Saturday, 24 July 2021

Black Carousel Horse


Today I kicked off my first email giveaway ^__^ High time, really, seeing as I should've done it about half a year ago ~ but this post isn't so much about the top horsey (which is destined for someone kind enough to want it enough to join my giveaway) but the horsey in the middle.

See, I had a class back at art school and for that class, I got over to a place called Fiesta Carnival, a sort of uh, carnival under a roof near where my dad used to live when he was little ~ it doesn't exist anymore / I'm pretty sure they built a mall or whatever on top of it by now, but anyway it had been there for like a while, I think, when I got over there to take photos for that class. The photo this horsey was based on was one of those, and I remember going there to shoot when the place was closed, during the day (a school day, even) so there weren't any people ~ but I think I might've liked to have gone during its hey-day at night.

Anyway so this oil on canvas was painted for that class, and I remember the professor (God rest him) took one look at it and told me my work was shallow ^___^ (But I guess he made enough of an impact on me for me to mention him twice in my writings ~ now that I think of it I remember mentioning him when I wrote about how I ran into him some time after graduation and he told me he wasn't surprised I had a job (i.e. because I wouldn't make it as an artist)

Anyway, fast forward 20 years later to the horsey I made for my email giveaway ~ I don't know why but I had the Fiesta Carnival carousel horsey in the back of my mind when I made my watercolour. Sentiment, I suppose; in any case, it isn't actually called 'Black Carousel Horse'; in my files it's called 'Untitled (Black Carousel Horse)' (and uh, 'giveaway horse' ^___^) ~ nor should it be, in truth because it actually isn't black at all (at least, the one in the top photo, anyway; I think I did use black-black (Mars) for the one in the middle).

If you look real closely (or well, if you somehow manage to see the original), it's a mix of ultramarine, carmine, viridian and lemon yellow. You can see the mix somewhat on my palette in the bottom, WIP photo. I still have a thing about using black-black, because of that thing they told me when I was 12 in that art gallery I was taking lessons at. I remember referring to it as a black carousel horse on the giveaway landing page, though ^___^; 

And speaking of landers, if you happen to see this before 7th August, you might want to, you know. See if my new horsey might find a new home with you ^___^ > Join my email giveaway

Sunday, 27 June 2021

On A Sunday Afternoon


I'm pretty sure I've quoted that scene in that anime movie before ~ you know, the one about the 13-year-old witch? About how flying used to be fun until she started doing it for a living (at least, that's how it was dubbed). 

That's not to say I don't enjoy painting. I do; I feel more alive when I *art*; even high sometimes. But I think (I hope) you know what I mean.

I did these on Sundays when I just wanted to chill out ~ just *play* with the paint. Or well, I did for the "draw this in your own style" thingies I did (that's the plants and the pilandok), anyway. But I also *only* really painted my fairiest of fairy goddaughters to amuse myself, primarily ~ I still want to make like a full scale something based on that someday.

I'm also pretty sure I've written (about) this before ~ about how I want to go back to, you know. A more fun, a more pure, more spontaneous way of *arting* for me. Where it's just *fun* again, you know? No pressure or whatever. Not caring, letting go of OC me. I want to find that part of myself again, I mean, I know it's still in there, somewhere. I hope. I lost it along the way, towards... whatever it is I am now. 

I just want to go back. I want to really, enjoy it, again ~ I mean, you know what I mean, I hope. 

Like not *doing it for a living*. And I have this theory that the work will come out better ~ because isn't that what it's all about? To keep getting better at it? (You see what I mean, about it being fun again lol) 

But you know what I mean, I hope. Because art is really, a happy thing. Or at least it should be? For me, anyway. And it is. For me. Really. Otherwise, I wouldn't be doing it. It's just... you know what I mean! Rekindling that you know what. 

I'm so ready to do that re-igniting, so ready to be happy ~ oh, so ready...

Thursday, 6 May 2021



I can't think of a single show I've had where I didn't wish I had more time or circumstances were ideal or more conducive to making things or that things were different. This show was no exception. In any case before this becomes a vent-fest I guess I'll just share my exhibit notes for this series, here:

‘O Tiger-lily,’ said Alice, addressing herself to one that was waving gracefully about in the wind, ‘I wish you could talk!’

‘We can talk,’ said the Tiger-lily: ‘when there’s anybody worth talking to.’

Alice was so astonished that she could not speak for a minute: it quite seemed to take her breath away. At length, as the Tiger-lily only went on waving about, she spoke again, in a timid voice—almost in a whisper. ‘And can all the flowers talk?’

‘As well as you can,’ said the Tiger-lily. ‘And a great deal louder.’

- Through the Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll

It’s safe and warm inside a hothouse.

Everything cold, parasitical and destructive is kept out, and conditions are ideal for blooming and growing. 

Who gets to be in the hothouse?

