Latest Stories

Ebarle’s ‘Hibla 7’: Intricate indigenous weaving motifs become intricate abstract art


“HIBLA” 67

The deconstruction of ethnic Filipino motifs has been the signature style of abstract painter Jane Arrieta Ebarle. But in her seventh solo exhibit, “Hibla 7,” she departs from her free-flowing lines and simple brushstrokes.

Discussing her new exhibit, which opens Sept. 7, 6:30 p.m., at Blue + Gray Gallery in Serendra, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, Ebarle says her paintings have become more structurally stubborn and rigid.

Also, her works are more laborious and she has to put in more hours to finish each piece.

“Abstract art sustains my freedom to create,” she says. “It is rhythmically organic as it is boundless. It percolates in my deepest thoughts.”

Ebarle’s realization that she leans toward abstraction was not sudden. She has explored still life, realism, even pottery, only to discover she wasn’t really developing as an artist.

She says that in her younger years her career in marketing would pull her away from her passion—painting.

“HIBLA” 71

Trying to strike a balance between the two disciplines was difficult; she referred to those years as “a lackadaisical period of nothingness.”

Slow-motion way

“I never had the real chance to sharpen any talent I had, if ever I had one,” she says. “My slow-motion way of making things happen only magnified the situation, and so it would take me months before I could make a 2 ft x 3 ft figurative painting or a still life.”

It was only through her first solo exhibit, “Filipino Ethnicity,” that she was able to carve her own artistic idiom.

Her works from her exhibit were drawn from old and new influences.

“Hibla” 75

“[The works were] modern and pulsated with colors, yet  tamed by tradition.”

“I had a fascination for anything ethnic,” she explains. “Aztec. Mexican. African; my attractions to these designs was like a gentle prodding from the past. One time I encountered a book about Filipino ethnic designs and I became drawn to the subject.”

Eschewing influences from other artists, Ebarle avoided looking at other artists’ works to maintain the uniqueness of her works; she didn’t want to be labeled a copycat.

“My works may not be the best thing, but I couldn’t be happier thinking that every idea I had [I was able] to put into reality,” she says.

Ebarle would do studies before painting. She would make  sketches and studies of the colors to be used.

But upon finishing the first layer of her work, she would find herself deviating from the original plan.

Main inspiration

Nowadays, she says she does her works in an “impromptu” style. She has junked doing advanced studies.

“HIBLA” 77

“There was a time  I planned to make a painting in black and white, but I ended up doing something colorful,” she recalls.

Her work starts with a blank canvas—she imagines the patterns and colors that could fill it. She says she must have her paints and palette within easy reach as she changes her mind often about colors.

She creates spontaneously, Ebarle explains. She gazes casually at everyday stuff, such as curtains, floors and car lights, and she gets a visual idea of her next work.

“I love textures,” says Ebarle. “They excite me because when I look at them, I see a finished painting.”

Ebarle is now working on her next series, “Babaeng Hibla,” which reflects the stories and emotions of a woman through the patterns and textures of her garments.

“The woman is very sensual yet tradition-bound,” she says. “She is mystical yet aching to be discovered. It is about the power that emanates from her weakness.”

Ebarle is a Fine Arts alumna of University of Santo Tomas and the marketing director of Faber-Castell.

“Hibla” runs at the Blue + Gray Gallery in Serendra, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig until Sept. 17. E-mail the artist at jebarle@mozcom.com.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Abstract Art , Ethnic Motifs , Hibla 7 , Jane Arrieta Ebarle , Lifestyle

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  3. This is not just a farm
  4. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  5. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  6. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  7. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  8. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  9. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  10. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  5. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  6. South Koreans crave Asia’s smelliest fish
  7. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Ex-Givenchy model fights for ‘Yolanda’ survivors


  • DOH asks co-passengers of OFW carrier to test for MERS-CoV
  • ‘Shouldn’t we move?’ Ferry evacuation under scrutiny
  • 5.5-magnitude quake hits Sultan Kudarat
  • Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  • Firetruck rams California eatery; 15 injured
  • Sports

  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111
  • Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86
  • Man City slips further out of title contention
  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • Business

  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • Technology

  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest