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Monday, May 14, 2007

My friend Cam....

It was sometime last year when i've painted this portrait of Cam.... He's my best friend in our workplace, Cam is a vietnamese national who came to australia as a refugee during the heat of the vietnamese war with america....

He's among those vietnamese people who took their chances and crossed the great and untamed china sea in search of safety far away from the war that hits their homeland in 1940's....

He showed me an old and fading black and white photo of himself when he was just 3 years old, the photo was almost falling apart when i saw it.... I was touched by the thoughts that he've lost everything during the war, and that little photo is the only thing left to remind him of his childhood....

He asked me if there's anything that we could do to save that photo from fading.... I said you could go to some photo centers, but if you want i can paint that in oil for you and so i did.... It might not be a hundred percent replica of that little black and white one, but i did my best to at least bring it as closer to it as i could.... Anyways, he likes it....! And that made me proud and happy as well....! I've added the colors here to make it look a bit lively....

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The birth of a republic

This is my own version of the scene taken from the creation of the philippine national flag.... I did this painting somewhere in 2002 and i was quite pleased with the results.... This painting is quite large in size, a 122cm x 91cm oil on canvas....


I got another one that is much larger than this but just this one alone is already more than a handful....! At first i didn't know where to hang it because of it's size but finally i was able to find a good spot right on top of my wall unit which is perfect....

Bananas

Back in the philippines, in the city where i grew-up, there's a lot of banana plantations.... Farmers often harvested their crops while they're still green, it will then undergo a forced ripening process inside a Nipa shed before hitting the market when the fruits had already ripened....

This is a very common practice amongs farmers and is being handed down from generation to generation.... They believe that forced ripening method brings out the natural flavour and sweetness of the fruit.... Well, there's nothing wrong believing that myth but nowadays we never worry about that anymore.... Just leave it all to the genetic-science ha-ha....! This is a 91cm x 91cm oil on canvas....

Umaga sa nayon....


In this painting i was trying to capture the serenity of the life in the village back home.... I didn't felt like i was successful in creating that scene so it's up to you now to judge whether i got it close enough ha-ha....! Anyways, this is how a traditional style village look like back in the philippines.... There's not much like this to be seen anymore nowadays due to the speedy expansion of the modern ways and lifestyle, but seeing one of these is quite a fascinating experience....! Another one of my larger size artworks, a 153cm x 101cm oil on canvas....


We were children once....


Who could ever forget the beauty of their childhood.... I envy the youth, sometimes i wish to be a child once more and enjoy the freedom, and wonders of being young again.... There's so much in a child's world that had kept us coming back for more even just in our thoughts....

So this painting is obviously a product of my youthful thoughts, all the influences and learnings that had mould me into the man that i am now.... This one is not so large, only a 45cm x 61cm oil on canvas....

Cockfighting


Illegal to some, but a favorite past-time in most parts of the philippines.... If there will be an olympic events in cockfighting, i'm sure that the pinoys will not be left behind scratching their heads because we are the champions amongs champions when it comes to this kind of sport....!

Also a common sight in small villages and towns, Sabong as we commonly call it is quite a drag among spectators.... You wouldn't even expect seeing a basketball left rolling on the ground unmanned when this cockfighting begins....! This painting is a 61cm x 91cm oil on canvas....


The hunter....


You can still see the carpet at the background.... I took a shot of this on the floor, the reflection of the light from the window affects the camera so i've decided to put it flat on the floor....

The painting is about a native hunter standing on a mound of rocks, trying to make a clean shot with his poison dart.... Aiming at maybe a bird or a monkey.... I was trying to create a scene here of a dense forest with the fog and the rays of the sun penetrating through the leaves and the trees.... This is a 46cm x 91cm oil on canvas....

Weaving woman


I found a photo of this in the internet and decided to transfer it to canvas.... It turned out nice, but actually this one freaks me up every night ha-ha....! It looks a bit scary though ha-ha....! But i like the lines on her face, it's so challenging to paint.... This is a 75cm x 100cm oil on canvas....

