Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Anima: A Photo Exhibition by Inday Espina-Varona

Inday Espina-Varona opened Anima, her first solo photo exhibition on December 13, 2009 at Namit-Namit Pagkaon Kag Taliambong Restogallery, Bacolod City.

They say that what differentiates a snapshot picture-taker from a creative photographer is, while the former sees images only, the latter sees more than that -- light.

The photographs, glimpses of her travels around the world, indeed breathed the spirit of an artist such as Inday sensitive to the play of light and shadows in what would have been otherwise plain, lifeless images.

I had the goosebumps at the back of my head as I basked in the anima exuded by the artworks. Each frame seemed to snatch you into a convent in Florence, a temple in Penang, a home in Quebec, a theater in Shanghai, and even a beauty pageant location shoot in Davao.

Running until December 30, Anima is more than just a photo exhibition, it is a show for a cause. Proceeds of the exhibition will go to Inday's favorite charity, the foundation for breast cancer awareness.

Shown in this picture are special guests Belgian Joke (YOW-kuh) van Kerckhove, Gabriela activist Grace, and the artist, Inday Espina-Varona.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oil Pastel Painting One-on-One Lesson

Pablo Picasso once said, "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."

When confronted by a blank sheet, children are not afraid of it the way adults are. They just attack it and in a matter of seconds, it's painted all over with a beautiful work of art that's free and unrestrained.

Children need only familiarize themselves with the medium they are working and then let them be. This is our aim with our 12-year-old art student. At least, before she fully grows up and develop that dreaded fear of the blank sheet, we will try to capture that precious childlike essence that will never happen again in a person's life.

Already gifted with a talent for art, June Anne tries her hand on first oil pastels in a one-on-one lesson with yours truly. After an hour or so, voila, her very own artwork of a prairie house.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Art Nouveau of Balay Negrense in Silay City

Art Nouveau is French for "new art", an international movement that became popular from 1890 to 1905. In Germany, art nouveau is called jugendstil, our "youth style" characterized by flowing curvilinear forms of highly stylized plant and floral motifs.

Art Nouveau is an approach to design, making art a part of everyday life from architecture to furniture.

A European art connoisseur saw this in the floral carvings of the Balay Negrense in Silay City. He reckoned that, as the house was built around the same time art nouveau was in vogue in Europe, the owner Victor F. Gaston, the son of French Yves Leopold Germain Gaston and Prudencia Fernandez of Batangas, may have ordered the ornamentation of his house custom-made in the style of art nouveau.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Art Conservation Tips To Make Your Artwork Last Forever

Art conservation is very important if you want to make your artwork last forever. Here are a few art conservation tips I have learned from art conservationist Mr. Ricky Francisco in one of the many seminar/workshops conducted during the 10th VIVA ExCon held in Cebu City in November 2008.

Art conservation tip #1 - PRIME YOUR SUPPORT. Whether it is canvas, wood or board, have at least two coats of gesso or white latex paint, apply the second coat after the first one has dried. As your support and paint are hygroscopic (the ability to absorb moisture in the air, causing the material to expand or contract),
mold growth which damages the artwork is unavoidable in the humid Philippine environment.

Additional art conservation tip for boards or wood supports - coat at least two times the front, sides and back for better protection.

Additional art conservation tip for canvas supports - apply several layers of gesso or white latex on stretched canvas until you have a smooth and stable surface in order to lay a good foundation for your art.

Art conservation tip #2 - USE A RIGID SUPPORT.
According to recent studies, the more stable the support, the better the paintings will keep. This is because of the contraction and expansion of materials due to humidity.

Art conservation tip #3 - STUDY YOUR PAINTS AND MATERIALS. Paints have binders to hold together the paint's pigment. They have certain properties that may discolor or crack in time. For instance, use oil paints "fat over lean", meaning the slower drying oils should be on top of faster drying oils.

Art conservation tip #4 - VARNISH YOUR WORKS.
This acts as a film that protects your painting from the damaging effects of ultraviolet light, dust, dirt, molds, high humidity and pollution.

