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, December 24, 2011

2011 Christmas Card

Blue Virgin of Chartres  2010
22 3/4" x 6 1/4"
Paper Mosaic on Artboard
by jojo sabalvaro tan

This is the image that was chosen by close family and friends for our 2011 Christmas card. This is the first year I am not using one of my Madonna and Child paintings. Instead, I am using the paper mosaic I made inspired by the stained glass windows I saw at Chartres Cathedral in France. I featured this piece in an earlier post, Paper Mosaic. I did do several watercolors for this year's Christmas Card (featured in earlier posts as well).
The three final contenders are as follows. Which one is your favorite?

Illuminated manuscript - Nativity 2011
9" x 12"
Watercolor on watercolor paper
by jojo sabalvaro tan

Madonna and Child 2011
9" x 12"
Watercolor on watercolor paper
by jojo sabalvaro tan

Nativity 2011
11" x 11"
Watercolor on watercolor paper
by jojo sabalvaro tan

This year I printed my own cards. It was difficult to find the appropriate sized card stock because the image is long and narrow. I found some Wilton tri-fold program card stock in the wedding aisle of a party store. It was the perfect size except I had to cut-off one of the folds. The card had a border in front that framed my image perfectly. I think this turned out the nicest card I made so far, but I do think that every year. I can't wait to get started on next year's card.

The finished 2011 Christmas Card Front

The finished 2011 Christmas Card Inside
Sentiment: "Peace, Love, Joy"

Merry Christmas and a Great 2012 to all of you.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mother and Child Mixed Media Sculpture

Mother and Child Mixed Media Sculpture 2011
20" tall
Fabric, clay, wire, beads, buttons
by jojo sabalvaro tan

I made this Mother and Child Mixed Media Sculpture as another prototype for my ETSY shop. It really is a combination of doll making and sculpture. I had fun with creating this since I just started out with the vaguest of ideas and just figured out what to do along the way. It was a real creative process and at the same time my poor studio was turned over as I was looking for materials in my stash that would inspire me and that I could use. By the time I was done, the studio was a royal mess. Yikes.

I decided that I would make the body out of fabric stuffed with batting. To give it structure, I took a wire hanger and bent it into a general body shape that appealed to me. I wrapped the wire in batting to cover up any sharp points and then made a pattern for the body and cut the front and back out of cream colored material. I sewed the 2 sides together and turned it out and then inserted the wire frame. I then stuffed the body firmly with batting. The same process applied to the baby. 

I could not decide what to do with the faces, I wanted something different. So I decided to sculpt sort of a mask from FIMO modeling material. After I was satisfied with the faces, I baked the face mask in the oven at 265 degrees F for 30 minutes. The face masks were attached to the fabric using strong heavy duty glue and reinforced by stitching through the holes I made on the mask before baking.
i debated with myself whether to paint the face masks and decided not to for a hopefully, more avant garde look.

For the clothes, I used woven silk in stripes, checks and solids. It lent a very elegant ethnic feel to the piece. The mother has a headdress of the woven silk as well. I added hand strung beaded necklaces and earrings as accessories and a toggle button and beads to the outfit.

The sculpture stands about 20" tall. I love how this piece  turned out especially because it is a sculpture of my favorite subject to paint, the Madonna and Child, I am truly amazed I did this. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Another Christmas Card Image Candidate

Madonna and Child 2011
9" x 12"
Watercolor  on Arches 140# watercolor paper
by jojo sabalvaro tan
This is the latest Madonna and Child I painted as one of the pieces to choose from for this year's Christmas card. At first, I began painting it in the more traditional style shown unfinished below. Again, you will find where he Renaissance period inspired me with  this painting. When I showed it to my niece, she thought it was too predictable and not very colorful to her taste.

I originally painted this Madonna and Child painting in  with a more Renaissance look
Here are the two paintings side by side when I was trying to decide which one to finish,  I went with the colorful one
So I started another painting with making it more colorful in mind.  As I thought about my approach, I decided that I would draw inspiration from my mentor Helena Nelson-Reed, featured in the Firebird blogpost. I applied her technique of freely throwing color on the paper and going with the flow as far as the designs that will emanate. Here is how the new painting turned out.

Detail of Baby Jesus.

I have not finished the original Renaissance-type Madonna and Child, I will try to, as I still like the traditional look. Which one do you prefer?

If you look closely at this painting, I camouflaged Jesus at the cross within the painting. It is a reminder that the birth of Jesus, who would eventually die on the cross for our redemption, is a gift of Divine love,   “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Madonna and Child 2010
Watercolor on watercolor paper 8" x 10"
by jojo sabalvaro tan
Here is another Madonna and Child watercolor I did using the Helena Nelson-Reed's technique. This one is more contrived and less free flowing. The inspiration is also from the Japanese wood block (moku hanga) prints which I love. I used Japanese motifs such as the crane. Moku hanga is known for depicting uyiko-e, capturing the 'floating world' and uses water base inks which resulted in beautiful vibrant colors and glazes and exceptional transparency. Some of the most favorite and well known Japanese wood block artists are Hokusai, Utamaro and Hiroshige. For an example of a work of these artists, please click on each name. When we were in Osaka, a few years ago, it was hard for me to imagine this floating world depicted by these artists while surrounded by modern skyscrapers, expressways, traffic and all other trappings of today's busy world. But then a Japanese woman simply arranges some flowers, a chef prepares a beautiful plate of sushi and a man dutifully sweeps the pavement and you start to realize that this floating world existed and still exists. My fervent wish is that uyiko-e art lives on in all things Japanese.