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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Double bet! Painting and narration <3