Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Potatoes in Disguise

I still can't really believe I joined this show (because I had already resigned myself to working on Aviary and really truly believed I had time for nothing else) ~ but I'm glad I did cos at least if people had gone over to this show instead of my show then they still woulda seen a little something from me ^^; Like everything else I've made this year, these Potatobots took a lot longer than I thought they would, but I'm glad I made them just the same I guess cos I guess they were like a little break from all the knifework that needed doin' ^^;

So basically people 'dug deep' for this show, and what I came up with when I did, for some reason was this little 'baby closet' that used to stand behind my bedroom door when I was about, oh, 11 or so. I don't ever remember having or using it as a baby, but I assume it was used about that time for me or the brother that came after me. When I say 'baby' closet, I mean it must've been meant for like a nursery x baby clothes ~ it was more like a small (as in I'm taller), freestanding (not attached to the wall) wardrobe ~ I'd say 'bureau' except it had a little door that swung open like a regular closet's would. 

On that little door was the painting of this long-haired dog with droopy ears, painted in that hokey, dated, meant-for-children style (not my brand of cute but I assume it was meant to be). The dog had a red string (it was way too skinny for a ribbon) tied around its neck and it was standing in a little patch of grass with a blue, striped ball (it had stripes same as a beach ball's) at its feet.

Speaking of string, the closet had these wooden balls (about a little bigger than a golf ball but definitely small than a tennis ball) for handles, but the handle on that closet door with the dog on it had long since fallen off, so we kept that door closed with a length of yarn or by wedging in a folded up piece of newspaper. I remember the lining of the closet was like shiny, and yellow (as in with age). The ball handles were painted in pastels; the closet itself was white.

But it was what was on top of that closet (it being a good head or so shorter than me) that I was particularly fond of ~ my armies of TransFormers killing each other in front of the back of the box of my die-cast Optimus Prime ~ the one Santa gave me for Christmas ^^ Cos there was a picture of a legit TransFormers battle taking place in the outer atmosphere of earth that I felt made a nice backdrop ^^

I'm pretty sure 99% of those bots weren't even mine but *acquired* from my brothers ~ but the Prime was mine and remains to this day one of my most prized possessions (as in they have to put that in the casket with me when I get buried (if my church allows that (they probably don't but you get the idea) (and if anybody cares enough to bury me when I'm dead). I still have the box and the whole shebang;  I have this idea Imma sell it when I'm starving and completely destitute (I'd rather starve to death ^______^).

Anyway so that's what this piece was based on and, like everything else I've ever made, I wish I could've taken my own sweet time over it and really, like, savoured the making of it. Not that I didn't (savour it, I mean) ~ and from here on out, I think I'm going to do my best to, you know. Stop being a painting factory and *savour* what I'm doing instead of *stuffing my face like it was a hotdog speed eating competition*. Less speed and more savouring ~ and hopefully better quality. I hope. I'm in the middle of um, thinking things through as I write this, and, I'm still figuring things out. But I think that's more or less what I'm going for. 

Until then, Potatobots, roll out ^^

Wednesday, 30 October 2019


This might very well be my last show for a long, long time. Or well maybe not "long, long", but quite a while.

You know how you learn something with every show you have? Exhibiting is like experience points in video games ~ you accumulate enough and level up, become stronger, get better weapons, kill bigger bosses. 

Well, this time around I think the bigger bosses blunted my sword and used up my MP, and 10 trips to the Enertron isn't going to fix it. 

This show has made me realise my limits. Or well maybe it's not so much the show as my old age ^o^ But doing this show was a lot like rushing headlong into a deep, dark tunnel, and it took so very long for me to get out, but I had a time limit to get out, and I had (still have) no idea what's waiting for me at the end, and I wanted to plan ahead (you know me, Little Miss Plan B) for when I got out? But I had to focus on getting out first.

In any case I did get out, or at least, I've made it to the mouth of the tunnel ~ I can feel the air coming in from the other end. And whatever happens I at least know that for what it's worth I was able to finish all the canvases. Iono about quality though, having made the quantity (I just hope it's enough; everyone knows maths was never my best class at school) ~ but I like to think I did the best I could under the circumstances. 

I really always did want to have an Aviary show ~ I've always loved birds and winged, things. I mean who doesn't like flying, right? (Or this might be an "everyone likes ice cream" generalisation.) And I'm just grateful to have been given this opportunity. I keep hearing Robert Alda Gershwin's old piano teacher saying "Is that the best you can do?" Is the work the best you can make it? Well I tried, Professor Franck, I tried. 

Every time I have a show I always wish I had more time ~ to sleep as well as to paint, I always wish circumstances were different, or "ideal". I'm not sure myself now what "ideal" is, but I do see now that the "painting factory" can't remain open. Or at least, I need to change the operating hours. I can't live my Batman life, anymore. Bane has broken my back.

But broken or not, like I said, I made it, and here are my birds ~ my poor caged Avians (or well quite a number of them aren't actually IN cages come to think of it), the "children of my captivity" as Faria put it, the progeny of my palette knives. In keeping with tradition, you'll find previews on the jillasite. And in keeping with tradition I'd like to thank all the people who made this year's monster production possible.

Il Santo Jude (patron saint of lost causes ~ and policemen) (Everybody needs a friend ^^), Saint Rita, Saint Philomena, Saint Claire, Saint Matthew, Saint Joseph, Dear Mama Mary, Saint Expeditus, my Guardian Angel, Saint Michael the Archangel and Saint Dymphna for making sure I didn't do anything stupid during all those times I got lower than I ever remember getting before. 

To Saint Luke, Blessed Fra Angelico, Saint Francis de Sales, Saint Charles Borromeo, Saint Catherine of Bologna, Saint Ephrem and Saint Maria Goretti. 

On earth, to my Mom for lugging that four-foot framed under glass painting around Serendra and for making sure I ate. To my sister. To my brother Q (not Bond's). To my dad for driving me to that other gallery and taking us to that Japanese restaurant where the chef was tickled pink when you told him "Oishikatta". To the folks at Vetro for giving me this break, and to everyone at NEO360 for their boundless support and infinite patience ~ especially Mr J, Mr H, Daylin, Rhea, Brenda, Marrya and Christie. And to Camille and Marielly. To Vincent Seah for believing in me. And to Father Fortin over at Our Lady of Victories. 

Sometimes, you just gotta count your blessings and look at the bright side. You just gotta look at the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes, you just gotta look past the bars.

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 ~