Showing posts with label art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art. Show all posts

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Artsy Fartsy

Video taken from The MOMA in New York last July 2017

The first time I ever saw live abstract art was during our high school field trip to the Ayala Museum in Makati, I think. It was this series of chaotic, mindless doodles on large styropore boards hanging on the wall. Upon seeing them amongst the usual form of art works I was conveniently accustomed to, I began to feel uncomfortable, irritated, and extremely annoyed. I remember having violent reactions. Like, I wanted to tear them off of the wall and throw them in the trash bin, where I thought they belonged. The nerve... of these people to consider these worthless doodles art!

Part of the annoyance comes from the fact that inside my head, I was thinking, “It's something a kindergarten student could've easily done. Or a chimpanzee. Or me.  Goodness! I can even doodle better than that! But why this guy? And who are these pretentious people who allowed this guy to show off this nonsense and pass it off as art? Inside the museum? Is this a joke? What the fuck?” The more I thought about it, the more it made me furious. So much hate and judgement.

I remember being at Tate Modern in London once and thinking most of the stuff were hilarious and absurd. Those awful art installations -- in one room there were these crumpled pieces of newspaper bunched up in mounds on the floor; in another room, strings of used soap tablets suspended from the ceiling; and in another room, a projected video of a guy putting sticky mud all over his face. Ugh. I remember laughing. It was all so absurd! Funny, I usually have very high tolerance for the absurd and the silly. But for some reason, I become totally anal when it comes to works of art. Especially in museums.

Throughout the years, I have calmed down, and started reacting less violently to abstract art and silly art installations... depending on my mood, of course. I do like the feel of certain contemporary art museums though, like the Guggenheim in Bilbao and in New York. Those museums made me feel like I myself was part of the actual exhibits. There were some that I liked and there were some that I didn't care for so much. But there was no more hate. Just like a lot of things that I have learned to live with, I have learned to be at peace and be more tolerant of certain art forms. I like to call it maturity. :D

Maybe it's what abstract and contemporary art is all about -- an invitation to participate, to engage yourself and accept that things are not always what you expect them to be, and to live a little. This "forcing you to engage yourself" is really tough for introverts, like myself, come to think of it. It's probably why I will never get used to these kinds of art works. It's much too taxing for me. I'd rather be cool and calm and in control. Especially in museums... coz that's what I came there for in the first place.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Les Misérables in Singapore

While browsing for events to keep my daughter occupied during her upcoming two-week school break, I chanced upon Sistic's ad on Les Misérables. I have always been a big fan of this show because I have always been a big fan of Lea Salonga.

Les Miz in Singapore! :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Introduction to Painting Class

ever since i can remember, i have always been on the lookout for painting classes. as you know, i have quite a bit of experience with drawing, as i love doing portraits in charcoal or pencil. but with painting, i always get a bit apprehensive. not only because i find it quite difficult to render color on paper, but also because i'm scared to go in a class where all the other people have already had the skill and experience beforehand. yeah, i hate being judged. especially for my art work. so, do be gentle with me in the comments, now. :)

but then, last week, i felt quite lucky to stumble upon this painting school that organizes classes for people who have never ever painted in their lives. and they even offer a discount for this introductory class. what's more, it's a mere fifteen-minute walk from where i live, which is just perfect!

my class began really early in the morning. i decided to bring along my baby and her nanny with me since it was quite a pleasant early morning walk on the way to the school. we got there really early, so we even had some extra time to sit and enjoy the pleasant park where the school is located.

there amidst the greenery is my art school

such verdant and calming ambiance. who wouldn't get inspired to create some art work surrounded by all this greenery?

with a lovely little café

they even have a cozy little café inside. it was unfortunately closed on Wednesdays.


can't wait to color up all that stark whiteness

this is how my set-up looked like.  you can see my blank canvas, and farther up behind is the still life subject of a collection of things in different shapes -- a cube, an apple and a banana. they were all illuminated on the upper left corner with a yellowish light from a tiny desk lamp.

