Lorenzo E. Gabutina: The Late Blooming Filipino Visual Artist

I recently made contact with Lorenzo E. Gabutina (pseudonym: Legabutina), a digital artist, based in Caloocan, Philippines for a feature article in my blog.   His out-of-the-box artistic style of abstract images that is beautifully surreal and magically pleasing to the eyes.  I was immediately drawn to his work.

Lorenzo E. Gabutina has more than 30 years of professional experience in advertising and marketing management. He learned and sharpened his marketing skills in a multinational company environment with a 15-year stint in Kodak Philippines, as the company’s marketing communications manager. Lorenz’s first and most passionate love is advertising where he had been a copywriter and account executive for many years before assuming senior management positions. He has been involved in all key aspects of the advertising business, from creative to media, production, research and marketing planning.

According to Legabutina, he sees teaching as the culmination of his advertising career where he could share with advertising students the many insights and learning’s he had gained from his long years of working in the ad industry. He is currently, an advertising lecturer at St. Scholastica’s College. 

#LorenzoGabutina: The Late Blooming Accidental #FilipinoArtist #VisualArtist #Art #PopArt #SurrealArt #DigitalArt #Abstract #ArtPH www.jennysserendipity.com

Photos by http://supermantastic.tumblr.com/ (Via Katipunan Weekend Market FB Page)

Legabutina is a regular artist-seller of the monthly Future Market @ Escolta an event organized by 98b in its effort to help revitalized old Manila. He was also invited at the Katipunan Weekend Market last weekend of October. They feature a tightly curated selection of jewelry, handmade items, clothes, arts & crafts, vintage finds, delicious food & live music. If you are in the Escolta area on November 14, go checkout the Future Market. There are no specific dates scheduled for the November and December Katipunan Weekend Market but from time to time, please do check their Facebook page for exact dates.

His first artist solo art show, “The Accidental Artist” was held earlier this year at the Sigwada Art Gallery in San Andres Bukid.

Take a moment to read his artist insight, and take a peek into the mind of this late bloomer.

On his art journey:

My art journey began 5 years ago when I retired from advertising work at age of 60. I didn’t know then that I could make a good art. With so much time on my hands, I started doodling on the computer and posted my works on Facebook. My friends liked it! And that is what started this art journey…..I’m a late bloomer.

Early this year my eyes got so bad that I had an operation. “Wala akong makita sa computer,” I could not see the computer screen. So I started making hand drawn sketches. “Aba, pwede pala akong mag drawing with my hands!” (He said: Wow,  I could draw with my hands). When I started posting them on Facebook, my friends liked it. It was a big revelation for me, to learn that I could really draw with my hands. I have always been used to doing things through the computer. I had my eye operation last April this year and my eyes now are as good as brand new. But I continue to sketch with my hands till today, aside from my digital work.

On his art:

There is nothing profound or philosophical about my art. At least, that’s what I think so. Others will disagree, of course. The thing is, the narrative in my art comes after the work is finished, not before – which art critics will scoff at. There has to be a clear intent or purpose behind what you do, they will say.

My focus is on design, not the story. I want my art to be visually provocative, nothing more. If it touches your five senses and if it resonates with you; then, I am happy. I don’t want my art to be ‘understood’ nor ‘rationalized.’ It’s the least of my intentions. The purpose of my art is to entertain. “Mababaw ba?” (Am I shallow?)

On his art style and influences:

Artists that have had the most impact in me are Dali, Picasso, Boticelli, Miro, Klee, O-keefe, and may others whose names I can’t remember now. I don’t know if their style has influenced my art, maybe subconsciously, yes. I am drawn towards art that have geometric, pop, grotesque, surreal elements.

My art is a mélange of styles. I sometimes wonder if I have a unique style but it’s not a big thing for me. I don’t want to be boxed into a certain style anyway. I want it spontaneous, impromptu and sincere which reflects who I am as a person. What you see is what you get, “kun baga.” (rather)

On being a self-taught artist:

Being a self-taught artist, I pretty much do what I want to do. Not bound by any norm or convention other than good basic aesthetic sense. I don’t put on my thinking that when I work. It’s purely instinctive. I just let things flow. I trust my creative instincts.

On validation:

Every artist needs validation. The feeling that he is doing something right; I get a high when I fellow artist like my work. “Gawa na araw ko pag may isang mabigat na artist na nag like sa work ko,” my day is fulfilled when a big time artist admires his artworks.

The future of his art:

Where do I go from here? I will keep on marking art as long as my five senses are intact. I am happy that art came last in my checkered life. To me, it’s a gift, a blessing from God. I am not a super religious person but much of who I am today and the kind of art I make, I attribute to God. “Nag- iba ang pananaw ko sa buhay,” my life’s vision changed when I rediscovered God.

***A Selection of Legabutina’s Art Masterpieces***

(Please click image to enlarge)

Illustrations

Digital Collage Abstract Art

Images used with permission.

Marilyn “Tiya DK” Kirby Artist Journey And Her Comeback

Marilyn “Tiya DK” Kirby’s art journey of becoming an artist is an unfamiliar one. Tiya started experimenting with creativity at the age of twelve as a hidden hobby until her father encouraged her to see her talent as more than just a past-time.

Her painting became a therapy which helped her blossom to one promising artist.  Her bright and bold colors, shapes, and curves have caught people’s attention in the Washington D.C. area. This gave her the opportunity to showcase her talent in venues such as   The Library of Congress (LOC)   and  The Wing Luke Museum. Her medium of choice is mostly acrylic paint on large canvasses using brushes, fingers, and different tools to give that 3D dimensional effect in all her art works.  

As she was thriving as an upcoming Filipino-American artist, an unspeakable tragedy happened to her father–a senseless act of violence.  Her colorful world became dark as she suffered insurmountable grief for a long period of time.  Her work as an artist and painter froze. 

And only now, is she beginning her journey to a new stage of her life. She plans for a comeback as an artist to paint more, have more shows, and share her stories through her art and writing. Her ultimate goal is to have her manuscript turned into a film so she can share her experiences and make others be more aware of these issues.

This Q&A shows how Tiya’s challenges of her art journey and comeback helped her become a better artist. Enjoy!

We will start the interview with who are you and what do you do as an artist?

I am……a young, free-spirited artist with hopes, dreams and ambition. When it comes to art I have no limitations and boundaries. I express my emotions and feelings through creative expressions, typically on canvas and on paper.

Marilyn “Tiya DK” Kirby, is Tiya DK your nickname?

