Mission Statement

This blog journals my quest of art, whether it is a piece of work that is inherent in nature or one created by artists known or unknown or that I created myself. During this search, I have come to appreciate the magnificence and generosity of God who in his infinite wisdom surrounded us with exquisiteness everyday...everywhere and inspired our human spirit to create beauty that feeds our bodies and souls. Come join me on my journey to find art through my travels and my own creative endeavors. Maraming salamat.

All rights to all posts and contents on this blog, including photos and artwork are reserved by jojo sabalvaro tan.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

On Halloween

Halloween Child's Chair, Basket and Scoop
Acrylic on Wood
by jojo sabalvaro tan

I'd like to share with you my  painting of a child's chair and trick or treat wood bucket/basket and scoop for Halloween.  The air here is getting cooler and the leaves are starting to change their colors. Although I love spring with its promise of warm days ahead announced with the budding of flowering trees of pinks, yellows and lilacs in a background of verdant greens, I looks forward to the earthy scent of fall and the glorious yellows, oranges and reds that herald autumn and the coming of the 'Ber' months which for my family is a time of celebration and great joy - birthdays and the holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Here in the US, Halloween is a holiday observed on October 31. It is now one of the most commercial holidays, next to Christmas. Many folks decorate for Halloween with items such as jack-o-lanterns, witches, scarecrows and haunted houses. Often in celebration, a costume party is given where the guests dress up in various costumes and almost all homes participate in the ritual of trick-or-treating.

At the cemetery on All Saint's Day in the Philippines
In the Philippines, we celebrate All Soul's Day on November 1st. There is a practice pretty similar to trick or treating, where I remember as a child, a group of us would go door to door in a ritual called Mangaluluwa (Calling to the Souls) serenading the houses with a threat that if the homeowners do not give a treat or alms the dead will come back to haunt them or a prank is pulled on the household. This, of course, is part of honoring the dead which includes family and friends visiting our dearly departed at the cemetery on All Soul's Day. Food, flowers and candles are brought to the tomb and prayers are said for the dead. It is one of the family reunion times of the year, where relatives from all over will congregate at the cemetery where family tombs are located and pay their respects. During this cemetery vigil, songs are sang, food is consumed and scary stories are told along with memorable tales about the dead family members. November 1st is a big family holiday in the Philippines and feels more like a party at the cemetery than a solemn religious ceremony.

Detail of Chair

I painted the chair, basket and scoop  in a decorative painting class. The surface used was wood. I used acrylic paints. Acrylics are ideal for decorative painting since they dry fast. For a while there, I was really into decorative painting and it marks one of my most prolific times when it comes to arts and crafts, only to be superseded now by my watercolor paintings. You can see the obvious influence of the decorative painting techniques and the use of acrylics in my watercolors as my work tend to be more opaque or semi-transparent than the transparent quality seen in most watercolor paintings. I still do decorative art but not as much as I used to but I will for sure feature some of my previous, current and future deco art projects on this blog.

Front Detail of Wood Basket

These pieces were done under the tutelage of a talented decorative artist Sue Gualillo and is based on the design of master decorative artist and author, Helan Barrick, one of my favorite decorative artists. I like her scenes with children and the nostalgic quality she imbues. The chair pattern, entitled Spooky Nights,  is from her book, Angel Twigs. I think the bucket and scoop are designed by Helan Barrick also. For more info on Helan Barrick and her patterns, please visit www.helanbarrick.com

Normally, for a class project, we are given the wood surface which we would finish by smoothing with sand paper and applying wood sealer so that the acrylic will adhere to the wood surface without getting absorbed. Then, the pattern is traced and then a base coat is applied accordingly. Often, the instructions include exactly what color to use. At the time, my acrylic colors of choice was Ceramcoat by Delta which are available in 2 fluid oz. bottles in a myriad of shades and hues which precludes a lot of mixing. After the base coat dries, highlighting and shading is done to give the painting dimension. After that, detailing is added usually with a liner brush. In every stage, the paint is left to dry first. After the painting is completed, the whole piece is varnished, sometimes antiquing medium is added to give it depth and a vintage feel.

As you can see, decorative painting is more like paint by numbers than the actual creative process required with 'true' fine art such as oil and watercolor painting. It is an easy and satisfying craft to learn and in the end, I believe it rises up to the level of fine art especially once you start making your own designs,

Happy Halloween, Folks!!

Back Detail of Basket

1 comment:

  1. Jojo, you are truly "Amazing" so much talent.
    Please continue sharing.