Olazo’s astonishing harvest of on-the-spot, en plein air sketches and drawings is a tribute to the invigorating fellowship, which he shared with members of the Saturday Group of Artists. To this day, he can recall the early days of the group when, as an art director at the ad agency, he would, every Saturday, hurry out of the office in order to join the group. Olazo particularly enjoyed the outof-town sessions in the countryside which quickened the artist’s perception of landscape its panoply of fields, trees, and lush vegetation; from the gnarled branches and roots to the canopy of clouds in an overcast skies; from frail wooden structures of houses in the distance to the placid ponds of water reflecting the misty atmosphere, ominous with impending rain. For him, every image is a subject and opportunity for aesthetic transcendence as he recorded the scene not with the rigid realism of exactitude but with gentle inflections of Impressionist brushstrokes: Olazo feasted on watercolors and water-based acrylics, allowing the runny, watery hues to bleed into each other, in exquisite wet-on-wet-technique.
- CID REYES / EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK: ROMULO OLAZO
Charcoal and conte crayon on paper. 91.44 x 182.88 cm; 36 x 72 in John M. Valenzuela
Indubitably, the nude is considered the “supreme subject of aesthetic expression.” No culture no matter how puritan, in the world – Asian, Indian, African, Polynesian, Caucasian – is impervious to it.
Mastery of the human anatomy has always been the true, exacting measure of an artist’s draughtsmanship. It is, very simply, where he will stand or fail. No matter what modernists may cavil, it is academic realism that rules the day when it comes to nude painting.