Tuesday, 11 December 2018


So I know I said I wouldn't have a show this year, and when I said it, I meant it. 

In a way this isn't 'really' a show I mean I am but one of the guest artists of the gallery with Ysa Gernale as the Featured Artist, but I suppose it is my work displayed in public and as a set unto itself, so... 

See what happened was I... I guess you could say I got talked into it (or had some sense talked into me). And I know now that I just, can't, help myself. 

It's a shame, though, I mean, this really is such a rich concept and I would've very much liked to explore it more (as in a lot more). I know for sure and certain there were a bazillion other things I would've liked to have done. As it is I did my best 'in the time that was given to me'. And I am grateful for what I've been given.

Thank you to Mr Jonas for having me on such short notice. Thank you to Mr H, and to Mrs Christie ^^ for talking me into it. Thank you to Mr H and Christie and Daylin, my mom, Bassints, Mias, and Mr V for all their support. It's times like this you begin to find out who your real friends are. Thank you also to PT Bintang Toedjoe, Asia Brewery, Nestle and Red Bull GmbH lol.  

But thank You most of all to God, to Dear Mama Mary, Saint Jude, Saint Rita, Saint Philomena, Saint Claire, Saint Matthew, Saint Joseph, Saint Luke, Blessed Fra Angelico, to Saint Dymphna, my Guardian Angel and all my other 'friend Saints'. Again, it's times like this you find out who your real Friends are. And again, I am truly, deeply grateful.

And who knows, maybe I will explore this theme in depth someday. Just for kicks ^^ As quickly as I've had to make these I had fun and it was fascinating. Truth be told I'd always wanted to make paintings like this, about stars and constellations and such, and there are still a bazillion zillion zillion zillion zillion things I wanna make. It's like I keep thinking of junk and the time and the resources (and the talent lol) I have can't seem to keep up. But as long as I've still got moving parts ^^; stuff to paint with, a little space I can work in, and God's go-ahead... 

...I reckon there be more jillamonsters a-comin' ^^;

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Take Me To The Fair

My brother has arranged for some of my work to be included in an art fair this weekend organised by his brother-in-law. He came to the house this past week to root around in my 'archives' and pulled some random pieces out (along with the sort of write-up about me from my show last year):

(Kinda banged up and worse for wear; I'm amazed they didn't throw it out.)

Anyway. Here are some notes about the pieces above.

So this is 'Flying Sarao' from my 2011 show, 'Horseplay', and he's done up in acrylic (with more than my usual amount of moulding paste) on canvas. It's actually a hood ornament used on jeeps; I haven't seen any out in the street for quite a while (then again I don't get out much ^^; ).

This is "Big Fish' and he's actually meant to be hung together with 'Small Fry' to end up looking like this:

I remember it kind of bothered one or two people at the exhibit they appeared in at the time (I made these quite a while back; 2006, I think), but I also remember I had a lot of fun making them. They're done up in acrylic and oil pastel on paper (canvas paper? I forget). (Honestly, I should keep better notes x records of these things; I have tried, though.)

This is 'Khazad' from my 2013 show, 'Horselords'—he's a tikbalang made out of a Shetland pony and a person of short stature ('khazad' is Khuzdul (Dwarfish) for 'dwarf') and he's done up in acrylic on canvas.

This was a challenge for me because I had to establish scale; looking back I'm not sure whether the tall grass I added succeeded in doing that, but see I didn't want him to be standing in a field of tall grass and I wanted him to see the sky (better), although why would there be bits of tall grass in a field of grass-grass (so fail! on my part there) (among other things).

Having figured out recently that I am / my actual image is a Shetland pony after all (however much I'd like to be / my self-image is of an Arabian ^0^), seeing this again after being taken out of storage has a little more significance for me.

This is Makintana—he's an engkanto whose job, if I remember correctly, was to keep an eye on the real x human world, and in doing this he usually transforms into a bird (and boy did that work out well for him (lol), depending on how you look at it ^^). (You see, he met his human wife that way.) He's acrylic on canvas and he's part of a collection I made some ten years ago illustrating that (incredibly cheesy and deliberately derivative) story a friend and I made up.

This is '28 Candles' (Yes, there are actually 28 of them if you care to count, haha). See when I turned 28 I didn't have any money to do anything about it, so I took some canvas I had lying around, built myself a frame (badly, I admit—the frame twisted when I stretched the canvas over it), used whatever I had lying around (acrylic and oil pastel), and painted whatever I wished I had money to do on my birthday hahahahahahahha.