“Marilyn” is my government name (lol) and “Tiya” is the nickname I got in middle school. “DK” stands for my middle and last names. It made sense to me to keep both and have a separate name for my art.

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What is your art style?

My art style is mostly abstract and it’s free flowing. I do as I feel and once I get into my zone that’s when I feel most free and untouchable. Most of my work is abstract and on large canvases with mostly acrylic paint. Some of the other media I use to give different textures are fabric paint, markers, glitter. I texturize with various paint brushes, finger tips and other tools to create 3-D effects. All art pieces have a story/theme behind the work or a symbolic meaning which makes it more real and fun to discuss.

Tell me about your most significant art exhibit at the LOC (Library of Congress)

In May of 2013, I was asked to display artwork for The Library of Congress, Washington, DC for the Asian Pacific Islander Art Exhibit Archive. The theme was adoption. I had the opportunity to showcase new artwork and I decided to paint a gay couple with an adopted child. Washington, D.C., had recently passed the law for same sex marriage, so I thought it would be a great idea to creatively express that gay couples should have the same equal rights as heterosexual’s to adopt children. It was a good conversation piece.

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The Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Original Artwork Exhibit, Submitted 2013

Earlier, in 2011, The Library of Congress asked me to be a featured guest to speak on a panel and display artwork in their showcase. The panel discussion included other adult adoptees and we discussed the different struggles of being adopted and what challenges we faced growing up. It was an honor to be a guest and it was an incredible and humbling experience to be part of the panel discussion.

The Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Original Artwork Exhibit, Submitted 2011 – Photograph by Byron Curry

The Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Original Artwork Exhibit, Submitted 2011 – Photograph by Byron Curry

You mentioned your art works were also showcased at the Wing Luke Museum, tell me about this experience?

Yes.  Lorial Crowder, who started the Filipino Adoptee Networks (FAN), advised that I try submitting my work for the exhibit and I was excited it was chosen. The Wing Luke Museum is located on the west coast in Seattle, WA. Staff was looking for various adoptees who are artists to showcase their artwork for their exhibit opening. The work had to be judged to be approved for the showcase. I was selected and had my artwork hang for a few months. This opportunity gave me good exposure and an opportunity to share artworks with other adoptees.

Looking at your previous works, I see a stage play, “Conversations About HER” – Is this based on a screenplay?

Tim Odom is an amazing writer (and entrepreneur) who wrote the book, “Conversations About HER” and then turned the book into a stage play. It was set in an art gallery and it had a very artistic approach with a musical flare. His production staff researched different artists and asked if I would be willing to hang some of my work on their set. The play took place at the George Washington University Theater in Washington, D.C.

Marilyn "Tiya DK" Kirby, Tiya DK, Art, Art Journey, Art Comeback, Filipina Artist, Fil-Arm Artist

Tiya DK had the opportunity to display original artwork to create the feeling of an art gallery in the stage play set, “Conversations About HER” a Tim O. Production Event.

You say a percentage of proceeds of art sales and art works are donated to various charities and venues. 1st, how much percentage do you give?

It varies depending on the Venue.

2nd, name a few artworks you have donated?

I have donated artworks to several entities over the years. A lot of my original sketch books have been donated to the Library of Congress for their research and studies (Archive Department) and they also have several original paintings.

I’ve also donated artwork to the Prince Georges County Department for Child Welfare in MD; their fund-raiser was a great opportunity to meet foster-care children and adopted children with their new families. It was an honor to do an art piece that displayed a theme about adoption because I am also a product of that.

In addition, I’ve donated artwork to the Komen Breast Cancer fund-raising event, Dress For Success, The Sasha Bruce Foundation, and more.

Last, what are the charities you donated to and why did you choose them?

All the charities I have donated art proceeds to are organizations that help people get back on their feet: Children in foster-care & adoption, Cancer Fund Raising Events (attached below), HIV/AIDS, and other humanitarian organizations.

Marilyn "Tiya DK" Kirby Artist Journey And Her Comeback

You have some of your artworks displayed in an independent film. Wow! Which are they and what film is this?

A friend of mine who is a screenwriter and an independent film producer, Angel Sepulveda (Sepulveda Films), wrote a manuscript and shot the movie. He needed artwork for the set and reached out to me. I was honored to have some of my work hang in his production. I had three of my large paintings hanging on his walls (Artwork Used: Intertwined Lovers, Writer’s Block, and Rainy Miami). The film has not been released yet.

Marilyn "Tiya DK" Kirby, Tiya DK, Tiya, Art, Art Journey, Artist Reflections, Artist Comeback, Filipina Artist, Fil-Am Artist, Pinay Artist, Philippines

Sepulveda Films, Setting for College Park Film

Marilyn "Tiya DK" Kirby, Tiya DK, Tiya, Art, Art Journey, Artist Reflections, Artist Comeback, Filipina Artist, Fil-Am Artist, Pinay Artist, Philippines

Featured Artist at The Washington Hilton Hotel, DC.

Looking at your Facebook page, art resume, and website, I noticed they were not updated for quite some time. Is this related to the tragedy of your father? (So sorry for your loss.)

Thank you. Yes, it’s been a very difficult struggle to accept the unexpected loss of my father. You never get over it, you slowly just learn to get used to it, which is an excruciating pain I live with every day. My life has changed dramatically…it will never be the same…so it has definitely set me back; however, I’m slowly bouncing back, and when I do, I’m going to come back even harder! The depth of this tragic experience will definitely affect my work.

Despite your loss, it must be hard for you to create again. How did you pull through? Did you paint during this period or was your painting much darker than you’re colorful bright art pieces?

I thought that was it! I was done because I really thought I had literally lost my mind!!!  I was extremely close to my father (I was daddy’s little girl and we also had a common interest through our work in transportation and construction, which made our relationship even richer), so losing him so tragically and unexpectedly tore my world apart and I became depressed. I had no motivation to paint or do anything for a while.

However, with time and also having such a great support team with my friends, family and even my job, I was able to slowly pull myself back together. I found myself getting back into doing some art pieces and actually shocked myself. I think my art now is deeper, more mature, more emotional, and richer. Attached is one of the new pieces I did for the one-year anniversary of his death.

Getting back to doing some art has been very therapeutic for me and it has helped me express my loss. I don’t think my work is as colorful (vibrant) and happy, but I still use bright colors…just in a different manner. Is it darker? Mmmmm…Yes, I would say so. I guess you could call it the “Dark Period”.

