long live olive

i am giriish

painter, writer,
designer, martial artist,

and these are my jottings...

a bacolod grand dame by amorsolo

i just saw two beautiful Fernando Amorsolo portraits here in Bacolod. i don’t have permission to post full figure photos of the paintings now, i’ll do that as soon as i acquire it.

both 150 cm x 85 cm portraits are of one of this city’s most beautiful grand dame painted in 1960. the first frame depicts her dancing the “fandango sa ilaw” in a white ramon valera duchess satin “terno” with “serpentina” skirt, deep indigo lace “sobrefalda” and matching “alampay”. a small glass lit with oil and wick in each hand and a third glass balanced on her head gracefully emphasizes the elegant figure’s dexterity in dance. 

the second frame casually portrays the lady in a matte gold terno, also by valera, with  fitted bodice and side draped skirt. the detail of her golden brocade footwear peeps out from under the rolled hem. amorsolo achieves beautiful contrapostu with the subject’s head turned three quarters away from the viewer and her left arm elongated to curve down effortlessly, fingers lightly pinching her gown. this portrait is in good condition, unfortunately, the other one i mentioned earlier is not. 

confident lines

sketches are always interesting because they show an artist’s confidence in his lines. i found my batchmate and college friend ‘horhe’ to have had the most confidence back @ U.P. Diliman. additionally, i still consider him to have the most committed lines among my artist friends today, check out draw365.blogspot.com


also try to check my older post about U.P. where i showed my sketches from back then (click onU.P Diliman label) and compare with the lines my more recent. You might notice a definite change of style in my line-work...

So, are my lines more confident now?

WU STYLE TAIJIQUAN: seeking balance through the martial arts

When i was in sixth grade, my parents hired a karate master to teach me and my older brother the art of defense at home. We were then living in Davao City where i went to Ateneo. I found it strange that my folks saw the need for me to learn the martial arts because back then i had already been attending fine arts lessons for two years. Why learn another art?

bows and flows of angel's hair

Elements of sky and water often inspire my work. I looked through images of garments that i made in the past and realized how they were often interpretations of what i saw...

travelling on a boat from Bantayan Island to Cebu, the shimmering reflection of the moon on the blackness of the sea was echoed on a cocktail number (which vanished backstage after the show) for Metrowear.

reflections on a starless night

jet beads and silver paillettes on tafetta

on a quiet day in panglao island, clouds hanging just above the horizon saw recreation on a vest, again for Metrowear (this one i managed to keep)...

low clouds in panglao

tafetta vest

and finally, on a boat ride to Manila, the hazy colors of the bay at the break of day reverberated on this ensemble for MEGA magazine.

manila bay, break of day

tafetta top, ultra suede trousers

this image still percolates in my head... perhaps for the Amorsolo retrospective. But really, bucolic this is not.

sunset @ Antulang

Orley Ypon's Realism

a midday harvest scene

35 year-old Orley Ypon’s bucolic realism is a joy to experience. I chanced upon his exhibit featuring three other Cebuano painters , Ronnie Abayan, Wilfredo Cañete and Felix Carata at the art gallery of The Ayala Museum in Makati the other month.

A self taught artist from Toledo, Cebu. Orley relocated to manila to pursue his love for painting. His remarkable talent first gained recognition in ArtPetron when he won the grand prize for his painting called “Ober-ober” which depicted children playing with their slippers. In ArtPetron 4, he again won with his entry called “Pamaling”.

igorot elder

A favourite piece from his exhibit was a portrait of an “Igorot” elder. In this oeuvre he revealed skill in chiaroscuro. The dark background is thinly painted with burnt umber and black. The red shirt is picked up with meticulous glazing of crimsons and alizarins while impasto is applied to highlight the wrinkles and folds on the beautiful brown skin of the elderly, tobacco-toting woman. The skillful rendering of the headdress adds vibrancy and completes the composition.

Cebuano artist Orley Ypon

Hello Giorgio

There’s a new ultra-sleek credit card sized touch-screen luxury phone designed by Giorgio Armani for Samsung that’s out in the market now. I checked it out this afternoon and here’s my take on this fashionable piece of technology.

The package including its black simulated brushed aluminium box is the epitome of the Italian designer’s Minimalist aesthetic. The phone is barely 10.5 mm thin which fits sensuously into my palm and comes with a black designer leather case and ultra-suede pouch.

What I like most about this phone is its large 2.6 inch LCD touch screen that maximizes your visual experience and optimises the use of its multi-media features such as a 3-megapixel camera with flash, a music player supporting various types of music formats and a full internet browser.

Finally, the muted grey and amber tones of the graphics and touch screen buttons plus the Haptic feedback which creates a little vibration when you click an on-screen option are plus points beautifully merging Giorgio Armani’s elegant design style and simplicity with Samsung’s cutting edge technology on one piece of stylish, functional unit.

I’m giving a rating of eight out of ten styluses to Samsung’s P520 Giorgio Armani phone.

Lloren's Riveting Art Deco Rendering

Jojie Lloren showed impeccable tailoring, mastery of patternmaking and couture technique in his latest presentation for Fashion Watch Quartet at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel’s Lobby Lounge. He was in the best form, giving us a glimpse of his genius.
sculptural shift

His cohesive collection opened with a "blanc et noir" number which set the length, mood and theme of his twenty-five piece collection. This initial offering, a black shift dress in wool crepe with inserted white stripes that formed a V in front and Y at the back, also had a white stiffened flap that traversed the front of the body from the left to right sleeve. This precisely placed detail elevated this simple short dress to sculpture.