I vaguely remember not finishing this on my birthday itself (I think it took a few days? Mraow, I forget). Mom took this painting and hung it on the ceiling over our dining table, but we took it down to have it framed and because of the oil pastel, it had to be framed under glass so it became too heavy for the ceiling (and since our dining table has a glass top...). I'm glad I had it framed, though. It's a very personal painting for me. 

You know my dad actually thinks I didn't 'paint' it (he thinks I 'just drew' it)? I remember him saying 'there is no paint in that picture / that picture was not painted'. I did though, Dad, honest—I painted it first and then I put the oil pastel on top of it ^o^;

Finally, there's half of a diptych called 'Paintball' which I did in acrylic on canvas in 2010, and which I remember my mom didn't like because she said it was violent. Honest, though, Mom, they're just playing x it's only paintball and not actual guns or anything. It's nice to see different species having fun together x it was all in good fun and nobody meant anything anyway (hopefully). Both sides were evenly matched so they ended up playing all day until night fell. I don't think anybody really 'won' ^^

Anyway I'd like to say thank you to my brother (and his brother-in-law) for thinking of me x having me at this art fair—wish I could've gone again to Capitol Commons (in Ortigas) this afternoon. I saw a couple of paintings there that I liked very much when I went yesterday, and I was particularly pleased to run into an artist who used to work at the gallery I had my show at two years ago, but who's now been doing very well since taking that great leap of faith (not entirely by choice, he admits) to do art full time. I have to say I really rather envy him, and the thought had crossed my mind in the past couple of days to do the same thing. 

In any case all this 'reminiscing' can't entirely be a 'good' thing—with heartfelt thanks to God, Mama Mary, my Guardian Angel (it is their month this month after all!) and Saint Dymphna and to the support and encouragement of my Mom, my sister, Mr H, Daylin, Rhea and Christie, I'm slowly getting back on my feet and back into the game. So hopefully I'll have something new to post here soon instead of flashbacks, lol. 

And even if I don't take the plunge (yet), I'm hoping to, you know. Make up for all the lost time. I realise now that I wasn't resting (indeed, I've had no real rest at all) (well, you know what they say, 'No rest for the wicked')—I was just lazy

'All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.' You were right, Gandalf. You were right.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Tall Tale

These are Rex's photos actually, the first three, and if it wasn't for Rex I wouldn't have even been in this show ~ thank you, Rex! I guess I really oughta do Facebook; if it hadn't been for Mr H, I wouldn't even have seen these photos ^^;

I'm very glad and very grateful to be in this show, I wish I could've gone to the opening yesterday, even if it was all the way in Makiling. I'm glad they seemed to be okay with me working on Biag Ni Lam-Ang even if it isn't really a myth ~ I couldn't help it, it was just so ludicrous (so epic lol) I just had to do this story, and anyway I am half Ilocano after all so it was only fitting I guess ^^; 

I had fun working on this even if I did have to work on it nights (so what else is new) and I ended up cramming in the end. It isn't much but I am fond of it ^^; I painted it for me (selfish! tsk) so, yeah ^^; It felt like ages since I'd last worked in watercolour even though I did the tree in it, but when I did I just enjoyed it and it felt so right, somehow. 

Thank You, God ~ Thank You Dear Saint Luke, Dear Blessed Fra Angelico, Dear Mama Mary and Dear Guardian Angel. Thank you, Rex. Thank you Mr H, Daylin and Rhea for all your support and encouragement. And thank you Mom and Bassints ^^;

This year I'm going to paint for me. It sounds selfish but there you go ^^; Sorry ^_____^;

Friday, 12 January 2018

Use It or Lose It

Maybe I should start doing more of these; I figured did that one with Horton in it ^^;

I try to make at least one oil painting a year, just so I won't you know, forget I guess. Usually I end up making it on the last day of the year LOL

So the above is the one I did last year, for 2017 (although I tweaked it a little bit and I finished it on New Year's Day), and the one of Mom I did in 2016, I realise I haven't been taking pictures).

Because I knew that last year I'd be dabbling in portraiture like I did for Revellers, so I guess I wanted to get a little practise in ^^;

And the boat, well, that's something I've been meaning to do for myself for a while. Only with a lot less in it ^o^; But I reckon the salient details are there, so... yeah. I think I might start using water-soluble oil when I do oil now, I don't know ~ terribly convenient but personally it takes some getting used to ^^; Still seems to take a while to dry, though; I've never been fortunate in the drying time department ^^;

So I've decided to not do a show this year and just take it easy I guess? (I know, finally...) Although there is a group show I was very kindly invited to join and I'm taking them up on it, which might be my next post here. I'm not sure of quite a few things right now but I'm hoping to figure it all out eventually. 