Is it just the rare and exotic? The strange and unusual? The strikingly, outstandingly beautiful? 

What about the everyday, garden-variety species? The “weeds”?

By-the-wayside can be beautiful, too, and worth preserving.

Life in a hothouse can be pretty laid back. 

Everything you need is provided for and all you have to do is grow and look your best. And be yourself. 

You have a place here because of who and what you are. 

It’s not a bad way to live, if you’re a homebody and have no interest in what goes on outside of the hothouse walls.

But if you’re the type whose seeds need to travel on the wind, this may not be the environment for you, however much you’re welcome to stay and are, in fact, highly encouraged to, these days.

Maybe you’re better off getting to know your fellow “inmates” and hoping that sooner, rather than later, more of you join you in this safe haven—until the day everybody has a place here where they can feel wanted, and protected. 


If you have a few minutes to spare, an aptitude for first person shooters or a penchant for talking to plants, may I invite you to visit the Hothouse.

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Closing Time

"You don't have to go home but you can't, stay, here~"

How do you leave some of the biggest supporters your practice has ever known? With difficulty. How do you make something as a small thank you for all all all their support? With (bittersweet) pleasure.

The dancing, cello and violin-playing bears I made because I was asked to. The horseys in the forests and fields, I made because I wanted to give my "one fan"-slash-the only person who EVER read anything I wrote, something that was *me* to say I really, truly appreciated it <3

It wasn't the eye-straining smallness of the details in the kumablobs (which were even smaller, I think than the llamablobs) that made the Musical Bears so difficult, or getting my ancient stamp pad to work for the reverse sides of the postcards, a pain. It was how it (like the Mellencamp song went) "hurt so good".

I really, truly wish that things were different and that I might've been able to hang on for just a liiiittle bit longer. It didn't make sense for me to leave people who've supported my art like no one else in my writing career ever had before. But as I was repeatedly told, it was never about friendship; it was just business ~ I owed nothing to anyone, and that anyone who stayed out of guilt or a sense of obligation wasn't welcome to stay.

Well, like the song goes, "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end". It's a year of new beginnings for me, not the least of which is how I'm starting a new chapter in my art career. I'm scared, yes, and still feeling my way around, but I'm also super looking forward to stuff with fresh hope that somehow, things are going to get better for me ~ and for those I've left behind ~ from here on out.

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Llamas and Chulapas

Yes, I did another border this year, but only after I did that small watercolour above it ^_^

Someone asked me to paint some llamas for their small nieces for Christmas this year ~ the someone was going to send the painting along with a personal letter for which I made one of those borders I seem to keep making, lately. Only this time, the border wasn't one of my usual "I didn't try so hard" and "I just wanted to have fun with it" ~ I put in the same level of effort I would've for any book illustration, which is to say, painting proper (although I'm told MoMA says anything on paper counts as a drawing even if you did paint it ^^;) ~

And I'm glad I did ~ I had SO MUCH FUN working on those llamas ~ and learned a lot about them, too: How many different kinds there are and how they're pretty much the equivalent of carabaos back here in the countries they come from, and how, like our beloved "Asian water buffalo", they also dress them up when it's time for a parade (although obviously, they don't paint the llamas like we do the carabaos back here o_o).

I have to say that in spite of its small size (the entire piece was about as big as A4 paper, when you know I'm used to having my blobs swim about on much bigger surface areas than that ~ and with my eyesight getting worse in my old age and the additional space I have at the new jillahouse, those surfaces are probably just going to get bigger ^___^) >> I did so much enjoy painting the llamablobs ~ I think they were the first I've done in a while (since I sort of switched to potatoes) and they did make me happy. Like eating your favourite candy again that you hadn't had in absolute donkeys because you don't seem to see the store that sells it, around, anymore. Makes me want to paint more blobs (or potatoes, at least, although they're not the same-same for... you know. *Freedom* and *spontaneity* ^^) again in the near future amongst the bazillions of other things I have perpetually lined up but can't seem to get around to actually painting.

But I did learn a thing or two about chulapos and chulapas ~ naturally (given my country was a Spanish colony and Catholic for hundreds of years) it wasn't *entirely* new or strange to me but sort of a "reverse remix" of what already goes down down here, especially for San Isidro Labrador (although "forgive me, but we all have patriotic feelings of some kind", I think we remixed it, um, *better* ^_____^ #pahiyas #higantes). But it was fascinating all the same, in a sort of "discovering your colonial roots" kind of way.

And as every commission, every art project, every painting is a learning experience, I did also learn or consider a few things about shipping overseas (especially during the "current situation") and how relationship-building is key when it comes to digital marketing (I do do what I do for a living, after all). 