Art conservation tip #5 - FRAME IT WELL.
It highlights as well as protect your painting. Never use rugby or contact cement to bind your artwork to the board. This is very harmful to your artwork or picture as rugby is very acidic. Notice how poorly framed photographs, certificates or diplomas turn yellow over the years. In just 10 years, the acids from the rugby would have worked its way to the canvas or paper and reveal unsightly mildew stains called foxing. Over time, the brown spots will degrade your painting's support and eat up your artwork.

Additional art conservation tip for glass covered artworks - make sure they are well protected against breakage due to mishandling.

Additional art conservation tip for canvas supports - put a board backing to protect your painting from dust, dirt, and insect invasion.

Art conservation tip #6 - DUST IT CLEAN. Remember Mr. Bean ruining Whistler's Mother in the movie? Simply reserve one cleaning brush that's dry and oil-free to dust your painting, one small square area at a time.

Art conservation tip #7 - DON'T TOUCH IT. Avoid oils, dirt and grease from your hands getting onto your artwork. Use white cotton gloves while handling especially old and delicate paintings. When shipping, wrap your artwork with acid-free glacine or wax paper.

Art conservation tip #8 - CARRY IT ONE AT A TIME. Bunching them up in just one go will cause the friction to rub the artworks against each other, causing irrevocable scratches.

Art conservation tip #9 - AVOID TOO MUCH LIGHT. Ultraviolet and infrared light causes discoloration of your artwork. Keep it in under controlled lighting conditions. Never expose your painting in direct sunlight.

Art conservation tip #10 - KEEP MOISTURE OUT. This will encourage the growth of mold and mildew and will cause irreversible damage to the painting.

As an artist and creator of your work you have the responsibility of prolonging its life for a very long time in order for the succeeding generations to enjoy viewing the actual artwork that has survived the test of time, thanks to a very well prepared job of art conservation.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You Can Never Go Wrong in Oil Pastel Painting

You can never go wrong in oil pastel painting. That's one thing I like about it. The other thing is that an oil pastel box is so handy that you can carry them just about anywhere and start painting.

Because an oil pastel works best in toothed surfaces such as oil pastel paper, handmade paper, watercolor paper, sandpaper, and other textured surfaces, practically you can never go wrong in oil pastel painting. Like oil and acrylic painting, you can always paint over your mistakes. So that your support ( oil pastel paper, handmade paper, watercolor paper, sandpaper, etc.) would not go to waste.

Take for this experimental oil pastel piece in ghastly colors. Not only did I not like it, I also didn't want to see it ever again. So I have to paint over it, and support is never wasted.

First, I did my sketch over the unwanted artwork using a stick of oil pastel. For my oil pastel sketches, I would usually pick the longest sticks which means these are the colors I rarely use because they are still more or less intact.

Next, I color in my underpainting, still using the colors I rarely use so that these oil pastel sticks would have to have some use. I also pick colors that are still largely available for my background. I would like all my oil pastel sticks to be used up at about the same level.

Finally, I work on the details, shadows and highlights. Voila! My mother and child (actually a self portrait) oil pastel painting.

I think I have found my calling: doing body portraits as opposed to realistic face portraits.

Not only is there no waste in supports when doing oil pastel painting, the oil pastel sticks can be used up even up to the last bit. Thus, worry not, for you can never go wrong in oil pastel painting.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Planting Rice: A Derivative Work from a Photograph

A derivative work is an artistic or literary work derived from one or more existing works.

For my artworks of human interest scenes of daily Pinoy life, my studies are usually taken from cell phone snapshots, deliberately not as clear as SLR shots so that instead of seeing them from a photographer's eye, I would see my subjects from an artist's impressionist eye.

I usually use my own shots for the sake of copyright and originality. But there are times that I could not be on location, for example, in a farm to make my derivative work of a farm scene.

But when I saw my friend Kristin's farm photographs, the lawyer that she is, I asked her permission for me to use her pictures for my oil pastel painting studies, and she was gracious enough to say yes.

This is her photograph of a farm workers planting rice. I did not intend to copy everything in the picture, being a derivative work, I just wanted to get inspiration from her rice plantation photo.

For the derivative work to be copyrightable, it must contain sufficient elements of originality that makes it a new work in its own right.