Marilyn "Tiya DK" Kirby, Tiya DK, Tiya, Art, Art Journey, Artist Reflections, Artist Comeback, Filipina Artist, Fil-Am Artist, Pinay Artist, Philippines

New Artwork 2015, Medium: Acrylic | Title: “Fallen Hero Down Under”
(One Year Anniversary Tribute Artwork in Honor of my father, Dr. Ronald F. Kirby)

Reading the article, it was stated your parents adopted you and your brother in the Philippines. Has this influenced your creative style? At what age did you discover and started exploring your creativity?

Yes. My brother and I were and still are very blessed we were chosen. I think being chosen aka “adopted” has influenced me to be expressive and feel super fortunate, which gives me the motivation to express my gratitude, experiences, emotions, and who I am creatively on canvas.

Some of my pieces illustrate a lot of where I come from and who I am. I discovered art at a fairly young age and started pursuing it as a hidden hobby at 12 years old. I was shy and didn’t want anyone to know I enjoyed painting.  Being an artist and painting was considered lame and not cool (lol), I also really didn’t think I was that good. It was just a hobby and also a way to avoid getting in trouble. I would paint for hours and lock myself up in my room, but I never saw it being worth showing or talking about until my father found a painting behind my dresser ready to go to the trash. He absolutely refused to throw it away. Instead, he framed my artwork and after that…well, art became more than just a hobby.  It was a talent (that my dad helped me feel worthy of my niche, as he would call it). Eventually it became a passion that I cannot live without!

Marilyn "Tiya DK" Kirby, Tiya DK, Tiya, Art, Art Journey, Artist Reflections, Artist Comeback, Filipina Artist, Fil-Am Artist, Pinay Artist, Philippines

This was the first artwork created (at 12 years old) that was ready to go to trash and later it was framed.
Title: “Secure Comfort” | Photo was taken at The Library of Congress Art Exhibit, Washington, D.C.
(Photograph by Byron Curry)

I see that you are a member at Filipino Adoptee Networks

Yes. As I mentioned earlier, Lorial is a phenomenal Filipina who created FAN and has helped me and many other Filipinos network with appropriate people. She has a great vision to bring people together and help connect you with others.

FAN had a panel discussion on this topic. (http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2011/11-192.html) In this panel, Psychologist Amanda Baden discussed identity crisis in teen years among the adoptees.

Yes, Amanda Baden is a great psychologist and I had the opportunity to listen to her discuss identity crises that typically start at a very young age and eventually can manifest to depression and other issues. We talked about our own struggles and discussed different scenarios, situations, how to possibly recognize children and youth who struggle with identity issues and to suggest ­­­tips to help minimize and possibly prevent them. It was a very interesting group and I felt extremely honored to be part of the panel.

Marilyn "Tiya DK" Kirby, Tiya DK, Tiya, Art, Art Journey, Artist Reflections, Artist Comeback, Filipina Artist, Fil-Am Artist, Pinay Artist, Philippines

“Celebration of Champions” with the 10th Annual Academy Awards celebration of adoption banquet, hosted by the Coalition of Adoption Programs, Inc. Walk the red carpet, experience all the lights, camera, and action as they honor deserving families.

Tell me about your identity crisis as an adoptee and mixing it with your creativity. Did you ever connect with your biological parents as I can see longing in some of your paintings?

Growing up was a challenge because I faced racial discrimination, abandonment issues, and not feeling wanted or accepted.  As a child, it was very hard to understand why you were given up, why your adopted parents don’t look like you, and also to deal with a lot of negativity as an orphan, etc. I definitely struggled with identity at a young age…I think we all do at one point or another, so being adopted (in my opinion) just makes it even more intense, strange and complicated, especially as a child.

It was my art that helped me evolve, gain confidence and see my self-worth. Art helped me forget my worries because I stopped sweating the small stuff that I couldn’t control and I started utilizing the things I could appreciate, value and control: my creativity. Art was the one thing I didn’t fear. I realized no one can take it from me and that’s what helped me gain confidence.

Some of my artwork definitely reflects my inner emotions and feelings of being given up as well as longing to meet my biological family, which I did. I did some of my artwork before I met my family (in the summer of 2005) and I have other artwork illustrating my experiences after I met them. Meeting my biological family was the most exhilarating, thrilling and amazing journey I’ve ever experienced.

In your BIO, you mentioned you are working on a book and a screenplay based on a true story—is this your story? Is this about your adoption and breaking stereotypes?

THE WORK IS ACTUALLY A SCREENPLAY BASED ON A TRUE STORY. So, yes, the story definitely has to do with adoption, breaking stereotypes, and most of all, educating those who lack understanding of adoption and foster-care. It also focuses on educating those who are planning or seriously considering adopting. I incorporated my amazing journey/experiences in the book to give the audience some of the things I’ve experienced and to help others be more aware of what it’s like when adopting as well as fostering children.

What is your plan for a comeback?

My plan is to paint more, have more shows and share my stories through my creative expression (art and writing). My ultimate goal is to have my story turned into a film. Being able to share my story and make others more aware of these issues, plus entertain people would be my ultimate come back!

A significant amount of any proceeds will go to adoption and foster-care agencies as well as efforts to stop domestic violence and gun violence (in honor of my dad who was gunned down in such a senseless manner). Long term, I would like to be a philanthropist and be able to help numerous organizations as my way of giving back.

I am very passionate about my gift, my art, and would like to share it with everyone I meet…share a piece of who I am with others and hopefully make a difference. I am seeking legal representation (agent) to help me produce the story as a film and play.  If you know anyone who wants a unique story and will believe in my vision and project, please send them my way! I’m also open to an art agent who can possibly book me for other art exhibits locally and internationally.

My website is www.tiyadk.com. My facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tiya-DK/190371861040167) and my email is tiya@tiyadk.com or  tiyadk@yahoo.com.

All images are provided by Marilyn “Tiya DK” Kirby.

Copyright © 2010-2015 Tiya DK. All Rights Reserved.

 

Painter & Performance Artist Spotlight: Goddess Nunistell Mae Fulo-Lee

One of the first components of Goddess Nunistell Mae Fulo-Lee’s style is her penchant for flowing lines and spirals. She uses thick textured paints which seems like the subject of her art is dancing elegantly—influenced by her dance background — who was a former member of the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company.

Miss Nunistell hails from Bacolod City who was last year’s Vice-President of the Art Association of Bacolod-Negros. She is now focusing her attention to the Negrense artist’s exhibits at the Museo Diocesano of Bacolod as an organizer.

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Natural Mystic (Embracing Nature) Arts & Concept by Eric Estampador Cabales, Photo taken by Dennis Tan Yu.

