Sunday, January 18, 2009


11" x 17"
pen and ink on paper

"I feel sorry for the driver every time I ride one of those tricyles going inside the subdivision where I live in Cavite," Mikey told me while his back was turned towards me as I was doing my third sketch for our session.

"Why?" I asked and told him to twist his right arm a little to the left.

"It's because of the street humps. Each time the tricycle passes one, the bottom of the passenger's side car would always be caught on the asphalt because of my weight," he replied while keeping himself frozen in his pose.

"I've always hated riding those tricycles ever since I grew up into adulthood myself. I feel like I'm in a can of sardines when I'm in one," I agreed with him.

"And those jeepneys! My butt occupies a space for two people, and then I'll get these remarks from some wise ass saying that I'm "too big". Like... it's MY fault that I am a big person," he said.

"You're what they call a "bear"," I said.

"You think I am?"

"Mikey. You are. And stop moving. I'm almost done drawing your butt," I said.


I've finally convinced Mikey - a powerlifter - to pose for me in a series of sketching/drawing sessions. He weighs in at 270 lbs., stands 5'10" and is built like a mountain boulder. I've already made him agree to be the basis for a couple or so paintings I will be working on in the next few weeks.

He's my new Adam.

...and I am still looking for my Eve.


marga rodriguez said...

I need to do life sketching sessions myself... time to convince my newfound iranian connections (fresh na fresh pa!) to pose! So your new adam isn't shy to pose naked?

palma tayona said...

@ marga: he was at first. but later he got comfortable. to quote him, "it felt good to be appreciated and studied as is."

he got so comfortable to a point that i had to remind him not to stand too close to my windows or else people across the street would wonder what a huge naked man's doing walking around my place.

odin hood said...


i wish i could finish school na so then i'd have lots of free time to try to learn and practice sketching/painting...

are your works still being exhibited at halo??

palma tayona said...

@ odin: "practice makes perfect" as an old adage goes.

yeah, those works are still hanging at Halo.

the amateur ear said...

They make smaller tricycles here in Metro Manila. Sa Laguna malalaki ang mga tryk - very spacious, I don't have to hunch my 5'9 frame just to fit in. After the tryks of Manila(color coded red, blue, yellow, white, or green -how boring) , I feel like I'm a King in Laguna tricycles - one of the few things I miss in San Pablo.

Since I take the tricycle almost everday, dun ako sa likod ng driver sumasakay. I can sit upright, plus less wear and tear on the tricycle dahil ang weight ay borne by the motor. Dun kaya si Mike sumakay?

Mike reminds me of my brother-in-law (except of the butt. I haven't seen his butt, but of course. =))

palma tayona said...

@ Amateur: i know those palawan has what they call "satellites" which is basically a motorbike with a plank of wood at the back where two more people can sit. interesting.

i haven't ridden one in years.

Bella Sinclair said...

Ok, I had to google the tricycle to see what you were talking about, and I must say, if ever I go to the Philippines, I have to ride one of those.

Now that's an Adam worthy of descendants. He IS a bear! You're going to need a substantial Eve. Beautiful, beautiful lines, and I like your use of negative spaces.

the amateur ear said...

Further South they call it the habal-habal.

palma tayona said...

@ Ella: yeah, i do need a substantial Eve. :-)

studio lolo said...

I'm so glad you tripped across my blog so I could follow you back here.
Your art and your words are beautiful and powerful and tender. Several more adjectives will come to mind if I linger!
Bravo. I love your work!

Anonymous said...

@ studio: thank you!! i appreciate it. :-)