As I made my sketch in oil pastel (I don't use pencil on a toothed support such as sandpaper), I decided to rearrange the placement of some farm laborers. I didn't like the awkward position of the farm worker on the front left of the picture. He seemed to be a still greenhorn in the job. So I exchanged the other rice planter behind them to be the one up front. You can do anything in a painting such as changing the color of their shirts to uprooting unsightly trees and moving them elsewhere in the composition or not painting them at all.

I had a hard time deciding what color to use for the farm workers' skin tones, considering my limited palette. Sometimes it turned out too fair for farm workers, then when I used darker colors they don't come out of the painting as they should. And still I had to highlight the bulging muscles where the sunlight reflected on their skin.

This is the finished product of my oil pastel painting derivative work. However, when I took a picture of it, my camera exposure settings conked out, thus creating a misty effect in the background and an overall blurry outcome.

There's no way for me to take another picture of this painting anymore because I have arleady mailed it to Manila for the November 16, 2009 Panghimakas (Struggle) art exhibit at the Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee Center of the Ateneo Law School at Rockwell, Makati City.

Compared to other planting rice paintings by other artists, I decided not to use women as rice planters, because I have observed that if there are men around, the farm women actually don't to the backbreaking hard labor of planting rice. The women are typically more visible in harvest scenes.

The men in Philippine rural areas don't even wear traditional attire anymore. Notice that they are wearing ball caps in the painting and one wears a collared shirt. Thanks to the proliferation of ukay-ukay (rummage sale), where imported clothing from the U.S., Japan, etc., intended as relief goods are instead sold at very low prices.

Oil Pastel Painting Limited Palette Edition

Oil pastel painting can be challenging if done using a limited palette. In this particular piece, I used only black, gray, and white to emphasize the dreamy, breezy landscape in muted colors.

My concept is that of a young girl on a hammock. The title, Hayahay, means peaceful or tranquil. I would like to depict a quiet scene in oil pastel.

First, I sketched using gray oil pastel as the midtone.

Second, I colored in black oil pastel to define the darker areas.

Third, I highlighted using white oil pastel to add to the finishing touches.

Voila! My oil pastel painting in limited palette edition.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mural Painting

Mural painting, according to wikipedia, is any piece of artwork painted directly on a wall, ceiling, or other large permanent surface.

These three murals are found at Cafe ala Corte, our office al fresco cafeteria. It used to be a garbage dump turned into a nice garden refreshment. The walls used to bear the weight of office trash and junk.

Now they are supports for a total of seven sections of mural paintings done by Hall of Justice based artists, myself, Bea, Michelle Tupaz, and daughter of court stenographer Rebe Japitana.

Following the nature theme, my first mural is an expressionist rural scene of a farm isla or an "island" in the middle of a sea of green and gold rice plantation typically found in the landscapes of Bago City. To do this painting in only one day (one hour, in fact), I used whatever materials were available such as the 2.5" paint brush and enamel paint, despite the concrete walls.

As there were several sections of the walls that were still vacant, the mural paintings needed to be painted right away, and fast.

Over the weekend, I completed painting two more walls in just one afternoon. My second mural is an expressionist waterfall inspired by Whistler's palette, while my third mural is another expressionist tunnel in warm hues.

My rule of thumb is that, large area = large brushes and large strokes, otherwise instead of liberating yourself into your art, you are imprisoning yourself with small brushes and small strokes in your mural painting.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Oil Pastel Painting Step by Step Process

Here is a step by step demonstration of how I do my oil pastels.

Support (paper, board, canvas, etc.) is very important in painting in oil pastel. It must have a "tooth" so that the colors stick well to it. By preference, I use black #120 sandpaper. I also use watercolor paper, especially my failed watercolors so that I could still make use of the textured paper which is quite expensive to just throw away. Since sandpapers come in standard 9"x11" cuts or by meters but still 11" in width, I also make my own homemade sandpaper.

Although I have a high regard for the discipline, patience, and so much time spent on it, realism or photorealism is just not my style. I don't use a pantograph to copy the exact proportions of a face or body.

My favorite subjects are everyday people in their usual habits. That way, the pose is more relaxed and not self-conscious. I tend to leave the faces blank because my audience can already tell who my subject is just by the shape of their bodies. Adding facial features that may turn out wrong will only ruin the fun of the guessing game.

