Notes on Two Acrylics (Yellow House #9)

What is my Yellow House?  Read here.

April 30, 2001
8:30 PM, Monday

I'm writing on Kuya Ellis' new ping-pong table here at the living area of the house, staring at three works -- unfinished 22 square inch pastel [still life with flowers on orange felt cartolina], almost finished 21 x 15 inch acrylic of the Cathedral, and a 28 x 26 inch acrylic of the houses at Upper QM.

Baguio Downtown with Cathedral.  My first crack at acrylic

The Cathedral acrylic is my first crack at acrylic paint.  [I've been using oil pastel only up to this period despite it's limitations because I simply could not afford oil paints.  The last I used oil paint was when I was still in High School under the Philex Mines's summer art classes, so in effect this Cathedral acrylic is my first use of any paint medium after 10 years.  I wasn't even good nor confident with oils when I was in Philex, though I loved the smell of linseed oil and the creamy feel of oil paint on a brush against canvas. August 4, 2001]  I was able to buy a P189.00 set (12 colors) of acrylic paint, my first ever set.  I am not pleased with the work.  My pastels on felt are much better since they are more spontaneous, bright, and expressive. [I hated the fact that I used oil pastel simply because of lack of resources but when I started with acrylics I realized I overcame the limitations of oil pastel and learned to love it's properties. August 4, 2011]

The QM houses acrylic progresses so slowly.  I thought moving from pastel to a fluid medium would make my strokes more expressive and more swift.  I see now how wrong I was.

Hockney's style and use of acrylic, I think, is most appropriate.  It's a flat, fluid, and delicate medium -- almost like oil but still very different, thin and unnatural.

The medium's nature forces me to work more carefully.  My houses at Upper QM looks so much unlike my pastels.  It looks like an architect's work rather than a painter's, at least in this early stage.

Houses at Upper QM. unfinished. :-) This was lost and forgotten for years until Ate Jeng found and sent it from Baguio last year

Sketch of the Upper QM houses painting above. Vantage point might have been from the terrace at the first floor of the Upper Quarry House

I have a heavy and uncontrollable hand that combines with a heavy and spontaneous temperament -- one that suits oil pastels [and so I thought because the sticks rather than the brush feels more naturally as an extension of my hand. Aug. 4, 2011]  the expressive quality of acrylic depends on the fluid, flat and broad use of color surfaces.  The expression on pastels depends on the juxtaposition of dabs and lines of color, so naturally in tune with the daubs of Impressionists and the Post-Impressionist Divisionism.

On the Cathedral acrylic I worked on the whole surface at the same time.  In the QM acrylic, I'm trying to work on the surface portion by portion, but the entire composition has already been planned and sketched.

Maybe I will solve these problems with further practice.  I know I will.

My pastels are better because I suppressed the real observed colors and used tones, hues, and colors two or more steps higher, using dark blues and dark greens to define forms.

I need a camera so I could start learning figures.

I hope I do not stray from my goals.  I need focus.  I must discipline myself.  The goal at the moment is to explore and make expressive and personal records of what I love and long to preserve --  Baguio City [,Philex Mines, and the Cordillera mountains. Aug. 4, 2011]

I painted the Cathedral but enlarged it so it will attract more attention but the tower causes an imbalance in the building, maybe rightly so.

The goal is to use picture reality -- the good and the bad.  The goal is to show hope.

The goal is still the same as Vincent's.  He seemed to never have reached his complete goal .  He almost did.  Those who followed him did not really get his message, his life.

Art is not only complaining.  It is diagnosing and solving -- both in one's work and in one's life.  I only wish I were as good as I want to be.

What is my Yellow House?  Read here.

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