“The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.” Thus wrote the American Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, referring to the horizon within sight of a landscape. What is the mystery within nature that could heal the eye, but ultimately nourish
the soul?

The French Post-Impressionist Paul Cezanne, who in numerous canvases painted his beloved Mont St. Victoire, realized: “To paint from nature is not to paint the subject, but to realize sensations.” To convey the spirit of solidity and strength, and not its obvious boulders, cliffs, and rocks, is what defined Cezanne’s defiant gaze. Imbued by their own love of the Cebu countryside, the Aroma Atelier Artists, based in Toledo City, present their own visions of nature at Galerie Roberto in a show titled “Southern Isles.”

Participating artists are: Maria Francisca Juarez, Orley Ypon, Ricky Eslao, Rainer Duhaylungsod, Lucas Ranola, Tranquilino Ypon, Renulo Torino Pautan, Crispin Bobier, Darby Alcoseba, and Edzel Libre. Despite its urban modernity, propelled by commerce, industry, and technology, Cebu remains an Edenic isle, with its still enchanting arcadian countryside that remains untouched shrines to nature: mountains, hills, meadows, pastureland and and woodland, seas, rivers, creeks, and expanses of verdant foliage and dense undergrowth, With its capacity to arouse emotions and sensations, the luxuriant Cebuano countryside, is captured lushly in these paintings. Here, stillness and tranquillity is restored, still pleasurably reigning in our inner life. In accord with Emerson, with these paintings, we are never tired.

The Aroma Atelier Artists, under the leadership of world- class artist Orley Ypon, are committed to the idiom of Realism in its varied modernist manifestation. Whether in portraiture, figuration, still lifes, and landscapes, the objective representation of reality remains their impelling stimulus and motivation.

-Cid Reyes

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