Miss Nunistell was among the privileged few dancers who auditioned and were accepted into this acclaimed dance company. She was with the Bayanihan from 1998 to 2003 and took part in its performances here and abroad. She visited 14 countries and represented the Philippines for international dance festivals and competitions.

After Bayanihan, Miss Nunistell concentrated in the arts but she never forgot her roots in dancing.  She became friends with the ethnic group of musicians so sometimes; she will perform and render a neo-ethnic dance routine during the opening ceremony of any art shows she participates in.

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Viva Excon 2014…Performance at the Opening of Art Salon.

Miss Nunistell joined Association of Bacolod last 2011 and from then on, she focused in painting art. In her first group exhibit, her three mixed-media works were sold immediately.  In the process, she was inspired to paint and paint; thus, found her true identity.

“I like to paint that is pleasing in the eyes that are inspiring to look at. We have so many problems in this world; now, why make something that is hard, deep and stressful to look at. So what I prefer to create are the ones that are soft, presentable, elegant, and inspiring—the ones that makes us happy.” she said.

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Left: “Si Maganda” 15″x15″ Textured Oil on Canvas / Mixed Media Art . This art is for group exhibit in Italy — Right: SOLD! “Paunjalay Dancer” Textured Oil on Canvas 24″x36″. Paunjalay is a Pre-nuptial dance of Yakan Tribe of Basilan”. You can see the gracefulness of the Bayanihan dancer itself. Commissioned painting now in Canada.

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Her biggest artwork “Blink of Nature” Yang & Yin Energy, 48″x 60″ Textured Oil on Canvas.

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SOLD! “IDENTIFIED” 5″ x 32″ Set of 4, Textured Oil on Canvas, Now in NEW YORK.

In the realm of the visual arts, Miss Nunistell’s plans to make many dance figures in costumes. If ever, to have a solo exhibit but all of this needs to be planned for first according to her.

Stellar is the word that best describes Miss Nunistell Mae Fulo-Lee who remains humble despite her many accomplishments. She’s also a devoted mother to her daughter, Ela, and a gem of a friend to her peers and colleagues in the local art industry.

“I’m simple & optimistic kind of person. Art is my passion. I love dancing, designing, drawing, painting, and modeling—& even just posing under the sun in Boracay beach. Travelling in different parts of the world is a pleasure and a treasure to keep. My family is my inspiration and God leads our way to live,” she quoted.

Images courtesy of the artist.

Reference article: Sunstar

Artist Profile: Q&A with Master Bienvenido “Boi” Sibug

Beinvenido Sibug, an LA-based Filipino artist has been capturing the essence of a typical world where he grew up in the Philippines–as shown in his paintings, portraits, designs, and photographs. Boi, his nickname, originally wanted to be an architect but opted for Fine Arts. A prolific artist and painter who had 47 group shows in the Philippines, 16 in Guam and 43 in the US. Sibug moved to the Island of Guam in 1992 together with his family and due to an advertising job relocation opportunity. His move also gave him a break to showcase his works as described by art critics from Asia as “A Collection of Artistic Gems.”

While Sibug employs multiple media, his expertise resides in oil, watercolor, pastel, and charcoals. His artistic talents do extend to creating graphic design and photographs, but his exceptional sense of colors and composition leads ultimately to a powerful rendering of images of beauty and order in the Pacific milieu. An artist who has been recognized through numerous awards for his incomparable works and some of his paintings has become permanent features of galleries and lobbies of the finest places in Guam, Manila, and the USA.

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Virtual Still Life One-Man Show. Only at Museum of World Still Life Artists’ Net.

His weekly art group meet-ups at Raffy Studio in Bellflower doing sketching, portrait, nudes session, still life, and plein air keeps him busy and happy in Los Angeles. He is enjoying his retirement but misses the Philippines-so many happenings, according to him. Here is his Q&A from the Master Mr. Sibug.  Enjoy!

Q: Over 35 years in art. Over 100 art shows from Manila, to Guam, to California and a string of awards. How are you?

Boi: I’m doing great. Still very active in the arts, painting, and sketching if ever I have time. I meet with my friends here in Los Angeles; we do paintings, sketching portraiture, and sometimes plein air. I also join several juried shows around Los Angeles & nearby surrounding areas.

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His Fruit Stall Series, Art by Master Boi Sibug.

Q: What’s it like to be Boi Sibug?

Boi: I’m proud, happy, great, and still strong for my senior age. Have a lovely family, still very active in art activities, and won some awards in juried shows.

Q: How old are you now? How was life like as a youngster? Did you always like art? At what age did you realize this and what triggered it? You studied in the Philippines? Where?

Boi: I’m 68 now in my senior years. My youngster years were great, no big problems, had fun with friends, and studied.

When I was in high school, I wanted to be an architect so that’s why I tried to do some drawings and portraits for celebrities.

After I graduated in my high school, my father told me to take accounting course and so I enrolled in University of the East (UE). After one year, I realized I was not interested in numbers so I decided to transfer to UST (University of Santo Tomas) to take up Architecture. Unfortunately it was fully booked so instead I enrolled in Fine Arts majoring in Advertising.

Sir Aalfredo Liongoren, Pan Pastel, General Black & White Charcoal on Strathmore Toned Gray, 9" x 12", 2014.

Sir Aalfredo Liongoren, Pan Pastel, General Black & White Charcoal
on Strathmore Toned Gray, 9″ x 12″, 2014.

Sampaguita vendor (2014), Watercolor on Fabriano Pad, 19.5" x14", Available.

Sampaguita vendor (2014), Watercolor on Fabriano Pad, 19.5″ x14″, Available.

The Balletic Paintings of Master Bienvenido Sibug. Last dance, Watercolor.

The Balletic Paintings of Master Bienvenido Sibug. Last dance, Watercolor.

Q: What made you decide to move to Guam and then to California?

Boi: I worked at Well Advertising in Makati as an Art Director first & after, they transferred me to their Guam branch together with my family.

Q: When did you decide to pursue photography on the side?

Boi: As I worked in several advertising agencies before, I have to learn photography as part of my job requirements. It is still related to paintings as in photography, it is important to know the art of composition, design, light & shadows, and techniques. I take some photos also as references for my paintings.

Waiting (2010), Watercolor on Arches Paper, 21.5"x29.5

Waiting (2010), Watercolor on Arches Paper, 21.5″x29.5.

T'boli woman (2014), Pastel, 19.5" x 25.5", Available for Sale

T’boli woman (2014), Pastel, 19.5″ x 25.5″, Available for Sale.

