires.

Fileteado Porteño had its origin in the 19th century, as a decorative painting art style that looked to call clients attention of the transports of food items like milk carts and other food carts at first. Later on it became a part of public busses or “colectivos.”

Cr. Alfredo
Cr. Paola Pistelli
Cr. Alfredo Genovese. com

Fileteado is full of colorful ornaments based on Neoclassical designs that were brought by European immigrants, especially Italians from Europe. They often include words describing a place or poetic phrases or typical sayings.

Cr. Alfredo Genovese. com
Cr. Alfredo Genovese. com

Very rapidly I came across an artist who’s work seemed to be every where in the internet: Alfredo Genovese. I fell in love with his beautiful work, his dedication and his love for this art style.

I decided to learn Fileteado and was thrilled when I found he had a class in I highly recommend it if you are interested. It is so well illustrated with many videos and illustrations and he teaches you all the elements and you can create a final project. Of course! I chose my final project to be the angel!

By the way, someone asked me recently why angels? I decided to do angels as my final project for each country as a way to express my gratitude to GOD, to its beautiful divine energy for this opportunity. It is such a blessing to have the time to learn about each country like this! I was named after Archangel Gabriel, so I feel in a way I am honoring this beautiful entity that has been present in Christianity, Judaism and Islam as the ultimate messenger. So yes, they are all Gabriel!

I wanted this angel Gabriel to have the sun in the Argentine Flag and the word Argentina. I also wished to create a long ribbon with the colors of the flag. For the drawing of the angel I was inspired by creche art from Italy. These particular angels are part of the MET’s (Museum of Metropolitan Art in New York) collection, which they display in their Christmas tree every year. They are simply heavenly!

They were made in Italy under the master Giuseppe Sammartino (1720–1793), well known for his monumental sculptures in marble and in stucco, his pupils Salvatore di Franco, Giuseppe Gori, and Angelo Viva, and one Lorenza Mosca (d. 1789), who was employed at the Royal Porcelain Factory at Capodimonte, Italy.

I love them so much!!! If you want to see the collection graciously presented by the collector Loretta Hynes Howard in 1964 to the MET, go HERE. Anyways… this was my first drawing:

I thought its body was a bit compressed so I elongated it in my second and final draft. Then I started drawing different elements from Fileteado…flowers, ribbons, a horse… and the hardest was placing them in a balanced composition between elements and space. It was so hard … I used tracing paper to see the elements in different spots… and finally I was happy with this:

Coloring was so fun at the beginning, but as I colored more and more elements, it became harder to choose colors…

Painting the background is always the hardest for me… not only for the speed at which you have to paint with the watercolor… but choosing the right hue!

I liked it a lot… for the colors reminded me so much of Spring! Then I worked on the blue border…

I’m still not sure of this blue border choice, but it is the color that would allow us to go in… without competing… Then I added some more coloring…

I realize now that I haven’t taken a photo of the final one…! The sun is gone, so Iit will have to wait until tomorrow…

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