What I am sure of is there are so many, many things I still want to do, I mean make, like, maybe a series of oil paintings of... but I'll keep that close to the chest for now, while it's all still... brewing ^^;

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Tree? I am no tree.

So this year I was extremely lucky they let me join the InK exhibit ~ this year's theme was 'coming of age' x becoming a young adult. So I made a tree ^^; I've made trees before, but this time I wanted to make a sapling ~ I had meant to only just make the sapling but Mom told me to put some seedlings, too. And Rhea said for me to put a background ^^; So this is what came out ^^; 

You know I rather miss doing straight up watercolours; the last time I did seemed like it was so very long ago ~ in the back of my head while I was working on this one I was still doing acrylic, meow...

Oh and I made exhibit notes for this show ^^; Here they are:


You’re reluctant to let go, but you can’t wait to see what’s on the other side. You feel unsettled, even frightened, but excited, just the same. Either way, there’s no turning back.

The transition from childhood to young adulthood is different for everyone. Some of us experience it relatively early while others are late bloomers. Some of us embrace it, and look forward to becoming a full-fledged grown up; others of us hang on to our bears and blankets for as long as possible.

Yet this is a journey everyone must go on—ready or not, here we come! And we are forced to go out in search of our older, more mature selves.

It’s uncharted territory as far as we, as ‘tweenagers’ are concerned. We’ve never looked like this, felt like this (or smelt like this) before. We haven’t been there, done that or discovered what there is in places we’d never even known about.

It’s a whole different ballgame, in a field where we, along with countless others of us at different stages in our individual journeys are expected not just to survive, but to grow and flourish. Things are different now, or at least, we begin to see things differently.

It’s this vision through the eyes of someone who’s just stepped out through a door that has yet to be closed, that we, who have hitherto primarily illustrated for children, have attempted to capture in this exhibit.

Most of us have had to look back and remember what it was to see things in this new light. Some of us, perhaps, in one way or another, still view life through that lens of renewed or continuing discovery.   

Either way, we invite you to share this vision with us, and to relive the happier highlights of your own adventures in that brave, new world.
Maybe it was the first time you started the car. The first time you tried on lipstick. Your first pair of high heels. Or that first, queasy feeling you got when she smiled at you from across the street. It was then that you knew, you weren’t one of them, anymore.

No longer with them in the park playing those games, listening to those songs, using that phrase or wearing those clothes. You don’t need permission to do this or that; come to think of it, when was the first time you stopped having to ask?

Wide-eyed and wondering, one day; wending your way to work, the next. It was somewhere in between, that momentous first, occurred.

Whenever it was, whatever they did, whoever they were with, it was then that these illustrators knew—that they grew!
^ So that last bit, there was like a mini show within the show; I think it was about the first time you ever felt all grown up. (In my case, it was the first time I voted, like in an election, like, national lol)

So thank you to my Mom ^^; Thank you to Daylin and Rhea and Mr H. Thank you to Tito Dennis for taking me to the show and thank you to InK for letting me join the show this year especially to Angela and Rex ^^;

And thank You, God. Thank you, Dear Mama Mary, Guardian Angel, Saint Luke, Blessed Fra Angelico, Saint Francis de Sales and all my friend saints. Thank you, dear Holy Souls in Purgatory. I barely managed to make the deadline ^_____^;

And I've barely managed to make up my mind about next year. I don't know; I'm still thinking ^^; Dear Holy Ghost, please help me to make the right decision ~

Sunday, 3 September 2017


Of Merrymaking and the Monsters who Make Merry

My exhibit last year was the fulfillment of an almost-forgotten dream to make a series of paintings depicting Philippine festivals. With Revellers, I wanted to take a closer look at local festivals, not just in themselves but also at some festival customs, as well as individual festivalgoers.

I wanted to focus particularly on individuals at the festivals because of the tendency to look at these events as a whole. Festivals are generally this great mass of people, many of whom dance en masse in the street in fancy costumes (or maybe they’re not costumes…), so it’s tough picking just one out of the crowd. 