Q: Those 100+ art shows, how many of them were staged in the Philippines, Guam and in the US?

Boi: In the Philippines, I had around 47 group shows, on Guam, about 16 group shows, and in the USA 43 group shows.

Q: What work are you most proud of and why?

Boi: The portrait of my wife Helengrace done in watercolor for she is my one & only in my life. It’s a priceless piece of work.

His one and only, A Portrait of His Wife.

His one and only, A Priceless Portrait of His Wife.

Q: Who is your most important client?

Boi: Sherwood Hotel on Guam where I was commissioned around six (6) big oil paintings.

Q: What is your most expensive work right now that you are putting on the market?

Boi: The Tricycle done in watercolor with the size of 30” x 22”.

Tricycle, Watercolor on Arches Paper,  21.5" x 29.5", Year 2014, Available for Sale

Tricycle, Watercolor on Arches Paper, 21.5″ x 29.5″, Year 2014, Available for Sale. Won Harvey Clemans Watercolor Award, Tricycle, Watercolor, 2014 Fall Huntington Beach Art League Members Only Show. Nov. 3 – Nov. 26, Huntington Beach Central Library, California.

Q: Where can art fans follow you?

They can follow me in my Facebook page at Bienvenido Sibug, BOI Sibug Art, and my website.

Images courtesy of the artist.

Artist Profile: Q&A with Joel Masaya and his Filipinism Art

When an artist says he is into Filipinism, one automatically associates it with pastoral life and rural Philippines. However, Filipinism in the past was viewed as very limiting but now; it is more of a blessing –artists like Joel Masaya gives his art a little spin by capturing the image with his brushes rather than a lifeless colorful stroke.

Joel Masaya’s art breathes new life into it, and makes it a way to celebrate life by utilizing the riotous colors and complex forms naturally abounding in these islands. This is what Joel Masaya has been doing in his paintings. This art form is a way of showing the real identity of the artist into their works as a Filipino.  He paints to preserve the life of the past and the forgotten culture long ago silenced.

Joel Masaya is an active member of Tanay Art Group founded by Tam Austria and Jun Tiongco. He retired from textile designing and is now a full time artist–100% devoted to his art. His series of mother and child are a tribute to the master artist, Tam Austria. His works are in the collection of prominent art collectors here and abroad.

Homage to the Master Sa Piling ni Nanay  Acrylic on Canvas, 2014 Private Collection

Homage to the Master, Sa Piling ni Nanay, Acrylic on Canvas, 2014
Private Collection

Q: Congratulations on your participation at the 2014 ArtAsia Gallery in SM Megamall. How was it like for you? How many of your works made it to the exhibit?

JM: Being part of that exhibit was a big deal and an important milestone for me. I can’t expect too much, two of my paintings showcased at the ArtAsia Gallery in SM Megamall. I was very happy that my works was part of the group exhibit.

Q: How was the viewers’ feedback regarding your obras (paintings)?

JM: Lots of collectors inquire directly to me and was able to raise three (3) commissioned artworks. Some collectors asked me if I have many paintings. A painting was sold as the result of the exhibit.

Q: You are a BSIE (Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering) graduate. How did you get into art?

JM: It was my auntie who advised me to take that course. But deep inside, my passion is on the arts. I set aside painting for a while until I met my mentor, Martin Catolos and Tam Austria, the Founder of Tanay Artist Group. I painted again under the tutelage of Martin Catolos and was influenced by Tam Austria. I was invited to join the group and also participated in their annual art exhibit from years 1986 to 1997.

Joel Masaya, Filipino Artist, Filipinism, Art, Artist Profile, Art Feature, Rural Art, Philippines

Homage to the Master, 4 Marias, 24 x 34, Acrylic on Canvas, 2014

Q: How come that you contained your career as painter mostly inside Pililla, Rizal?

JM: I was born in Pililla Rizal but was raised in Tanay Rizal. My hearts belong in Pililli. I feel great and more focused because of the poetic environment. There are plenty of inspirations in this town. I often go to field, markets, and fishing village to get my inspiration. I go around the town to find old custom materials for my art composition. As an artist, Pililla is a place where I feel more relaxed.

Q: How did you develop your love for art and your career-path towards it?

JM: Since I was I kid, I drew and painted for developmental purpose only. I continued my studies with the senior artist in Tanay who helped me improve my art. I also met Oscar Salita who at that time gave me an assignment to sketch. He once said, “Arts come from the brain close to the heart, to the hands that lines are remain in my mind.”

Joel Masaya, Filipino Artist, Filipinism, Art, Artist Profile, Art Feature, Rural Art, Philippines

Luningning, 12 x 24, Acrylic on Canvas, 2015

Q: You did textiles before. Why the transition into paintings?

JM: I worked as a textile hand painter for almost 20 years.”Ito ung binuhay ko sa pamilya ko.” This was my way of living for my family and at the same I painted and visited Manila to peddle my paintings door to door. It was very hard but I was prepared and experienced hard times as an artist. It’s a part of learning process. My hardships helped me enhanced my craft. I can’t escape art because it is my first love and my passion despite the hardships.

Q: You have a fondness for Filipinism and elements of the past. How so?

JM: As an artist, I work to develop the beauty of Filipina, the beauty that exist in the ruin culture, and traditions; Philippine urban style and the elements of the past is something I want to preserve in my art.

Joel Masaya, Filipino Artist, Filipinism, Art, Artist Profile, Art Feature, Rural Art, Philippines

Early works, Nippa Hut, 18 x 24, Acrylic on Canvas, 2012

Joel Masaya, Filipino Artist, Filipinism, Art, Artist Profile, Art Feature, Rural Art, Philippines

Early works, Golden Harvest, 18 x 26, Acrylic on Canvas

Q: What work of yours best embodies your ideals regarding Filipinism?

JM: My paintings titled, “Bahay Kubo, Golden Harvest, and Homage to the Master Mother and Child,” are subjects of Philippine urban style. I work hard to recreate Filipinism in all my art.

Q: How many of your works that went on exhibit last year at SM Megamall received raves from prospective buyers and actually sold? 

JM: One art piece was sold and the other piece was reserved to one collector. Through social media, I was able to get commission work. Social media is a big factor to make transactions with art buyers.

Q: What will you be painting next?

JM: As of now, I’m doing some sketches for a series—Beauty of Filipina since I’m inspired by Filipina beauty.

