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.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Farmer's Market Here I Come

My bike Wihelmina with her wicker basket and new patchwork liner.

I wanted a basket for my new bike, Wilhelmina, to give it more of the Dutch bike-look. I am slowly accessorizing my bike and purchased a bell and some lights.  I also made it a handlebar bag/wristlet and a double pannier (featured in my earlier post Renew, Recycle and Reuse although I still have to get a rear rack. I can't wait to bike to our local farmers market and  stash the fresh fruits and vegetables I bought in my basket.  I purchased a wicker basket but it looked too plain so I decided to make it a basket liner. I made it from a patchwork of 4" x 4" square of scrap fabric from a quilt I made years ago. The squares were sewed together to make a panel each for the back, front and bottom of the basket. I made a paper pattern using the basket and cut out the panels with an 1/2" seam allowance and then sewed the pieces together. To be honest, I had to do some tweaking to get a better fit since my paper pattern was not as precise as it should be, I folded the top  of the liner so that it is even with the top of the basket and planned to attach it with E6000 glue which I found works really well and seems to hold everything in its place but I am beginning to detest the odor (or fumes) which takes days to dissipate. And now I read that it could cause cancer (although,  they do say that about just about everything nowadays). So, I sewed the liner on instead. I also made a coordinating fabric flower as a trim.

The fabric floral trim accented by a button

Now Wilhelmina and I are ready for our village farmer's market with a cute basket to put my fresh, organic finds.

During our travels abroad, I am always fascinated when we come across a farmer's market and would often want to peruse the offerings at the different areas of countries we are in. Most of the time, we are unable to buy anything since we are traveling but we are happily able to sample some of the goods. I love all the colors at the market with all the produce at their peak. You get a lot of local flavor and learn about local culture at farmers markets especially when they coincide with local feasts or fiestas. Most markets will features some type of entertainment such as  musicians or street performers.

A stall at a farmers market in Paris

A farmer's market consists of booths, stalls, stands or tables of individual vendors, mostly farmers, selling local produce, fruits, prepared food, flowers, clothing, household goods  and  even some local crafts. Set up in town squares or a designated covered marketplace, they used to be the norm before the advent of grocery stores and supermarkets.

More scenes from a Parisian Farmer's market

The farmers market in our village.

In the US, farmers markets started cropping up and are becoming more popular due to the increased interest in organic foods. In our little village, the weekly scheduled Friday market  get around 500 visitors. It is typically open starting late Spring to early Fall.

Wilhelmina and I can't wait for the farmers market to open. But first, we have to take a few more rounds around the block so I can improve my cycling skills and confidence.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mona Lisa, You Never Looked so Cool

Groovy Mona Lisa, 2012
by jojo sabalvaro tan
15" x 22"
Watercolor on watercolor paper
My most recent painting, I entitled "Groovy Mona Lisa" is based on Leonardo Da Vinci's painting entitled Mona Lisa or La Gioconda which is also one of the most popular works at the Louvre Museum in Paris. I have seen this painting in person several times. The earliest was before it was displayed behind a  protective shield of bullet proof glass. My favorite time to visit the Mona Lisa is just before the museum closes when the throngs of viewers have trickled to almost none. The gallery is quiet and I can actually commune with her up close and personal.
MONA LISA,  circa 1503 - 1510
by Leonardo da Vinci
30" x 21"

Painting in progress
As a mostly self-taught artist, I tend to go to the masters for inspiration, I would try to recreate their paintings in order to discern and learn their techniques. Most of the time, I don't stray too much from how I perceive the painting was executed. Of course, the materials we use today are so different from what was available back then and being a relative amateur, my finished product will never reach their level. I do find that as I keep trying to paint these works, my technique and understanding of the painting process improves. This practice of imitating other artist has gone on for centuries. I am pretty sure that every artist have been inspired by artist that have gone before them. I do not sell any of these work, so I do not believe there are any problems with copyright. Besides these works and artists are so old that they might not be covered by copyright laws anyway.

With Groovy Mona Lisa, I took a different approach to painting this familiar painting trying to make it a discernible adaptation rather than an imitation. It is an experiment and I like the direction it took. Vincent Van Gogh was among the first to break away from the traditional style of painting paving the way to modern art. I feel I had a 'Van Gogh' moment with this painting.
Detail of face

"Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa? 
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart? 
Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there and they die there
Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa? 
Or just a cold and lonely lovely work of art? "

Press on link to listen to Mona Lisa  as sang by Nat King Cole
 Written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingstone

Thursday, April 5, 2012

If Picasso Can Have a Blue Period, So Can I

The Blue Christ, 2012
by jojo sabalvaro tan

For my Easter painting this year, I decided to depict Jesus Christ on the Cross in monochromatic values of blue in the manner of Spanish artist Picasso during his blue period. The paintings produced by Picasso during this period became among his most popular and expensive. Here are links if you'd like to learn more about Picasso's Blue Period.
Back to my painting :
My inspiration for the painting is from  a passage from the Holy Bible

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21).

This painting was derived from an altarpiece painted by Italian renaissance artist Raphael known as The Mond Crucifixion (or Crocifissione Gavari; both names are after former owners) .

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

An early work influenced by Perugino, it was originally an altarpiece in the church of San Domenico in Città di Castello, near Raphael's hometown of Urbino. The painting shows Jesus on the cross, who is looking peaceful even though he is dying. There are two angels catching his blood in chalices. On Jesus' left kneels Mary Magdalene, with John the Evangelist standing behind her. On his right Mary (mother of Jesus) stands, and St. Jerome, to whom the altar was dedicated, is kneeling. At the foot of the cross is the inscription RAPHAEL/ VRBIN / AS /.P.[INXIT] ("Raphael of Urbino painted this") in silver letters.
The painting was bequeathed to the National Gallery in London by Ludwig Mond.
I liked this painting a lot that I painted my humble reproduction of the Mond Crucifixion, shown here.

Jojo's La Mond Crucifixion
by jojo sabalvaro tan
watercolor on watercolor board

The Easter painting is a very different take. I started with sketching and then tracing on 140# watercolor paper.

The Sketch

 I gave the paper a light wash of Prussian Blue. This will be the dominant color I will be using for the painting. I had thought to use some browns to warm it up, but I think I will stick strictly to the monochromatic theme with some highlights of metallic gold to add interest.

Adding Values

I used the Prussian blue in different values, by adding more water for lighter values or less water for deeper values. I painted the dark values first to get the general feel of the painting. I am not sure if that is the right way to start or not but it seemed to work.

Painting in progress

As always, I am surprised at how this painting turned out. I hope you like it.
I am ending with a little piece my niece Rhea put together. I thought it went very well with my painting.

amazing Love

oh, what sacrifice

the Son of God given for me

my debt He paid and my death He Died

that I might live....

crown Him with many crowns

the Lamb upon the throne

awake upon my soul and sing

to Him who died for me...

Happy Easter, Folks. May God's light always shine upon you.

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