Munting gamo-gamo....


From the famous books written by Dr. Jose Rizal during his time, Munting Gamogamo was one of my favorite stories of all time.... Actually in this painting, we're not talking about the boy or those books he's reading....

If you've noticed those moths flying around the glow of the kerosene lamp, that's what this painting is all about....! The whole story by the way, in case you haven't heard of it yet is quite short but tells a lot of lessons in life directed to the youths.... This is a 71cm x 51cm oil on canvas....

Dyesebel


Ha-ha....! I don't know why i painted this 'coz it's so off the topic....! Has anyone ever heard of the name Dyesebel....? Even played by some popular celebrities in philippine cinema like Vilma Santos, and Alma Moreno....?

A mythical creature, half human and half fish that had fallen inlove with a fisherman.... Actually i was trying to finish a very ugly unknown brand of white paint that day which i bought impulsively, but i dont want to throw it away so i've decided to paint just anything that comes in my mind and use it the abusive way ha-ha....!

Amazingly, it came out quite well though it's a bit thick probably because of the word " ABUSE " i suppose ha-ha....! This is a 91cm x 61cm oil on canvas....

Bullfighting


Bullfighting is still a part of some fiestas and celebrations in most parts of the philippines.... Only been converted into a form of gambling by some, but in any angles the sport is still a so pinoy tradition....

Seeing two bulls fighting like this armed with bowing sharp horns and massive structures is totally an absolute fearsome sight, so i've applied a lot of sharp corners and angles here to really capture the rage of the moment.... This is a 91cm x 61cm oil on canvas....

Tropical fruits


These are tropical fruits....! But what's so special about this tropical fruits....? I think it's how you compose the settings and things in a painting that makes it unique....

In this painting, i was trying to get the real texture of every fruits in the picture.... All the shadows and the depth of colors.... I don't know if i was successful in creating that but here it is, it's up to you now to judge it yourselves....! This is a 61cm x 46cm oil on canvas....

Monday, May 7, 2007

Old Ifugao man


This is sooo fantastic ha-ha....! A lot of my friends here wants to have this one and even attempted to buy it but they never succeeded ha-ha....! This is one of my favorite work.... I like the lines on the face, so realistic....! And incase that this looks so familiar, yes it is from a photo of an ifugao man that i've found in the web somewhere in 2002....

I felt the drive to paint straight away when i saw that so i grabbed my paints and brush and start tranfering it to this canvas....! Sounds so easy....? No it wasn't because i've spent almost two months on this one just on the lines of the face alone....! This is a 61cm x 91cm oil on canvas....

Bamboo wall


I was thinking of adding some other things to this rather than just a bare bamboo wall, maybe a lizard perhaps or a moth clinging to it.... But then i said nah....! Just leave it as it is and besides, this painting is all about the wall anyway so why cover some parts of it....! Just leave it bare, show more bamboos he-he....! This is a 46cm x 91cm oil on canvas....

Shanty house


This shanty inexpensive dwelling is already an icon in the philippines.... A mess to the upper society, but a palace to the less auspicious kind, a symbol of poverty, uncertainties, and sometimes it's also a symbol of contentment in life because they are very much aware of their capacities, capabilities, and limitations....

In those places, the real meanings of life seems to be glowing more brighter than ever.... I give this painting my full respect.... This is a 90cm x 60cm oil on canvas....


Woman with clay jar



I forgot to check the quality of shot on this one.... It's a bit blury and we can see the reflections from the blinds on my windows on it's surface.... Anyways, i'll just post it still and just fix it later....

This is a painting of a native woman scooping water from a spring using a piece of half shell to a clay jar.... The bamboo growing in the background gives a good contrast to the foreground.... This is a 50cm x 70cm oil on canvas....

Cantil (after the harvest)


A scene after the harvest season when everyone took their time and relaxed after a long back breaking planting to harvesting season.... Here you can see a boy flying his kite made of paper or plastic materials....