Joel Masaya, Filipino Artist, Filipinism, Art, Artist Profile, Art Feature, Rural Art, Philippines

Early works, Golden Field, 24 x 36, Acrylic on Canvas, 2013

Joel Masaya, Filipino Artist, Filipinism, Art, Artist Profile, Art Feature, Rural Art, Philippines

Early works, Windowing, 18 x 24, Acrylic on Canvas, 2012

Artist Contact Information:

Facebook
CP: 09484460544
Email: masayajoel@gmail.com

Images courtesy of the artist.

Q&A: Intense Realism in Clint Normandia’s Art

His art stands out as his paintings are a combination of classic realistic views with a touch of modern twist. Keen on detail in his utilization of space and fine control of the brush, Normandia gives significant dimension to the treatment of light and shade in his drawings and paintings. All his compositions are distinct and lines are sleek with elements which points to Normandia’s contemporary sights. He goes beyond traditional concepts and gives a playful punch to his masterfully painted subjects. His execution and detailed in capturing beauty of the human body and his art goes beyond the standards of traditional aesthetic norms. His artistic boldness and his drive to perfection can only be seen in artists of Normandia’s caliber.

Purely a self-taught painter, Clint earned his additional artistic knowledge under the tutelage of Jose “Kimsoy” Yap, Jr and got inspiration and pointers from Romulo Galicano. Clint was also elected as the youngest president of Cebu Art Association and is currently an active member of Portrait Artists Society of the Philippines.

Clint hails from Misamis Occidental but currently lives in Cebu City. He is a consistent finalist and winner of the Martino Abellana Annual Art Competition in Carcar, Cebu and got his most coveted award as a Grand Prize winner for Art Petron in 2003.

Get to know more of Clint personally on this artist reflection Q&A. Enjoy!

Clint Normandia, Art, Artist, Filipino Art, Artist Feature, Filipino Artist, Realism, Modern Art, Philippines

Clint Normandia, Art, Artist, Filipino Art, Artist Feature, Filipino Artist, Realism, Modern Art, Philippines

Clint Normandia, Art, Artist, Filipino Art, Artist Feature, Filipino Artist, Realism, Modern art, Philippines

The Nude – By Clint Normandia, Philippines

You are an architect, a theologian and a painter. How does that work for you? How did theology come into the picture? You are also a pastor?

First of all because of my eagerness in searching for the answer of life’s questions and the existence of The Creator, lead me to precede my study of Theology.

It all works together. My architectural background helps my painting build in a good foundation while my theological background gives a profound meaning to its intention and purpose.

No, I’m not a pastor nor do I do pastoring to any congregation or a church, but I’m involved in the ministry of music in our church.

You worked as an art teacher at a rehabilitation center for abused children. How did that come about?

It all came about by an opportunity and because of my passion and burden to the ministry.  I’d like to share my humble little God given talent to the abused and indigent’s kids in an orphanage as where I’m presently working at the Happy Horizons Children’s Ranch. And more of that, I believe they need it not just for them to gain knowledge in art but as for therapy as well.

You work for a security agency now? How so?

No not anymore because from time to time, I realized that I’m not following my inner passion. So I decided to quit working on a security agency which is owned by our family but instead, I got back on painting and teaching as well.

Architecture is your first profession. It is related to painting. How do you juggle the two jobs?

It juggled together because it works and compliments each other as one. But actually this time, I concentrate more on paintings rather than architectural works.

How long have you been a painter? You are already an architect, why did you decide to pursue painting as well? What is your first work as a painter? What is your best work so far and why?

As far as I can remember, it begun at my early age since the accident happened to my left leg caused by a gun fire. Because of my disability, I could not play with my friends anymore. Instead, I just kept on drawing and painted inside our house.

I decided to pursue painting because I’d like to do more than architecture.

I don’t really exactly remember my first work or painting because I started painting since I was a child. Cannot be counted anymore on how much works I’ve already produced.

Well talking about “best work” for me, I see it in this way: “My next work will be my best work.”

What are the highlights of your journey as an artist so far? What are the memorable events in your life as a painter?

First, I think one of the highlights of my journey as an artist is when I won the national title of painting competition at “3rd Art Petron National Art Competition” last 2003.

Second highlight is when I was elected as a President of Cebu Art Association (CAA).

And then thirdly, when I was given an opportunity to join the Art Tabang Project for Yolanda Victims. This gave me an opportunity to share my humble God given talent to help others in need. At least, this fulfilled my reason to exist as an artist.

Clint Normandia, Art, Artist, Filipino Art, Artist Feature, Filipino Artist, Realism, Modern Art, Philippines

Clint Normandia, Art, Artist, Filipino Art, Artist Feature, Filipino Artist, Realism, Modern Art, Philippines

Clint Normandia, Art, Artist, Filipino Art, Artist Feature, Filipino Artist, Realism, Modern Art, Philippines

Sinulog Dancer, Artist: Clint Normandia, Philippines

You sell your paintings? What was the most expensive of your paintings that you sold?

Most expensive? Oh my, I’m not that expensive or that highly priced artist. (Laughing)

But for me, the most expensive one as far as I can remember I think is when we were in need and had nothing but only painting. Then, somebody bought my painting, not to mention the amount but it’s the value of that money was enough to meet our needs on that specific time. I thanked God for answering our prayers when I had nothing but only painting.

Who are your most valued clients, your favorites?

I have lots of valued clients. I think all of them are my favorites. I have no favoritism (Laughing) and I thank all of them for their support.

Is art in your family? How does your wife and kids take it?

In our family, I’m the only artist. But my mom said our forefathers in our mother side are musicians.

With my kids, my eldest daughter 16 years who has musical talent and my 2nd daughter, 14 years has the artistic talent.

What are the goings on in your life right now as a painter that you would like to share to the public (events, galleries, exhibits…)?

I’m currently in a group exhibit just here in Cebu at Banilad Town Center entitled, “Pasiunang Halad.” It is ongoing from Jan. 14 until Feb. 16, 2015.

And also, now preparing for my upcoming one man exhibit in Manila most probably at Artasia Gallery in Sm Megamall.I do not know the specific time and schedule yet, but it’s gonna be this year.

All images courtesy of the artist.

For more about the artist, you can find him at his Facebook page here.

Reference 

Q&A Omi M. Reyes: The Modern Realist Who’s Painted For The Sultan of Brunei

Omi Reyes has gone a long way as an artist who started as a textile painter back in the 1980s. In the early days of his career, he painted floral designs on diaphanous and gossamer material to accessorize fashion. Nowadays, his works revolve around modern realism.

Fresh from college at that time, finding a steady source of income was the only choice. His artistic soul hungered for venues that can showcase his creativity and celebrate the way he views the world around him through art.