before sitting, the teacher first told us how to use the materials. we were made to choose between oil and acrylic. i chose oil because i thought it's easier to manage than acrylic since she told us that acrylic dries up quickly. this is how i looked like after the session. right before cleaning up everything. so happeeee!!!

the mix of colors on my palette has taken the form of a mandelbrot set.
and this is how my palette looked like. can you imagine how a lot more difficult it would have been had we used more colors? we only used white and green, actually, because we were just working on the different shades, tonality and gradation of colors.

you would think that having just two colors to work on would simplify everything. it was not the case at all. i kept getting lost all the time, trying to find where one shape ends and where one shape begins. it's a lot lot different from mere black and white sketching and drawing, which is definitely more straightforward than painting.


our teacher, explaining and giving some pointers on how we can improve our paintings

here, you have the results. can you guess which one is mine? :) 



the semi-finished paintings of the whole class

mine is actually second from the left in the above pic. i thought i screwed up the entire painting at first because i started my painting using a mix of white and green colors. it's because i thought i should begin from lighter to darker. it turns out to be just the opposite... but i managed to make the corrections.

i really think my banana was the best and most realistic-looking than the rest of the class. and it was in the most challenging position from where i was sitting. unfortunately, i didn't have enough time to work more on my apple and cube. i don't know why i got so fixated on the banana... probably because i tend to work on the most challenging to the least... which is not always a good idea.


please be gentle on me with the criticisms... it's my first time. ;)

and here it is again up-close. i really liked painting. i totally enjoyed it. makes you forget about everything else and makes you feel like a kid again. i'm just a bit turned off with the mess and the smell of the turpentine. and it also stings a bit on the skin. but well, don't we all have to do some sacrifice and suffering, all in the name of art and beauty?

and of course, i had to do a pic with my chef d'oeuvre. :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New York, New York ( Part III )

Our last day in New York was spent in museums. There are too many museums in New York. We wanted to visit them all, but we decided to be reasonable and settled for The American Museum of Natural History because hubby wanted to see the dinosaurs. And The Guggenheim for me, because I want to visit all the Guggenheim museums in the world, except maybe the one in Abu Dhabi (which is still under construction) because there's nothing else of interest for me to see there aside from the museum.

Hubby wanted to see the dinosaurs. so, together with all the kids, we headed off and queued in the surprisingly long line of visitors. There were buses of kids on field trips and parents with lots of kids in tow. It was a nightmare.

You can say what you want to say but i don't really believe in dinosaurs. i think they're an invention of an overactive imagination. That, and I am always a NON-believer of anything that will make the annoyingly faithful believer get annoyed... including my husband. :) I have quite a long list of things I don't believe in and it gets longer every year.


qu'est-ce-que c'est que ca? :D

It was quite fun being surrounded by these ancient bones. But as I was not so interested in them, I didn't bother to check if they were REAL bones or just plaster casts.

What I loved best about the museum was the science stuff. We went inside a spherical auditorium suspended in the middle of one of the museum's wings to watch and listen to Liam Neeson narrate the Big Bang Theory... yeah, I don't believe in the big bang theory either. LOL. But Liam Neeson's voice is so nakakakilig. lalang...

To go The Guggenheim, we had to cross Central Park. It looked so gloomy in there as our last day in New York was a bit snowy and rainy. Before heading straight off to The Guggenheim, we decided to grab some lunch at a fastfood called The Shake Shack, which apparently has the best milkshake in all of NY. I'm not so fond of creamy shakes. I prefer them fruity, not milky.


Victoria's Secret at Upper East Side


Right across was a Victoria's Secret boutique. We went in and we were glad to find that they have some items on sale. So I did some more shopping.


The Guggenheim Museum


Inside the Guggenheim was an exhibit of Japanese art called Gutai. The building was not as impressive as the Guggenheim in Bilbao, but I found the temporary exhibit and the permanent collection a lot better.


