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.

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.