Wednesday, May 30, 2012

unnerved ( acrylic painting on paper )

     It was an unexpected visit and he arrived with his usual candor and subtle arrogance (I felt manipulated having a visitor over during lunchtime). Maybe he thought his appearance might surprise me. He became discernibly unnerved. His presence took the form of a malformed monologue of Vincent van Gogh. He carefully examined my paintings while uttering some old school necessity that he considers as part of an art connoisseur’s tradition. Taking sidelong glances at my tasteless meal, he tried to impress me with his dilettante charm. It was rather a hopeless effort in my opinion and a fruitless stunt to pull in the twentieth century especially to a starving artist like myself. Eventually, looking around my walled offerings he was convinced and pleased by what he saw. Unfortunately, his false air of refinement was not my idea of a tasty dessert.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

involved ( charcoal drawing on paper )

    There is a lot of people out there who create works for the love of art and for the idea that they belong to the talented few thus a lot of stuff end up created for the sake of self promotion and with a little less love involved. Art is not about money, it’s about how you can inspire someone’s life to be creative too.

Monday, May 28, 2012

seduced ( acrylic on paper )

*personal collection
     My nights are becoming heady and my days unattractive. I think I’m turning into an owl with sleep disorder but it would be nice if I end up as a nocturnal superhero like Batman perhaps.

     After being plagued by unpleasant events and overtaken by other people’s anger, my past weeks were washed over by waves of depression. Yesterday though was a breath of fresh air when a couple of friends came over for drawing lessons. I’ve always wanted to do something with a sense of purpose for a change and sharing my knowledge and skills was just what I needed for a fix. It was a rather rapid offering of Ghirlandaio’s theories in charcoal on paper but my friends were pleased by what they learned nonetheless. Even though it lasted for only a little less than an hour it was in a way a perfect chance for me to rearrange my thoughts and add a positive effect on my mood. I seduced my students with my old world charm and in return, my friend Cyrus, reciprocated my good deed with a jar of guava jam from Sagada.

      It’s been my habit to be in sad danger of dislocating myself from people who keep me going. But now I‘m sticking to my program and I will never disappear into oblivion from people whose interest and respect helped me unfold the picture that my heart wishes to see.

     I will never move to the blue period and allow a shadow to unveil itself again. I am calmer now and I will paint the way I feel and I shall be whole.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

linked ( gouache on paper )

     Aside from the marathon, oversleeping is one of my favourite sports. It’s almost lunchtime and I’ve been up for just under an hour. I can smell my neighbor’s kitchen starting to get busy. The birds on that small banyan tree are coming alive again. The sun has begun to cut its bluish shadow across the kitchen wall in front of me. But I’ll just sit here drinking my coffee and daydream for another few minutes.

     I wonder what song those tweeters are singing. Are they like artists too who have a hidden language of colours and shapes? Maybe the sound of my voice is so alien to them. But I hope they understand that we are linked to each other and that everything is connected to everything else. I never get tired listening to them, they keep me reasonably sane the rest of the morning until finally they become silent and in their place I hear an even noisier kid prepping up for a bath. This how I get my inspiration and balance, to silently listen to life’s simple pleasures.


touched ( head study in chalk pastel )

       I live and work alone but sometimes I sense that I am being watched. Like there was one time while I was drawing a head in chalk pastel when I strongly felt like someone just touched my hair. Although there’s not a slightest sign of any human being inside the house except myself. It’s maybe everyday paranoia or something too real and non-existent but still makes your heart race a little faster.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

winged ( a painting of Icarus )

*private collection

     10:30am, yawns in desperation…

     I’m not very good at this because I am not a seasoned writer and this is my first attempt to write a blog as an artist. However, I want to tell you a story about a blank canvas that’s been sitting long in my garage.

                      It’s a huge 42inches by 58inches Belgian canvas, primed and immaculately waiting to be bastardized. People say an artist has to be in the mood in order to paint but that’s not usually my case because I am normally a lazy artist. Until one morning while I was having a cup and listening to Nina Simone’s cover of the Beatles’ - Here Comes the Sun that I got a flash. I don’t know if it’s the combination of Simone’s ice cold voice and the warm caffeine rush that awakened every single lazy bone in my body. But suddenly, I had an urge to pick up my brushes and paint. So I took a quick shower, grabbed a top and my old pair of Levi’s jeans that I’ve worn since college. It’s covered with different colors of paints collected from my juvenile years. I never washed it with detergent because I don’t want the colors to fade.

     So there I was fresh and ready to start with day 1 only to find out that some of my paint tubes have hardened inside a paper bag transported from their long hiatus. Luckily, I still have some of my birthday money left [I usually go up in the Mountain Province to celebrate my cheap birthday party] so I went hi-ho-hi-ho to the mall for acrylics. I heard from a friend that there’s a newly opened Deovir craft store in SM north mall. Like a boho looking for the rainbow’s end, I went around looking for the store with rainbow colors. It was on the top floor just like a rainbow up in the sky. A row of cadmiums, huge titanium whites, chrome galore, boxes of bristles and sables. Oh! And that particular smell that made me look like a painter high on turpentine. Literally, I was floating in painter’s paradise.

     I went home with a bag filled with colored excitement but my pet tummy was starving for some food just like any other artist. A quick lunch and I was ready to start my battle with a Belgian in white.

     It’s underpainting, Italians call it - verdaccio but artists call it dead coloring. It’s a painting process to establish the figure and its background. The figure is a half naked boy in chiaroscuro. I’ve always dreamt of painting an allegorical piece of Icarus with a dead bird in the hand instead of wings. But initially, the bird looked like a big chunk of fried chicken. So the bird died in the dream and ended up as part of dead coloring. It took several days and sleepless nights of strokes and washes. And little by little Icarus started to evolve.

Very often, a painting is never finished until you somehow hear a whisper to stop. With a cup in hand and faint Nina Simone in the background I stopped and looked at Icarus staring back at me seemingly asking for his wings back. And like any other story, my blank canvas ended up happily with Icarus and a promise of more fried chickens at my next birthday party.

     …smiles with hope at 2:00am.