I'd love to make holes and run through walls of thin papers too, and call it art

I love these plastic tubes filled with colored liquid in the middle that hung criss-crossing at the center of the building.


these tubes with colorful liquid give a festive feel all over the museum

I'm not a big fan of contemporary art, but I found the Gutai collection quite tolerable (translation: not too annoying). And there were also some permanent exhibits of Picasso, Van Gogh, and some famous french artists' impressionistic paintings, which I love.


I love the feel of this museum a lot

It was not so tiring to walk around the Guggenheim despite being five storeys high. It's not really that huge and it's quite fun to walk down/up in a spiral as opposed to climbing up/down stair cases. Unlike the other museums like the Met or MoMa, we wouldn't have had enough time to see all the exhibits in half a day.

I had fun with this card-dispensing box. my husband got a lame card which says, Thank you for being a friend, and i got the cool one with the doodles.

our Gutai cards from the random dispenser

There was a wall by the entrance where you're free to doodle. fun!


ay, ang bata...

it was also surprising to find some exhibit from Asia, and even one from the Philippines. there was a painting from Norberto Roldan of Roxas City. unfortunately, taking pictures was not allowed in this portion of the building.

After the Guggenheim, we went to Union Square area to buy some books at Strand Book Store. I read about this book store on the internet. It's quite famous for selling special edition books. I got Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, one of my childhood books, to read to my baby. It was a special 50th Anniversary Edition. And also a book of short stories by Haruki Murakami. I'm reading this in preparation for the heavy volumes of 1Q84.


Strand Book Store, the building is being renovated, unfortunately


Then we had some coffee at a café called, Pret-à-manger (again in french?) right across. I had a really nice spot by the window where I can enjoy my coffee and snack while people watching.


My Strand books loot -- Where the Wild Things Are for my baby, and a Collection of short stories by Murakami

On the way back to the hotel, we passed by these:


the flat iron building

some building with french architecture, with the Empire State in the background

And that about concludes my NYC trip. thanks for reading, shiny happy people! keep glowing! :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Weekend in Bilbao

Bilbao is the capital of Biscaya in northernmost Spain, which is in the Basque Country. The Basque Country is a region consisting of areas in the north of Spain and the Southwest of France.


I have already been to some of the cities in the Basque region a couple of years ago the first time I visited France and Spain. I have visited San Sebastian, Spain for shopping, and St Jean de Luz, France to see the beach. I didn't have such a nice time back then because I was disappointed with the paella that we had for lunch, and the super-crowded beach that looked as if there was no beach at all, just bodies of people, in various stages of nudity, lying next to the ocean. Sorry to all the pervs, but I was too grumpy then to take a picture.

The famous puppy by American artist, Jeff Koons

The magnificent building of the Guggenheim Museum
Anyway, we went to Bilbao because we specifically wanted to see the famous Guggenheim Museum.  It is quite an impressive building that greets you upon entering the heart of the city via the Salve Bridge.
The Salve Bridge view from the Guggenheim

Inside the museum was a temporary exhibit by David Hockney.  His paintings were so vivid and colorful.  The bucolic sceneries in his pantings looked as if they were trying desperately to jump out of the frame. My husband says they looked as if they were painted by somebody who was high on drugs.

The museum features exhibits from David Hockney
Inside the Guggenheim
Tulips by Jeff Koons

We also went to Museo de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Museum), which features an exhibit of Francisco de Goya's prints, depicting the horrors and atrocities of war, to which I would say that I still prefer to see the Japanese woodblock prints anytime. The collection inside was huge, though, compared to the Guggenheim. Unfortunately, photography is not allowed inside.

Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao featuring prints by Goya

I was very impressed with the architecture. Most buildings are painted in the typical Basque colors of red green and blue. It's all so colorful. And cheerful.

Lovely Basque buildings
One of the lovely buildings at a roundabout close to our hotel


On the way to the Guggenheim, there was a park with lots of huge trees and fountains and interesting columns and pergolas of red bricks. In one corner there was a small piece of plaque commemorating the death of people who were victimized by terrorism. Apparently, these terrorists are a group of people who are fighting for the Basque country to be independent.