Art Deco seams

Consistently, from the first to the last piece Lloren showed short dresses which were geometrically pieced together so that they parallel, if not surpass, the intricacy of the late YSL’s Mondrian shift dresses. Lloren’s dresses were decidedly much more complicated requiring as much as two hundred and fifty pattern pieces to complete and more than forty five hours to assemble.

Lloren with his models

“Paris and New York Art Deco windows and buildings are my inspiration, “said Lloren of his riveting collection. This explained the complicated curvilinear seams and the proclivity for voluminous draping at the back of the dresses which were an elegant allusion to the hunchback Quasimodo of an earlier period.


initial sketch of "flood clogs"

The rains reminded me of the shoes i recently created for my resort collection which was presented at Shangri-La Makati's high tea.

samples in linen

I had to sculpt the prototype myself since my carver could never get the proportions right. After several weeks of relentless reshaping i came up with this six inch clogs designed to defy pavement puddles.

final 6-inch product

But can one really safely say “ après moi, le deluge?” with these Flood Clogs?


finished work: "man & divinity"

i finished this painting "man & divinity" before i left for manila last thursday however, i couldn't deliver it to its owner because the paint was still wet though i've applied the last stroke and left it to dry for over a day already.

i found this too soft, thus i touched it up with more glazes

you see, oil paintings can last centuries but they also take a long time to dry. Since i work with glazes when doing oils, i have to wait at least 24 hours before i can apply another layer of glazing. otherwise i lose both the depth and the vibrancy of colors.

the first stage of painting in brown and flesh tones

i'm flying to manila next week to deliver this, i hope my client likes it.

"Krus na Daan"

This was my friend E's favorite painting from the art gallery of The Ayala Museum which we visited last thursday. This 61x76 cm oil on canvas artwork by Renato Habulan was painted in 2007. He plays with light and shadow to produce a dramatic effect which transfixes the viewer.
The beautiful chiaroscuro of this painting highlights the graceful curves of the subjects and the the fluidity of the artist's fine strokes.

eating with e

i haven’t written since sunday, my connection isn’t working. Globelines sucks, perhaps I should change to PLDT. I don’t know if that would be for better or worse though, would you?

i’m in manila right now posting this and getting ready to fly back to cebu this afternoon. Thus far, I’ve been quite productive this week. I have been able to finish my orders including the commissioned painting which I will be posting as soon as I get back to cebu… that’s if Globe has already fixed my line.

i have met with several clients yesterday. Ms. nini licaros introduced me to her New York based niece who’s getting married at the grand Cayman. Sounds fab right? But logistically, a major headache since i could only meet and take her measurements personally; the rest of the entourage i would have to design and deal with through the net.

i had lunch with my new friend E. click on his blog my link: Chronicles of E and discover a dark world that will inspire you to focus on every single breath you take. well, at least, that's wat it does to me.

i brought my friend E his favorite picapica or “popcorn” as he calls it which are packs of small danggit dried fish from cebu. We ate and talked and laughed like we we’ve been friends forever and went to an art exhibit where I shared some thoughts on works by such artists as orlina, wilwayco, and so forth… my friend’s favorite painting is an oil oeuvre of two indigent boys wearily hunched down on the ground, apparently after a long day’s work, faces hidden. The deep red hues and burnt umber tones underscores the intensity of this small work.

More tomorrow… my brother just called, I’ve to run off to to see him now before my 3 pm flight.

Easy Sundays

taiji sword form

i love Sundays because i get to practice taijiquan with my teachers. Taijiquan is a soft style martial arts which originated from Wudang mountain in China. If you like martial arts flicks, you will remember that Wudang is the panoramic monastery where the last few scenes of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” were shot.

i haven’t much time to explain the minutiae of this particular martial arts now since i should be draping patterns at this very minute and not blogging but suffice to say that it is based on the Taoist philosophy of Yin and Yang which translates to duality or opposites.

i’ve been going to the weekly taiji Sunday sessions of my teachers for almost eight years now and Sundays mean...

gaining wisdom through questions on the nature of 'Chi' or vital energy,

brush knee, push palm

improving one's form under the watchful eyes of the “six mountain tigers” who unfailingly spot a misstep, wrong hand movement or a tense joint,

diagonal fly

heightening sensitivity while practicing push hands with sir Joe or shifu Francis,

parting the wild horse's mane

enjoying breakfast and the finest tea served at the perfect temperature and finally...

jade lady plays the shuttle

listening to the delicacy of spoken Fukien abbreviated with lots of laughter.

play the lute

hugging dharma

work in progress: fan top for a picky and extremely thin client

i've been caught up with so much work at the atelier. i've been simultaneously doing orders for my female clients and finishing my commissioned painting. one seamstress had been absent for a week thus i had to work on the drape method myself and correct patterns the whole week. and in between that, i've been wielding my brushes to apply glazes on my now-almost-finished painting.

man&divinity, almost done but not quite. this painting needs some more glazing

i've gone back to doing taijiquan (soft style martial arts) every morning to maintain balance on an otherwise chaotic schedule. an hour of focused taiji and fifteen minutes of seated meditation does the trick for me. thus far, i've managed to stay sober and mindful of every task at hand and additionally, somehow, i've always managed to give dharma, my little pup, a hug a day.

a hug a day keeps the little pup happy and gay

i'm working for balance and thus far, i've been able to achieve and maintain a degree of it.