My procedure is to paint from dark to light, background first, although there are instances when this is not the case.

First, I sketch on sandpaper using a color I would use for the background so that it would blend later on when I color. Sometimes, I would also choose a pastel stick I rarely use like orange, pink, or apple green so that they will serve their purpose. Then I color in the colors, starting with the midtones.

Second, I color in the darker colors or darker tones. That way, shadowy areas in the painting gets "thrown back" into the painting such as the eye sockets, the mouth, and the deep forest behind the subject.

Third, I shade in the darkest tones to really throw deeper into the painting the shadowy areas. In the meantime, the work in progress has a spooky look. Some artists I know would rather go for the gothic look. But no matter how I try to paint weird, despite my angst, my "wild" paintings often come out lame, so I guess that's just not my style, and a realization that I still am a happy spirit after all.

Fourth, I shade in the light tones using hatching, feathering, and glazing strokes.

Fifth, I put highlights to lift areas that should be contoured. Doing highlights on the face is just like putting makeup -- shadows, blush, and highlight. In my smaller figures I really leave the faces blank but since this piece has a larger subject, I am compelled to add just a hint of details on the face. However, I think I put too much highlight on the upper lip so that the mouth looks like pouting out when it should not. Then I decided to work the eyes a little bit but they turned out to be a disaster because the caucasian eyes became chinky with just a few flicks of color. Since I use the blunt end of the pastels as well as the sides thus coming up with rough, loose effects, just a teeny-weeny stroke could alter the look of the subject. Notice that I already signed my name on the artwork but it doesn't mean that I'm done with it as I still have something to give to it. And I need not worry because pastels, like oils and acrylics, are easy to correct -- you just have to paint over the areas that need correction.

Sixth, I incorporated my corrections such as the mouth by lessening the highlight on the upper lip and widening the smile by smudging in more black. I added more strands to thicken the hair and I also added more blue on the shirt sleeve and more skin tone to make the arm a little less skinnier.

Exhausted after three hours of working on this particular piece, I felt I was already spent. I cannot give anything more to it, and so it is truly finished.

I call this painting "Talisayon Talisaynon" because the breed of game fowl is Talisayon and the girl holding it is a tru-blu Talisaynon (a native of Talisay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines) whose heart she declares will always belong in her native country inspite of her new home in Manchester, England.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Study: Planting Rice

Planting rice. Saving it with permission to use it for my artwork from Kristin Grace Abunda.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How Do You Know When a Painting is Finished?

Jackson Pollock the famous abstract expressionist, in response to the question, "How do you know when you're finished?" replied, "How do you know when you're finished making love?"

I would ask the same question (excluding Pollock's reply) to my art students. There are actually no right or wrong in their answers, but I believe that, a painting is finished when the artist has nothing more to give.

Just as the artist gives of his or her self to the work in progress, it is finished when the artist has nothing more to give to it.

And so, one of my art student, sick and tired of completing his work, then declared, "I have nothing more to give!!!"

When the artist has decided that the work is finished, I always my student to make it a habit to sign his artwork, even if it is just a hastily done study. As children have the tendency to write their signatures at the very edge of their work, I would ask them to indent them about a pencil's or finger's width from the edge.

The Greek artists used the expression "tetelestai" (te-tel-es-sty), an everyday language which means "it is finished". The artist would stand back at a finished painting or sculpture and say, tetelestai – it is finished, there is nothing more that can be done to make this piece of art any better. The work is complete. It was also one of Jesus' last words on the cross.

Signing the work is like putting a period at the end of the sentence, a mark that it is finished. A date or year next to the signature would easily indicate when the work was done. The signature should be legible and must distinguish the artist rather than confuse the audience. It should not be so elaborate as to be taking much attention off the main artwork. It is best to use the leftover paint used in the painting so that the colors would easily blend in the painting and would not look like an afterthought.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hay Buhay Sang Isa Ka Artist!

2009 Electric MassKara na. Face painting na naman. Ika-2nd year ko na ni dayon sa akon career as street face painter if ever...