Last stop at Plaza Nueva, a rather ironic name for such a place with old-world neoclassical architecture,
located at the Old Quarter

We were quite surprised to find some good food too. Now we all know that Spain is famous for the Tapas. In Basque language (Euskara), which is one of the oldest languages in the world, it is called, pintxo. I didn't have such high hopes at first because I was previously disappointed with the food in Barcelona and San Sebastian. But this time, I was just so glad to be not disappointed at all.

Picture-perfect and mouth-wateringly delicious pintxos for lunch

I just love this Spanish white wine

Les jambons et les saucisses... can you imagine the smell inside this shop?

We were not just interested in the architecture and the museums, we were also interested in shopping!

Souvenirs at the Old Quarter
This area reminds me so much of St Jean de Luz

A lovely soaps and perfume shop at the Old Quarter
I had a marvelous time in Bilbao. The people are nice, it's not very touristy, the food is glorious, especially the seafood, which they call mariscos. And above all, the service in the restaurants and in the shops are excellent -- with that, you'll know you're not in France anymore.  :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Day With Señor Dali

(Un Jour Avec Dali)

Since Friday was a National Holiday here in France (for commemorating the end of the 1st World War), my husband and I, together with a couple of my classmates at AF, decided to have a day getting to know Salvador Dali.  It's very convenient to visit his rest house in Portlligat, Cadaques and his Theater-Museum in Figueres (both in Spain), since the places are easily accessible by car from Toulouse.

Puisque vendredi dernier était une Fête nationale (pour commémorer la fin de la prémiere guerre), mon mari et moi, et deux de mes camarades de classe à l'Alliance française, ont decidé de partir à l'Espagne pour visiter le musée et la maison de Salvador Dali.  C'est très pratique car ces endroits ne sont pas trop loin de Toulouse en voiture.


I have fallen in-love with Salvador Dali, the first time I have seen a replica of his famous statue at Boat Quay in Singapore, Homage To Newton. 

Je me suis tombée amoureuse de Dali dès que j'ai vu pour la premiere fois une replica de sa sculpture trés connue, qui se trouve à Boat Quay à Singapour.  elle s'appelle, «Homage to newton»

Chez Dali à Portlligat, Espagne
Since we have arrived quite late at Portlligat, we decided not to visit his house anymore.  So we just looked around the area of his house, since it was quite an interesting area.  The house is facing the sea, with a lot of fishing boats.  And all around, there are these hills with thousands of old olive trees. It was really amazing for me because I have never seen such landscapes in my life.

Puisque on est arrivé trop tard à Portlligat, on a décidé de ne visitera plus chez Dali.  Donc, on a juste décidé de se promener autor de la maison, qui était vraiment sympa.  La maison se trouve au bord de la mer, avec plein de bateaux carrément en face.  Autour de la maison, il y avait des collines avec des millieres d'arbres d'olives. C'etait vraiment magnifique pour moi, parce que je n'ai jamais vu des paysage comme ca.


We arrived in Figuerès to visit his famous museum, where he is also buried.  So far, it is one of the most interesting museums I have ever seen.

On est arrivée au musée à Figuerès, où il était aussi enterrés.  Il était l'un des musées les plus intéressants que j'ai déjà vu.

Beside his museum, there is also a theater, and a museum of jewelries created by Dali himself.  I will never forget this diamond-studded heart with a smaller heart within it, glittering with red stones, and which was pulsating.  It was very pretty.

the tell-tale heart... the bloody-looking center was actually beating!

A côté de musée, il y a le théatre aussi, et le musée de bijoux créée par Dali lui-même.  Je n'oublierai jamais un bijoux qui ressemble à un coeur, entourée des diamantes. Dedans, il y a encore un autre tout petit coeur avec les pierres rouges. Ca m'a etonné un peu, parce qu'il palpitait.  C'était très joli.

Of course, the replica of the jewelries, were too expensive for me to even think of buying.  And I guess, my pictures are more than enough souvenirs for me.

Bien sûr, les replicas des bijoux ont été trop cher pour moi pour achêter.  Et je pense que je ne les ai pas besoin. Mes photos sont assez de souvenirs pour moi.