A Party in Himself

If you think about it, it’s individuals coming together that make a festival happen. What kind of person shows up at a festival? Why does he go? What makes him get out of bed—early, as like as not, to get things ready, get all dolled up, and get out there and party? Maybe this person has no real reason to celebrate; a frown would suit his circumstances better than a fiesta. But he puts his gameface on, anyway, and revels with the rest of them. 

To me, that shows character, a sort of never-say-die spirit that, as Dumas puts it, chooses to “strike back at fate in retaliation for the blows they receive”, instead of “suffering and swallowing their tears at leisure”. It was this spirit that I hoped to discover beneath the feathers, sequins, and scales, and I figured that it makes more sense to celebrate this spirit with just one person in the picture instead of a whole town.

In celebrating the courage of this individual spirit, each person becomes a party in himself, and when you put all those individual parties together, you get one, big party, which is exactly what a festival is.

A “Fantasy Philippines”

I prefer using the term “person” because of the general association of the term, “human” with the Homo sapiens physiology. I’ve always maintained that it is not the body that makes someone “human”; oftentimes, it’s the people who might appear more or less human who are more human than, well, humans.

Given the possibility that someone who might have blue fur or horns or a tail is also a person, this, to my mind, makes them not just fitting subjects for portraiture, but the subjects of a fantastic, parallel Philippines. I like to think this, “dimension”, if you will, either used to exist or co-exists with the one we live in, now.

And when I say “co-exist”, I don’t mean separately but concurrently—monsters (which is the quick and easy term I prefer to use for non-humans in spite of the term's general connotation) are all around us, I think. Most of us just can’t see them, is all. Maybe someday, we’ll all be able to; maybe we could, even now, if we opened our eyes and our minds wide enough. 

Spot My “Sitters”

Here are the 12 festivals and festival customs I’ve featured in this exhibit; see if you can identify the individual festivalgoers I’ve made portraits of in each of them.
  • The Kinabayo Festival is celebrated on July 25th in Dapitan, of which Saint James the Great is patron. They re-enact the Spanish-Moorish wars where Saint James himself appeared wielding a sword and riding a white horse. 
  • The Kabayo Festival is held every February in Mandaue City. They decorate tartanillas and hold a parade and a horse race. I imagine tikbalangs in particular would thoroughly enjoy this festival, or probably have a version of their own.
  • The Salubong is an Easter custom practised in several parts of the country. I painted this one from memory, when I saw one in Angono some 20-odd years ago with my grandparents, uncle and aunt. The four great birds that flew outward from the giant “banana flower” in the centre made a distinct impression on me.
  • The Apo Duwaling festival in Davao, now the Kadayawan, was named after Mount Apo, the Durian, and the Waling-waling. Carried away by the description of the Durian as “the King of Fruit” and the Waling-waling as the “Queen of Orchids”, I ended up showing how the King went for a walk with the Queen through the rainforests of Mount Apo. 
  • The Feast of the Holy Cross of Wawa in Bocaue (which is where my beloved step-grandmother’s from) features a fluvial procession in July with a floating pagoda. I’ve featured five, pale reflections of actual pagodas, which are followed round about by swimmers and smaller boats.
  • Carrozas in procession are another custom which often features in Philippine festivals. My family and I often walk in procession behind a carroza on certain feast days; I know why we go, but I’m not sure all of the people who watch us go by, do.
  • The Flores de Mayo is a festival honouring Our Lady, and holding a Santacruzan is The Custom at that festival. The sagalas in my Santacruzan are dressed in Philippine flowers, as are the little girls who walk to church carrying flowers for the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • It is customary to play Palo-Sebo at fiestas; I hadn’t known before doing this show that the actual climbing starts off as a “group project”. It doesn’t make the climb any less riveting or impressive, though.
  • Buntings are customary for festivals pretty much everywhere, but during the Feast of Santa Rita in the town of the same name in Pampanga, they hang umbrellas above the streets, instead—forming an overhead “rainbow road” leading to the Santa Rita Parish Church. 
  • The Bailes de Luces festival of La Castellana, Negros Occidental is held in thanksgiving for the previous year’s blessings and in the hope of having another good year. This festival will be 20 years old this year.
  • The Basket Festival of Antequera in Bohol, on the other hand, is an even newer festival (although the town itself is some 140 years old). My uncle, the lifestyle editor went to cover the festival recently and brought me back a nifty basket, which I used in the painting and still use every day.
  • The Butanding Festival of Donsol features a parade where everybody (human or non-) sports spots. I figured it was a great way for land-dwelling monsters like aswangs and bangungots to  party with water-dwellers like shokoys and the tambanokano’s descendants on their home turf, as it were, for once.