Biyernes, October 16. Midnight sale sa Robinson's Place. Aga pa lang may gapamangkot na sa amon exhibit area kun may nagapang-face painting. Text ko ni Jane. Nge, may opisina pa ko ya. Pero si Bea, excited na. May plano na naman absenan ang iya ballet class (ay abaw, indi na inday, nagligad bilog nga bulan wala ka man aten-aten kay kun diin-diin man ang imo schedule, may exhibit sa Manila, may badminton, kundi namalayran ako isa ka bulan nga ballet nga wala man lang ginsudlan?).

Ako ya, gasala man kay may invitation sa opening sang art exhibit sa Capitana Dicang Gallery sa Talisay, may ara man kuno opening sa Moravia diri sa Bacolod. Ugaling, pagkagwa ko sa opisina, pwerte na ang traffic, ginreroute na gani ang mga jeep nga gaagi sa Lacson Street. Indi na ko ni ya kalab-ot sa Talisay and back in time for my cell group meeting sa Ikthus. Ako pa nga daan ang ma-lead sa praise and worship singing. Kapila man ko nag-absent sang adto ko sa Manila ga ulo-exhibit kag naabtan pa sang baha. Indi na ko mag-absent.

Pagkatapos sang amon cell group, larga na ko sa Robinson's. Nag-una na ya si Bea, kagina pa ang panawag niya sa akon sa cell phone pangayo tabang kay siya lang to isa gapaminta sang mga guya sang mga bata. Ang isa gusto dragon, ang isa gusto leon. Kundi sala si Bea, hehehe...

Pag-abot ko, damo man may nagpa-face painting. Galing, wow, indi na kami kaagwanta asta midnight, galing midnight sale abi sang Rob.

Sabado, October 17. Aga pa si Bea naglakat, mapractice naman siya ballet. Nagtext lang siya nga nag-commute na lang siya kag wala niya na lang ko ginpukaw. Pagbugtaw ko, nag-apas na lang ko mga alas onse na. Kagaina pa si Jane gatext nga may gahulat na mapa-face painting. Baw, aga pa!

Pag-abot ko may nagahulat na tuod nga customer. Si Chin ara naman, dala niya iya Baby Pabz, pero okay lang sa iya maobra craft earrings and bracelets. Ti, bira-bira dayon paminta eh. Pagkabuhi ni Bea sa iya ballet, derecho na siya sa Rob. Paminta na kami asta maghapon. Sang nagsambot na, bulig na si Chin. Damu-damo na gid ya mapaobra. Laban mga beautiful girls, mga bata, mga boys, kag mga agi! Nag-abot man dugay-dugay si Bogie kag mga lalaki nga artist nga upod niya. Si Carlos nagdala man iya pinta. Mansig-mansig pangita puwesto.

Isa sa mga customer ko ang mga managerial staff sang 18th Pala-Pala Seafood Restaurant. Pag-abot nila didto, nanamian sila sa face paint they decided nga ang mga waiters nila papintahan man nila ang mga guya para sadya. Gintawgan ako ni Euge, dali-dali man ako lumpat pakadto Pala-Pala kay gadulom na, lapit na dinnertime damu na na manugkaon sa ila sikat nga restaurant, dapat ready na mga guya sang ila waiters.

Pag-abot, plastar dayon sa ila opisina. Sa ila guwa gasugod na ang mga Bacolod Drumbeaters kag may fire dance pa. Wala gid ko kakita kay bira-bira kami ni Bea puli sa 19 ka guya, may naglagas pa nga 3 ka teenagers, mga apo na siguro sang tag-iya.

Pagkatapos, ginlakat na lang namon pakadto Lacson Street kay parallel lang man ang Aguinaldo. Ginbilin ko na lang akon salakyan didto nayon kay super linaktanay naman ni basta Electric MassKara.

Nakit-an namon sila ni Ian kag ni Edsy kag ang mga familiar SUGA artists nga nagasako na paminta sa atubang Gerry's Grill sa may Majica paper mache larger-than-life sculpture ni Charlie Co. Wow. Nagkalabuhi ang mga characters sa painting ni Charlie. As in, may bubbles-bubbles pa. Ka dreamlike yet nag-come alive. Bongga!

