Landscape painting is one of the most beloved genres all over the world, from Van Gogh’s colorful turbulent depictions of the night sky over Arles to the most tranquil and minimalist renditions of bamboos and misty mountains on silk scrolls from Ancient China. There is something simply magical about a view that is ostensibly accessible to everyone re-imagined and re-constructed through the artist’s eyes and hands. In the three-part series composed of paintings entitled “Morning Lilies,” “The Afternoon Scape,” and “New Dawn,” Glenn Baga gives viewers a glimpse of worlds that are part real and part imagination.
In “Morning Lilies” the viewer is treated to a sight reminiscent of Monet’s iconic water lily paintings. These lilies are also rendered in a slightly Impressionist manner, with the artist paying careful attention to the dappled look of purplish-blue early morning light on dark water. The lily pads themselves are bright green and yellow, solid islands of color over the shifting surface of the pond and punctuated by a single pink-and-white blossom.
“The Afternoon Scape” meanwhile depicts a fiery fall scene, with a blue-and-white sky and lush green mountains providing a foil for the blazing reds and oranges of in the tree tops. All of these elements are reflected in the glass-like surface of a lake, and the whole picture is suggestive of sound and motion beneath the apparent stillness. For instance, the feather-like brushstrokes in the trees make the viewer imagine the breeze rustling through it and the colors of the lake suggest a soft light dancing on its surface.
“New Dawn” on the other hand plays with contrasts rather than complementary hues and shapes. In it, the blue and purple sky is embellished with sorbet-like swirls of melon and citrus yellows. Against it, a series of lines suggesting a forest and two clearly depicted trees are silhouetted darkly. The ground beneath them is a combination of dark and light green, suggesting the steady advance of the sun.
These three paintings are attractive and evocative renderings of nature, just as all good landscape paintings should be. Those who would like to see these three works, purchase them, or see other pieces from local artists should visit the Jade Dragon’s Suites, one of the nice yet cheap hotels in Davao City. This Davao hotel is located on Aurora street and is home to Chings Resto-Kaffee, a cafe that serves up good food and good art at the same time.