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* ^_^*

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Three Morses

It's so nice to be inky-fingers, again!

I finally got to use my new pens (or well one of them, technically) and nibs and this new bottle of ink I got for Christmas (or well I got to practise with it, anyway) over the past couple of days. When someone at art class shared this online exhibit they were having at a Museum in the States, and that exhibit was printing submissions in black and white, the opportunity presented itself.

The theme was 'art in isolation' (owing to current events) and it said your work had to show how you were dealing (or not dealing) with what's going on. So these are actually self portraits ^o^ And I used one nib per work ~ I just don't have the patience to switch nibs (or ink, meow ~ I semi planned to?) while I was working. In any case I enjoyed myself immensely making these, even if I did re-do the second one ^^; 

I just love the immediacy of making ink drawings (versus the time and the prep involved in painting) ~ no pencils, no worries, just inky fingers, you know? And the 'scritch-scritch' of the nibs on the paper (or maybe it shouldn't be 'scritching', lol). I'm pretty much self-taught when it comes to ink drawing, although I do remember we had to use dip pens at art school for a plate or two (I'm pretty sure we didn't have like a whole class for it, specially). Drawing with a dip pen was something I'd always wanted to do, and then I did it, and then I knew I always wanted to do it again.

So here I have ~and even if that museum doesn't take my work, I'm very glad I made these (and that I was finally able to make friends with that square tip nib ^^). I hope that someday I can have another ink show, and that I'll get better at it. I mean I know, I know, and, I know, but there's no harm in hoping ^^;

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Four Tiny Horses

I honestly don't know why I have this idee fixe on horseys. I don't ride, I certainly don't own one, I don't watch races (except to get a kick out of what they name them) or show jumping or whatever. But I can't stop drawing and painting them, even if I no longer have any real occasion to doodle them in the backs of my notebooks during class. They're not even anatomically correct, and have snouts more like... hounds, I suppose (lol). 

But I love them just the same (especially when they have single horns), and even in the middle of working on a (regrettably blank as yet) canvas due in a few weeks which I know will pass all too quickly, I went and whipped up these four tiny horses as tiny thank you presents for four of my Instagram fans (it was the least I could do, and anyway, working on these was my absolute pleasure). Making them made me very, very happy, and I was loathe to part with them when the time came. 

But seeing the new owner of the purple horsey hold it and say 'Thank you, Tita Jill, I named him Starlight' was worth it. And anyway, I can always make more. Maybe someday I'll even have a show with just these horseys (just what I need, another horse show ^o^) and maybe a bucketload (and shedful) of taka's, too. I just don't know what it is. Painting them makes me happy. It's a very soothing, chillaxing thing to do. I just can't help it. Maybe that's what I should've done during my recent attempts to decompress and take time off to just 'lick my wounds'. Paint these little horseys.

Maybe I will. Who knows. We'll see. Who knows what the future might bring. But I think there'll probably be more tiny horses on the way ^_^

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 ^^

Update: We've got some small renovation in the works at the moment and we tore down the section of the house where this small 'baby closet's' been all this time ~ turns out, it was my Mom's when she was a baby! So that's why I've always remembered the paper in it being yellow. Shame it's gone now, which makes me doubly glad I made these Potatobots.