Thursday, December 01, 2011

A visit to Hermes Alegre's Studio

1 of my dreams came true 2 months ago: I was invited to visit the studio of 1 of my favorite Filipino artists, MR. HERMES ALEGRE! I only like a select few of figurative painters and Hermes is probably my top 3. 

a typical visually breathtaking Alegre work-in-progress

A fan for 8 years & running, I've been coveting his paintings of beautiful, mysterious women against backdrops of lush flora & fauna.  Luckily I had a requirement for 1 of my projects & I went w/ my friend Charisse who was building her house that time.  She wanted to have a painting of her & her sisters done by the one who does "tres marias" best...who else but Mr. Alegre himself. 

We were kinda star struck at first (haha), but he made everybody feel comfortable (a bottle of wine was opened immediately, of course!) and was nice enough to show us around his studio. See the artist's "Paris-Pinoy boho" living quarters: 

only the essentials exist to inspire the artist

stuff around his house looked neat, orderly & totally stylin'....i was so inspired!

1 of my favorite paintings of Hermes, a striking portrait of his beauuuuutiful wife Helena above the bed.
(the one on the right is his self-portrait)

See glimpses of his studio below

this works, by the way! eco-friendly sound system...100% electricity-free!
classic beauty wonder Hermes is always inspired :-)

Thrilled to be in his creative lair...was holding & touching all his brushes & paints!

w/ good friends, good wine, & excellent art!

Weeks after, when the day came for us to check the commissioned painting, we hung out at his studio again & Hermes made sketch portraits of us.  Talk about *kileg*!

so, I also made my own sketch of him.  It's not much but for everyone's information, he LIKED it! Why, thank you very much! :-) 

and so...the painting was done for my friend's house.  I told Hermes it was going to be against a RED wall. And so he used all the lush & impossible colors of purple, green, orange, and reds! This photo does not do justice at all but if you get to look at an Alegre painting up close you will notice the painstaking layers of matte & metallic textures...per square inch, mind you.

The surprise details are wonderful, too--- dabs of neon green, fuchsia pink, and the geometric pastel back-shapes to keep the eye focused on the women.   

I'm no credible art critique or writer.  But I know what excites my eye & touches my heart.  Hermes' works have always captured my attention...and held it for a long time.  

And as I write this,  I see my black-&-white charcoal Alegre sketch of a woman waiting at an airport for her flight, across my desk at work.  Lovely, huh?

Have a nice weekend to all! :-)


  1. Hey I enjoyed that . He is a great painter and the Philippines should be proud of him.. More power to you

  2. thank you for your kind comment, sir! i agree, Hermes is one of our national treasures :-)

  3. I agree with your statement ... you know what excites the eye and touches the heart! i feel the same way whenever i see an Hermes Alegre painting! I too am a fan! great blog, i enjoyed reading it!

  4. Thank you Arlette! His works are classic & beautiful. complicated color layerings that come out simply serene!