Plastar na naman. Hay bisan ano kadamu sang mga artist didto sambot gihapon. Ang sala ko lang kay wala ko ya kadala sang sample pictures sang mga designs nga naobra ko. Hulmanay lang ah. Kay usually gapangita gid designs nga pilian ang client. But I tell them naman, "No two paintings are alike." May lain gid na ya, depende sa stroke sang kamot nga gaupod sa sound sang concert scene nearby. Depende man sa personality sang ginapintahan kun carry niya.

Galing may ara gid ya nga undecided ko ano ang design so kinahanglan gid may guide. Ang iban naman nagdala pa picture sang ila apo kay amo gid na kuno ang pintahon sa iya guya! Ang iban gusto unique. Ang iban naman gusto ang pareho sadto sang babaye nga black-and-white attire kag ga-match man ang black-and-white tribal motif sa iya guya. Ang pinakabakal ko nga design ang butterfly with flowers-flowers kag dots-dots spray with glitters. Ang dason ang diwata style florals. Bestseller man ang tribal design, ang what I call the MassKara Festival Queen design. May ara man ya gapasugot lang sang bisan ano lang ang magwa sa mga kamot sang artist, which is more like it kay may freedom ang artist sa pagstroke sang iya design.

Standing room only ang instant street salon sang face painters. Tindog lang ang client, tindog man ang artist, bitbit iya paleta kag brush kag tubig nga sawsawan. Dapat balanse tanan bisan gapalangurog na ang batiis sa inoras nga tindog kay paghalin sang isa may mabulos naman. Kun indi pamilya-pamilya ang gapapinta, barkada-barkada. Basta sadya.

Ako ya may dala nga glitters for that extra special touch. Ti ang mga wala idlak, gakadto pa gid sa amon ni Bea para magpabutang glitters. Interesado man mag-face painting ang former student ko sa summer art workshop, si Elijah, nga maminta guya. Para ma-build iya confidence, siya anay ginpabutang ko sang glitters. Nakatatlo man siya ka ulo. Galing naglaag na sila ni Bea kag ni Rina kag ni Bianca pakadto 6th Street. Mga ala una na kag nagsurrender na ko sa kakapoy. Damo pa gyapon ang gapapinta. Matira ang matibay sa tinduganay ang mga nagkalabilin nga artist.

Domingo, October 18. Naburaw gid eh. Alas onse na sang ugto ako nakabugtaw. Si Bea alas dos sang hapon. Wala ko na lang ginpukaw ginpaayawan ko gid siya tulog kay luoy man bata (hay, amay namon, ano ang ginhimo mo?). Gatext na sila, damo na mapa-face painting aga pa. Text back ko ginapatulog ko pa si Bea. Kag masimba pa ko ya, pasalamat pa ko kay Lord kay gintagaan niya ako talent sa art kag bisan paano nakaracket kami sa puraot nga tiyempo. Mahatag gid ko kay Lord kay kun indi tungod sa iya, wala man ko amo ni nga grasya.

As usual, didto kami anay sa Rob. Nag-upod si Katherine halin sa simbahan. Adto na to si Chin, lipay na siya, may pambayad na siya sa kuryente niya. Bisan ara pa sila Norman kag Bogie, ay indi gihapon kaarapal. Indi na ko gani katext back halos kay Antonette kay hala pinta, picture, kag i-blog ko pa dason. Ang ini ya nga experience, ginhungod ko sulat sa Hilinglish kay daw bagay gid kag para lang ini sa mga nakaintiyende, meaning mga orig nga Bacolodnon kay total back story lang naman ini ti ano gid ya labot sang mga foreigners sa akon sulat haw...

Speaking of foreigners, ay abaw gapanong to sila ay, ang iban nagpasikat sang ila mga big bike sa atubang Starbucks, sukbit kada isa Pinay (ateng).

Halos indi na kami makakaon sang hala na lang kaobra paminta. Ang iban burger na lang para ang isa ka kamot gabitbit paleta kag ek-ek sa paminta, ang pihak nga kamot gabitbit palanyapunon. Ang iban ya makaon gid kan-on ti take out na lang sa Mang Inasal. Si Bea ko ya, mapungko gid ya. Didto gid sa isa sa mga nagahilera nga al fresco nga kalan-an. Pareho kagab-i, order kami barbecue, rice, sisig, baby back ribs, fruit shake. Naubos lang sa bongga namon nga panyapon upod kay Katherine kay siya man ang hali uyat karatola kag ganyat sang mga mapa-face paint. Partedahan ko man siya eh.