So it was my sheer pleasure to work on this project for someone whom it was my privilege, indeed to render my humble services as an artist. I think the LnC's will go down in jillahistory as one of my fondest art memories, ever and I am so very glad that these jillablobs were able to find a good good home <3

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Borderline Crazy


I've shared videos of myself with a few friends, but never publicly like this ^^; Seeing as I'm probably the only person who ever checks this blog of mine out ^o^ I figured this was an okay way to get my feet wet in the *whole video thing* ^O^**

I'm glad I got to join the video group at art class; I'm glad I joined the art class. It's the first time in a long time I've gotten to talk to other artists, even if it is online (well, pretty much everything is these days, now more than ever n'est-ce pas), and the first time I've gotten to talk to other people who are (if I may make so bold to say so) doing the same things I am. It's great, it's a great experience, a great learning experience for me. 

These days I don't talk to anybody, really, apart from a few people at home and a few of my co-workers at work. Or well, I talk to my toys? But they probably don't count ^o^; And to my (I am too bold) Friends, but I'm too full of myself to hear anything They might be saying back ^^; 

I'm very glad I'm getting to experience and to learn from all this interaction ~ and believe me, I am learning a lot. I think, I might be sad a little when the group and the class are over ~ like for a little while, I could make believe I had friends (I mean, the human kind x not plushies) ^o^; 

But more importantly I hope I get to apply everything I'm learning, sooner rather than later. And maybe if and when I do I'll have more to post over on the jillasite and more to post here ^____^ /

Erratum: Oh, it's occurred to me that I have shared a video of myself publicly before ~ I made a video for a friend some years ago explaining my palette knife painting process. Then it turned out I needed just such a video for an artist's talk attached to the show I was painting for in that same video. So they showed it at the talk, and I was mortified because I was painting in my pyjamas ^O^; Later I submitted that video to a committee figuring out whether I was okay enough to teach art for them ~ luckily my jammies didn't put them off ^o^; But meow to post a video like this? Jamais ^O^***

Friday, 29 May 2020

Keep Working

The latest post I read by Steven Pressfield said you should Keep Working because even if what you make doesn't make it to whatever it's supposed to make it to, it makes you what you are. >> Wow, okay that's vague, lol.

In my case, to reword what the gentleman said, I should keep painting (and drawing) because even if what I make doesn't make it to a show or get sold or whatever, it's what makes me an artist. 

So here are a couple of things I've worked on recently that didn't make it ^o^;

The first is an ink drawing that I sent to a museum that (if I remember it right) was asking for things to post on their Instagram account ~ I picked one of their three themes and (if I remember it right, again) drew a kid seeing the Spoliarium for the first time. I was thinking about how the humongous painting would look a gazillion times larger to a small kid, and how big of an impression it would make on her ~ the kind that stays with you even after you grow up, and it's things like that that make museums so important (cos if you really think about it, museums are for kids ~ to save things for them for when they grow up, so they can pass em on to their kids someday). 

Anyway the museum didn't take it ^o^; But I'm glad I did it because it allowed me to play around a little more with the pens I'd already been playing around with at the time. 

And then there's the painting I made for what I was told would be the last ever Kristo. If you scroll through this jillablog (not the jillablog) you'll see I've been privileged to be able to participate in a few Kristo shows ~ not every piece I made for them was a magnum opus; as someone who paints monsters you'll understand how it was something of a challenge for me to make something that was on theme but still true to me, you know what I mean?

I was awed by having been asked, and saddened to hear that this would be the last show in what I regard as a very important series at a time when more and more people are turning away from God. I really super wanted to make something *nice* ~ and I'm afraid this was the best I could come up with at the time. I really, truly struggled with this (and I bet it shows) ~ the theme was "It is finished"; where I go to church they say it in Latin as "Consummatum est" (It is consummated) so that's what I ended up calling it. 

It's meant to be a group of angels telling the story of the Passion to a small kid, and I was thinking of making the kid look super bored cos kids these days, they don't really appreciate, as much... I mean, as the generations pass, you know? (And in my old age I flatter myself thinking I belong to those recent generations of less appreciative x ungrateful kids.) ~ But in the end I couldn't bring myself to do it. 

The sad thing is it was only when I was nearly done with it that I thought of something else I could've done for this show (and it was something I really, really, really wanted to do for the longest time, too) ~ but oh well, this was more in keeping with the theme, I felt, anyway. And I'd already completed this piece late ~ good thing they kept moving the deadline because of "the current situation", because of which, last I heard, chances are they may never hold this show at all, anymore, at least, not until the tail end of this year, by which time all the other things they had lined up will have accumulated and such... 

Be that as it may I did what I could with it and I like to think I did my best, although deep down I know I could've done better. And now for sure I'll never get another Kristo to try again.

But again, I'm glad I did it because well, it's like Annlaw Clay-Shaper told Taran Wanderer~ the more you draw out the more remains, you know? And I'm grateful to God for giving me all these opportunities to *draw out* and *keep working* ^_^*