He believes that a true artist is one who is not afraid of trying out new ways of rendering art. He plays around with depth and focus, photographic impressionism, abstraction, at times surrealism, juxtaposing different subjects, mixing light and shadow to create a rare hazy, smoky effect evoking evanescence and ethereal landscapes among others. Being a frustrated musician, he says that he always finds a way to convey his musical inclination regardless of his theme as suggested by his works “Rhythm of the Wind”, “A Symphony of Flowers”, “Harmony in Still Life”, and in his most recent one-man-show entitled “Omi’s Symphony” where he focused on musical instruments as a theme subject.

Art, Art Feature, Art Profile, Art Sale, Artist Reflections, Philippines, Omi Reyes

Men on Wheels — 12.5 x 28.75 x 3.75 Inches — Mixed Media 2014

Born on Valentine’s Day, Omi exemplifies love, dedication, harmony, peace where his art is concerned. Get to know Omi Reyes up-close, the modern realist who’s painted for the Sultan of Brunei. Enjoy!

You painted for Sultan Bolkiah of Brunei. Tell us how your painting/s ended up on the wall of the music room of the sultan’s palace in Brunei? How many are they and what are they about? When did this happen? How did it happen? Did he buy your finished work or did he commission you to paint on his requested theme and subject?

It was circa 1997 when I was referred by my late friend Oscar Salita who hired for a commission work at Sultan Bolkiah’s Mansion in Forbes Park. I did several paintings in different parts of the mansion. I painted the headboard up to the ceiling for his master bedroom. Aside from that, I have done some retouch for his indoor swimming pool ceiling since there were already existing murals done by young artists during that time. I was also sent to Brunei to do his music room in his palace but it was more of designing than painting.

You attended UE in Manila. You now live in Hulo, Mandaluyong City. Have you always lived in Mandaluyong? You said life was hard when you were a student because your parents were poor. How did you go about it and get by through college?

I was born and raised in Hulo, Mandaluyong. It has always been my home. I tried living outside Mandaluyong for a couple of years (in Quezon City) but my heart belonged here so I came back.

We were not born with a silver spoon in our mouths but we got by. My parents were micro-entrepreneurs so my siblings and I were able to finish college through that without really needing to work during school. My life as a college student was kind of normal.

Art, Art Feature, Art Profile, Art Sale, Artist Reflections, Philippines, Omi Reyes

Mechanical Elegance (Close-Up) — 24”x 26” x 26” — Mixed Media 2013 — Sold

It said in your bio that you realized that you wanted to become an artist when you took up Advertising Arts at UE. At what point: during your freshman year, in between, or during your senior year? Painting requires a lot of money to learn and pursue and then it is not a practical source of income. How did your parents take it? Were you open to your parents about it or did you mislead them to think that advertising was the route that you were going after college?

Ever since I started to learn how to hold a pencil I already knew what I wanted to be – an artist. I just wanted to draw. I hated school. I never knew how I persuaded my parents so that I can take Fine Arts in college. I guess I was just lucky that my parents understood. I majored in Advertising because I knew I can easily get a job at this compared to taking up major in painting. At least I have a chance to get by and be able to feed myself. I knew that painting was really not a practical source of income. Maybe I also realized at one point that I still needed education so I pursued finishing college.

After some experience working an office job in an advertising company, I realized that my passion is still painting. After work, I usually painted, so I managed to gather a few of my works. I met an art broker who handled me for about 3 years. After about a year, I had my very first painting exhibit in 1983 at Hyatt Regency Manila.

Art, Art Feature, Art Profile, Art Sale, Artist Reflections, Philippines, Omi Reyes

Wall Relief Resurrection Engines II — 48”x 24” Mixed Media

You started in art as a textile painter. How was that like? And how did you transition into painting beyond that and explore other genres?

When I was in the last year of college, I met a newlywed couple looking for an artist who can do hand painting on georgette blouses for Rustan’s Department Store. I made different kinds of floral designs and it was a sell-out. As I matured to being an artist, I was able to bring this specific style because initially I used flowers as a subject for my paintings. Then I discovered finger-painting technique using my index and middle fingers with a piece of cloth. Actually, it’s not the flower itself that I wanted to capture because sometimes I don’t even know what kind of flower I was painting. I wanted to capture the beauty in it. For me, it was the essence of what I was doing.

You do murals. You like modern realism, nature, flowers, birds and music. Which element most defines you as an artist? What have flowers done to you that they dominate a majority of your art as a subject?

I love nature that’s why most of my subjects I painted back then are flowers, forests, birds & mountains. I love music too. I even composed a couple of songs when I was young. I can say that what’s in your heart manifests effortlessly in what you do because I was able to come up with my 13th One-man show entitled ”Omi’s Symphony” (Reborn by Music). I painted notes and different musical instruments like violin, harp, guitar and more.

Art, Art Feature, Art Profile, Art Sale, Artist Reflections, Philippines, Omi Reyes

Wall Relief — Ode to Secret Surface — 32″ Diameter — Mixed Media

Flowers dominated most of my subjects because way back in the early 80’s to 90’s, art collectors loved beautiful sceneries and subjects that are easy on the eyes and flowers are one of them. These subjects were quite a lot of help financially so I was able to bring my kids to school and feed my family.

Art is your full-time job right now? How does that work for you? It says in your bio that your wife Susan helps you. Is she an artist too? How did you two meet and become a couple? How many years have you been together now?

Painting is my full time job since 1982. Susan and I met during college and have been married for 33 years now. She was also taking up Fine Arts in UE. She and I are more of partners & best friends. She does what I can’t, which is the selling part. She manages my career. Being an artist herself, she is also aware of the psychology of being an artist. As a painter, it is not easy to sell your own product. It’s not the same as selling a vacuum where you can just go on your day after being rejected for not being able to sell. It is also hard to praise your own works for people to be able buy it. As an artist, you just create. Hence, Susan’s job is really important for me. She’s been very supportive and more importantly, she is my number one critic. I was able to stand and survive as an artist because she’s been my stronghold.

How old are you now? How many years have you been an artist? Any children? How about grandchildren? Can you describe how life is for an artist’s family in Mandaluyong City?

I am turning 55 this coming February and have been painting since late ’82, so that would be 33 years of my creative career. I have two daughters ages 32 & 30 and an adopted daughter who just turned 16, and no grandchildren yet. They were all raised with the fruits of creative juices of the art industry.

As I’ve said, Mandaluyong has always been my home. I feel comfortable doing my works in my humble, little nook at the third floor of our home amidst the busy urban area. I have always found my heart in here.