Sang nakapanyapn na kami mga lampas na alas onse, gusto ko na tani magpuli pero gusto pa gid nila maminta. Ti balik naman to kami sa amon puwesto. Ang iban nga artist nagpuli na kay ayos na sila kag kapoy na tiil sang tindoganay. Sila ni Ian may nabutong nga lamesa halin sa PNB. Si Leah, learning from last year's experience, nagdala gid gamay nga wooden table kag plastic nga pulungkuan. Ako ya nagdala plastic high chair. Imbes nga pulungkuan ang serbe niya, nahimo lamesa, tulungtungan sang mga pinta kag kagamitan namon ni Chin kag ni Norman.

Ay, kasadya ah. Nga kakapoy man. Sa sunod nga tuig, bisan mucho na ko, ma-face painting man ko gihapon. Ang racket pasadya-sadya lang na ya. Ang nanamian ko kay buhay na buhay ang turismo sang Bacolod tungod sa mga ideya sang mga artist. Halin sa pagconceptualize sang MassKara Festival itself pakadto sa bongga nga paper mache sculpture nga center of attraction subong nga tuig kag sa mga face painters nga nagproduce sang mga beautifully painted faces nga added feature sang Electric MassKara, maka-identify gid ang Bacolod sa slogan ni Tourism Secretary Ace Durano, "May Trabaho sa Turismo."


Friday, October 16, 2009

MassKara Festival Face Painting

MassKara means a sea (mass) of faces (kara) or a mask (maskara). Now on its thirtieth year, the world-famous MassKara Festival of Bacolod also celebrates Electric MassKara beginning 2007, the night version of the dancing street parade of colorful masks and costumes.

A popular come on in the Electric MassKara are the Bacolod artists doing face painting on locals and tourists as well. Aside from the traditionally Bacolod designs, some clients also want tribal tatto designs on their faces using face paint.

Without a guide, the cobra turned out looking more like a worm, the lion more like a sun, the dragon more like a bat, and the eagle more like a chicken like the one shown in the picture above.

That is why, as one of the artists doing the annual face painting for two consecutive years, I took to the internet, careful to narrow the designs to just a few choice ones as experience told me that the street partygoers tend to choose the more complicated (and time consuming) designs.

So it is better to compile only a few but popular designs for the public to choose, master them and be confident about face painting!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

SUGA Summer Art Workshop 2009

May 16, 2009, Balay Negrense, Silay City. I am always invited by the Silay United Group of Artists (SUGA, which also means "light") to say the invocation during the openings of their art exhibit. This was my third invitation already.

I finished my own children's summer art class that morning in Bacolod City and drove off to Silay City, dubbed as "The Paris of Negros Occidental" because of its well-preserved old and charming houses reminiscent of the glory days of the sugar industry. Art appreciation is even stronger in this part of the province as can be seen not only in their quaint architecture but in the Silay people's innate love for the arts.

Balay Negrense (House of the Negrenses), the epitome of that love for the arts, was bustling with activity when I arrived. As I marveled at the amazing works of the children, I couldn't help but praise the Greatest Artist during the invocation for the contrasting light and shadows of day and night, for sculpting the earth and the mountains and hills, for painting the world in many colors like the green of the trees, the orange, yellow, and red of fruits and flowers, for creating all sorts of animals, and for creating man in His own image, as can be shown in the many artworks in various expressions.

The week-long art show, now on its 9th year, featured works in various media by 30 students from tots to teens. SUGA president Ian Valladarez expressed a great appreciation for the works of his students who are mostly first timers. Famous for his exquisite wire art, he also teaches wire sculpture to the children of Binalbagan, a town down south of Negros Occidental.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The First Negros Gamefowl Art Exhibition

The Negros Gamefowl Breeders Association (NGBA) presents the First Negros Gamefowl Art Exhibition, currently open for viewing at the Negros Museum in time for the 30th MassKara Festival.

The province being home of the famous feathered fighters, several Negrense artists are showing their gamefowl-inspired artworks in various expressions of painting and sculpture.

