L'Arc en Ciel artists render Balesin Island

08/05/2012 | By: MMGA, The Philippine Star

Intrepid art patron and curator of the L’Arc en Ciel gallery in the South, painter Elaine Herbosa, recently led a group of gallery artists on a island sojourn to her brother Bobby’s stunning island resort, Balesin. Elaine and her artist’s group Ditas Dominguez, Maridi Nievera, Carla Kim, Connie Quirino, Pilar Quiros, Margie Villonco, and Elaine’s husband Poch, as chaperone spent two idyllic days enjoying each other’s company and drawing inspiration from the stunning island views, among other pleasurable experiences. (The food on the island also served as muse!) These experiences have coalesced into an art exhibit titled “Balesin High,” which opens on Aug. 16 at the Ayala Museum.

The paintings, both in watercolor and oil, feature the island’s endless vistas in ocean blues and greens, magnificent flora, ancient foliage, endless sandy beaches and breath-taking sunset views.

Here are the artists’ experiences in their own words:

Elaine Herbosa: This was my first visit. I cancelled out lots of times (because I was) scared of light planes. But the island was too alluring. My primary inspiration was to capture the beauty of the place in a painting, together with the members of my atelier, L’arc en ciel. The group that accompanied me to the island is my second family the artists I try to nurture in my studio. The promontory where Lamon Bay was on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other was beautiful. The brevity of the visit allowed me only to paint the cove outside my villa the beautiful beach and sky.

Margie Villonco: Primary inspiration? The waters surrounding the island. I loved the exclusivity (and I) felt I had the island all to myself… and I think we did. I painted the beachfront right outside our villa… the colors of aqua, dark blue, green (were) inviting to paint.

Pilar Quiros: Primary inspiration? The sea, the peaceful sea. Just being there, the sea breeze on my face, just simply relaxing. I painted the expanse of the beach with the lounging chairs, the cloudy and dramatic sky and mostly the sea… painting is a tree jutting out from the rocky corals and the water just aquamarine.

Connie Quirino: The thought of painting on an island and capturing its beauty on pure white canvas gave me this primary inspiration. I produced two small paintings. The first one was done on a circular canvas… a native nipa hut overlooking the seashore not far from our villa. The light was magnificent. The second work I did was a sunset study by the beach. A tree branch reaching out as if holding onto the sun and all its glory, its rays reflecting on the ocean’s surface before setting.

Carla Kim: Primary inspiration? Fresh air, blue sky and fantastic beach… only thing that came up in my mind was comfort and relaxation. My thoughts…(were) refreshed by such a sight. I painted one big lonely tree standing on the wide, empty beach mirrored my heart. It might still be standing there next time, too, but I wanted to keep that emotion on my canvas.

Ditas Dominguez: I love the sea and my primary inspiration was the ocean. I painted a small triptych of the stretch of beach just outside Villa14, Balesin Village.

Maridi Nievera: I chose to paint along just on the verandah of “Sala,” the Filipino restaurant of the Philippine Village. I tried to capture the sense of solitude as this brave tree stood by the beach along with some coral boulders, silently welcoming the ebb and flow of the tide since this island came to be. I love the idea that this tree has been and continues to be a witness to this constant motion and yet it remains secure in its place.

* * * Included in this inspiring show are works of other atelier artists Alfred Galura, Miguel G. Buhay, Stella Kim, Eileen Araneta, Deedee Agustines and Lalaine Almoro. Their oeuvre includes still lifes done in the studio of L’arc en Ciel and interesting landscapes done en plein air during their adventures around the country.

“Balesin High atbp.” is on view from Aug. 16 to 29 at The Ayala Museum’s ArtistSpace, Dela Rosa St. corner Makati Ave., Makati City. For inquiries, call Elaine at 0917-890-1219 or e-mail elaineoherbosa@yahoo.com.ph.

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