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 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

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