- Jill Arwen Posadas
July 22nd 2017

> Just thought I'd share the original invite my sister made me, as well as my original exhibit notes, written in my own voice (if not 100% in my own words lol), explaining what this show's about and why I did what I did. 

And now I want to say thank you, all in my words, to the people without whom this show would not have been possible:

In Heaven: The Holy Trinity, Mama Mary, my Guardian Angel, Saint Luke, Blessed Fra Angelico, Saint Francis de Sales, Saint Charles Borromeo, Saint Catherine of Bologna, Saint Ephrem, Saint Joseph, Saint Maria Goretti, Saint Dominic Savio, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Lawrence, Saint Benedict, Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Aloysius, Saint Alphonsus, Saint Mary Magdalene, Saint Augustine, Saint Matthias, Saint Catherine of Sienna, Saint Cecilia, Saint John, Saint Jude, Saint Rita, Saint Philomena, Saint Claire, Saint Gabriel, Saint Raphael, The Holy Souls, Saint Matthew, Saint Cajetan

On Earth: My mom. My dad. Mr Mon del Rosario, Mr Ed Chua. My sister. My sister's friends, who sat for me: Isab, Isobel, Krishna, Liz, David, Ivan, JP and Jum (sorry, guys, did my best ^^; ). Daylin, for her unwavering support. Ella for sitting for me, too. My cousin Ands for letting me paint my fairy godchild, Allegra. Sir Vincent. Sir Hendry. Mr Jon for knowing what I was up to outside of office hours but allowing me to get up to it, anyway. Fi and Celine. Rhea. Jovan and Mariel for coming through at crunch time. Fr Saa and Fr Peter Fortin. Jones. And to Mr Mark Shellshear of Galeria de las Islas for his kindness.

Previews will be up shortly at jill-arwen-posadas.weebly.com. And I will be out shortly ~ for how long (for real, this time?), I don't know. But one thing's for sure ~ I will never run out of thanks, or things I want to paint. I just need to rest a little, maybe and do a little thinking.

Thank you, everyone. ^_^;

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

It's okay, I make lamb.

So the theme this year was... "ultimate sacrifice", I think. Let me check... so sorry, it was "Lamb of God". (Close!) I wanted to follow in the footsteps of... Rembrandt and Caravaggio and paint Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac (the Akedah ("the binding of Isaac") ~ or well not really, was just aware of the fact of this being a favourite subject of the old masters ^^ ("Will I ever be as great as the old masters?" ^____^)

Things are twice (thrice, quadruply, quintuply) as hectic as they've ever been and I've scarce a moment to catch my breath ~ am in between paint and pencils, at the moment on #...7 of 24 (*fights off despair*) so I just thought I would, catch my breath lol ~ most fortunate the gallery being near the house as it is, so I'd just time in between content plans and articles to afk, peep in, take a quick pic and get back to one of a bazillion things the bosses need this week.

I'm going to say blessed, now, instead of fortunate, to have had the support of family and friends in putting this poor half-sheepie on the altar ~ I put him there because, well, that nice man who owns the other gallery? Mr Mark? Had been telling Mom n me about how he took his little girl x how his sister had gone to see this lamb get turned into lamb chop in front of them, because we had just been talking, for some reason, about how the poor things never cry out when they become food, they just cry u_u

So I couldn't help thinking about that ever after (I don't know why, I'm just like that) and that's why we have this poor kid (lamb, rather lol) up on the sticks n rocks. Cos for me "ultimate sacrifice" is giving it all, and wanting to, and not making a big fuss over it or, something.

I don't mean to sound irreverent, so sorry, "I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not." (Got some nerve, I know!) But I am grateful, super ~ to God, and Mama Mary and my Guardian Angel and aaall my friend saints for helping me stay up and squeeze this out and in, in time ~ now I can replace last year's sheepie which was still on the front page of my folio ^^;

Thank you ever so kindly to Mr D for having me in this show and for putting sheepie II up in spite of the frame being too big (meow, sorry, super, hardly anything I could do). To Bassints for taking a nice photo (cos we all know jill can't take no photos). To Mom for bringing me to the gallery real quick (and to the framer!) and back.

And to Daylin and Ella for their unwavering support and encouragement. Truly, the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away ~ but He giveth again ~ and again, and again, often in places you're least likely to look. Thank you thank you, Sirens ^_~