The stock of straws on the foreground are what was left of golden stalks of rice that used to be growing in the fields.... The rusty farming plow is standing motionless right next to it.... A sign or retirement.... This is a 70cm x 51cm oil on canvas....

Mga bata sa ilog


We use to do rafting when we were kids except the nakedness of course ha-ha....! Our house was close to the river before so access to the water wasn't so hard....

I almost lost a brother that time when he fell off the raft, but luckily the current wasn't so strong then and he was able to paddle back to safety.... We didn't do anymore rafting after that.... This is a 61cm x 92cm oil on canvas....

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Blood compact


I'm always fascinated by the other filipino artists version of this scene from the katipuneros blood compact.... I'm still not satisfied with this one and i'm planning to make another version, but at the moment i'm so busy with my job so maybe some other time....

I signed this as complete but actually it's not finish....! Maybe i just got frustrated with my unsatisfied expectations towards the the painting that's why i abandoned it.... There's suppose to be a dog under the table and a piece of paper on the bamboo chair at the foreground....This is a 90cm x 90cm oil on canvas....

Gregorio del Pilar (dakilang heneral)


I don't really know his life story, but i reckon he was the very first general of the filipino guerillas during the heat of world war II against japan.... This is a very fine painting.... I couldn't believe that i did this beauty ha-ha....! Also if you'll run this through an x-ray, you will find an abstract painting right behind it....


I was attempting to create an abstract when i got sick of it and cover the whole canvas with white primer paint, then the picture of napoleon on top of a horse flashes in my mind and i began painting a version of that with Gen. Gregorio del Pilar here.... This is a 100cm x 100cm oil on canvas....

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Katipunan uprising


Raging Andres Bonifacio ha-ha....! Define history: Events that kept on coming one after another ha-ha and this is another one of those....! I love philippine history that is why i got this scene printed in my brain.... This is my own version of the uprising of katipunan....

There's a bit of violence in this painting, but i've set a strict rule to myself that there will be absolutely no sign of blood in this painting ha-ha....! This is a 101cm x 77cm oil on canvas....

Vegetable Basket


Ladies and gentlemen, you're looking at the story of my life ha-ha....! I started out as an art-gutsy 6 year old kid who teaches art subject to the whole class including my teacher when i was in kindergarden....! When i was 10 years old, i went to inlist myself in an art contest at school amongst older kids on my own....

That time i asked my father what i should draw because i haven't got any idea of what should i put in my illustration board that time.... Then my father told me to draw a bunch of veges, pumkins here, tomatoes there.... etc, etc....! Exactly like this painting, only my skills are more well developed now....

So armed with just a pencil and a box of crayons, i went to the battle and beats all the tough kids ha-ha....! I won first prize, then another, and another until i graduated primary school....! Quite a story huh....! But that's not all, in the 90's i designed bridges, dams, monuments, parks and so much more....! Nowadays, i wanted to design my future.... I already have the visions.... Now i only have to make it happen ha-ha....! This is a 71cm x 51cm oil on canvas....

Cagsawa marketday in Albay


Do you remember that church at the foot of Mt. Mayon....? As far as i can remember, there was no photographic records of that place before it's destruction from the wrath of mayon volcano....

What i've tried to do here is the daily scene that was there before.... I don't know how close i got there, but my imagination told me that this is how it should be then....

The town is called Cagsawa, and if there was a church there based on the bell tower at the foot of mayon now and continuesly disappearing, there should be a marketplace too somewhere close to it....

So this is my version of the little town of Cagsawa as i've pictured it in my mind.... This is a 91cm x 91cm oil on canvas....

Ifugao mother and child


Another photo from the web that i've successfully tranfered to the canvas.... It's a mother and child moment that is very hard for me to explain.... Some sort of a silent ritual that only them could understand....

Most of the time when i am looking at this painting, i get puzzled by the scene that doesn't register any reasoning in my mind.... A very solemn moment between a mother and her beloved child has a mysterious closeness that only them could understand.... Yeah, that's how i thought it is.... Happy mothers day to all the mothers.... This is a 51cm x 61cm oil on canvas....

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