They are Jayro Alano, Jecky Alano, Nune Alvarado, Perry Argel, Joan of Art, Dennis Ascalon, Bert Berondo, Nilda Claveraz, Rommel Clavecillas, Charlie Co, Dolly Gatuslao, Jovito Hecita, Fred Juson, Raymond Legaspi, Rodney Martinez, Rafael Paderna, Leah Samson, Roger Salvarita, Edbon Sevilleno, Lor Sumagaysay, and Orville Visitacion, as well as guest artist Edward Tan.

The show is actually a traveling art exhibit which formally opened at Sugarland Hotel, Bacolod City, on August 20, and proceeded to Museo Negrense De La Salle from August 21 to September 5, 2009.

The show at the Negros Museum runs from October 13-31, 2009.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kabuhi: An Art and Photo Exhibition for Breast Cancer Awareness

This painting, entitled "Ako" (acrylic on canvas, 5ft. x 3ft., now in the private collection of Inday Espina-Varona) is featured at Kabuhi: An Art and Photo Exhibition for Breast Cancer Awareness, sponsored by the Media Advocates for Reproductive Health and Empowerment (MARHE) headed by its president, Mate' L. Espina.

Twenty seven other painters, sculptors and photographers are participating in this art show at the third floor of the Provincial Capitol, Bacolod City.

Do your share in helping breast cancer victims. A painting you will buy becomes more meaningful because it is for a good cause. Show runs until October 19, 2009.

Friday, October 2, 2009

AAB Logo: The Story Behind It

The AAB logo has evolved over the years. But according to watercolorist Edbon Sevilleno, the original logo was designed by the late famous cartoonist Ely Santiago.

It starts with a brush tip and extends upwards forming a wavy cursive writing of AAB in one stroke.

However, as there were no digital copies in the old days, the AAB logo that we usually see to day is a product of years and years of manual copy+paste and endless photocopies of several versions of the AAB logo from blurred photocopies.

Thus Edbon being also a digital graphic artist came up with a re-mastered AAB logo which is closest to the intentions of the old guards of the Art Association of Bacolod.

What is PVA Glue?

PVA glue is polyvinyl acetate glue, your ordinary white glue. Water-based and solvent-free, it is safe to touch and does not smell. However, it could be dangerous when swallowed.

The most common PVA glue is white in color, although you can also find yellow PVA glue which is highly moisturized and has a shorter shelf life than white glue.

PVA glue come in various consistencies and formulas. From wood glue to art-and-craft glues. The more soluble glues are designed for use by children.

Being water-based, PVA glue can be diluted with water for priming any porous surface such as wood, paper or cloth.

Homemade Gesso Recipe

Gesso is hard to find in the local market. And if you find one, it is quite expensive. But here is a homemade gesso recipe you can make.

You will need:

- water
- PVA glue
- talcum powder
- any old mixing bowl
- stirrer
- dedicated paint brush (e.i., exclusive to your gesso recipe only)


1.) Mix 3 parts water and 2 parts PVA or white glue. Make sure it is just the right consistency, not too watery.

2.) Add talcum powder until it becomes like a batter. Added more water and glue if there is too much powder until you achieve the ideal mix.

3.) Evenly apply your homemade gesso to your support (e.g., board, canvas).

4.) Leave it to dry overnight. If you're in a hurry, use a hair dryer.

5.) When it's dry enough, sand the surface.


Ready-made gesso produces a harder surface. Use coarse sandpaper to begin with and then a fine sandpaper to finish. The surface should be smooth. Advantage: traditionally used as primer in most paintings, it is probably the safest and most convenient. Disadvantage: expensive and hard to find in the local market, thus, not advisable for regular use.

Homemade gesso is more powdery and easier to sand. The same smoothness is achieved. Advantage: cheaper and can be made anytime, thus, advisable for regular use.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Art for All Ages

Art is for all ages. You are never too old to learn painting. The great American artist Anna Mary Robertson Moses better known as "Grandma Moses" started painting in her seventies.

Let me be your guide in your journey through the many media art has to offer.

As Pablo Picasso once said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."

So there, don't limit yourself. Explore, experiment, and express! After all, art has no age limit!
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