Art, Art Feature, Art Profile, Art Sale, Artist Reflections, Philippines, Omi Reyes

Mechanical Elegance (Close-Up) — 24”x 26” x 26” — Mixed Media 2013 — Sold

I noticed that your recent works involve some metal or metallic crafts. How did you get into it?

I usually use wood, some metals and resin. It’s called “steam punk”. I was not aware about this genre until a friend of mine told me about it 3 years ago. I never knew it existed. I was doing this style since 1985 but during those times, it was a not a very sellable technique because art collectors weren’t that open to this kind of works. I had to survive. I had to provide for my family. So I had to settle for sellable works instead, such as floral, landscapes and still life paintings.

Only when my children finished school was I able to go out of my comfort zone and went back to this genre which enabled me to freely express what I really wanted to do. So since 2010, I was doing this style.

Aside from having Sultan Bolkiah as a client, his brother; and some churches in the Philippines, what other work/s are you proud of?

I’m really proud of my latest works, because as I’ve mentioned, I just got out of my comfort zone. The fulfillment that I feel when art lovers appreciate my works is beyond compare. Unlike before when I paint to sell, I do what I love now and can care less about whether or not people will buy it. Good thing is that many people are open to a wider range of style now so they are captured by my sculptures & wall reliefs. Buyers are just a bonus for me.

What are the latest breakthroughs or significant upcoming events in your career that you might like to share to our readers?

I have an upcoming group show that will be held in July 2015 in Art Center SM Megamall and a solo exhibit in Serendra. I cannot give away the details yet as we are just in the planning phase right now. But these are the things that I am looking forward to now.

All images courtesy by the artist.

Note: Images are linked to Artworks by Omi’s Reyes artist Facebook page.

Q&A: Flerrie Vicencio—The Widow Who Found Healing in Painting

Jenny’s Serendipity’s featured artist is Flerrie Valiente-Vicencio—a  Malabon City native and a graduate of UST Fine Arts who majored in Advertising. When her father died, she inherited an engineering company. With the help of her husband, she was able to manage her business.  But tragedy came too soon, her husband died and she was left to fend everything to herself. Thanks to her husbands loyal employees, the business survived. With the business, she then started an animation company back when it was new to do 2D animation.

Because of her struggles, her paintings became her way of relaxation.  Flerrie is an artist who paints from her imagination. I got to interview Mrs. Vicencio online and here is what we talked about how her art heals her:

You have a lot going on in your life. You graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, who majored in Advertising from UST, you inherited an engineering company, you do animation, and you are a visual artist on the side. In all these, what best defines you?

I love drawing women, sceneries, animals, houses. And a lot of times, I will switch to drawing volcanic eruptions, wars… even in high school. I still do that, especially when I am bored.

I hope through constant practice, my true character will show in my paintings. I’d like to be bold in my characters. I can say anything I want when I paint freely.

Art, Art Feature, Art Journey, Art Profile, Artist Reflections, Artist Confessions, Flerrie Valiente-Vicencio, Flerrie Vicencio, Art Heals, Painters Reflection, Philippines

Artist at work.

When did you start painting and what was your first work? Who or what urged you to paint? Who are your influences? Where do you draw inspiration from?

My father’s close friend was an oil painter. I remember him doing portraits, and sceneries. I really admire his style but I knew all along, that my father was just helping him financially.

Knowing that there is no money in art but despite that, I took up Fine Arts in UST and majored in Advertising mainly because we have our family business. Did not worry and hated Math… And most of all, I followed my heart’s desire.

My pleasant easy moments with my parents when I was a kid; my informal training and development I had experienced while watching my father draw images for me on pieces of plywood, while he was doing carpentry for our cabinets or whatever he was doing had a great impact with me.  During his break time, he would draw some images for me mostly animals, flowers, and people. Sometimes, my mother would do the same.  She would draw women with nice curly hair, flowers and bahay kubo.  I was too fascinated by just watching them draw for me. I remembered my father would draw big drawings using chalks and charcoals.  It was fun!  I would always get in trouble because my notebook was filled with drawings instead of lectures.

When my father died of leukemia, I had to resign and continue the family business. Luckily, my taste for guns helped me a lot, and my husband’s background in engineering was a big help too. Thus, we were able to continue. What we had then was metal, woodcraft industry, and some engineering works more on air-gun manufacturing.

At the same time, some animation friends gave me the idea, to open my own animation studio back in 2000; thus, Northkey Images was born. I was able to train some youths in our area. We were able to win some projects from big studios here in the country. The biggest project we had is Kong.

What is your most memorable painting and why?

My first finished painting is “The Man from a Novel.” I started working on that piece when I was very frustrated and desperate with everything that I did. I was almost gave up and then suddenly, I found this desire to paint again.

I grabbed my college painting set. Surprisingly, my oil colors were still okay.  I just worked freestyle until these images came out – “The Bearded Man, “The Snow,” “The Dog,” and “The Boat,” without any references.

The paintings are still with me but are now reserved.

Art, Art Feature, Art Journey, Art Profile, Artist Reflections, Artist Confessions, Flerrie Valiente-Vicencio, Flerrie Vicencio, Art Heals, Painters Reflection, Philippines

Fruit Trip — 24″ x 24″ oil on canvas 2013.

When the world was young--- 24" x 36" oil on canvas  2000-2011

When the world was young— 24″ x 36″ oil on canvas
2000-2011

You have been a widow for a while now. Do you have any children? How do you juggle all those different things that you do? Who helps you?

My most tragic blow in my life was when my husband was killed over a traffic dispute that was barely eight months when my father died. Those sad, tragic events kept lingering in my thoughts and would still make me cry to this day… But that sad episode made me stronger. Not a day will pass without me going to the firing range. I became more addicted to guns.

I still struggled to continue with the business, but with the help of my father’s most loyal employees, I was able to manage the business.

I was raised like a boy. I loved guns like how some girls adored their dolls. Our business was mainly focused on air-guns.

Flerrie at a shooting range.

Flerrie at a shooting range.

It is just me and my elder sister with no sons. So maybe my dad was too dreaming of a son so I grew up like a boy. I was able to survive more than 20 years and just recently, I decided it was really over, because it’s really difficult to compete with China—a major competitor.

My three daughters are all married and with nice jobs. I have a granddaughter and two grandsons. They are now on their own, have their own houses, and I could now spend the rest of my life painting and painting. I am comfortable, yes.

But my final wish, if I can still make it, is to build my dream rest house… My paradise where I can paint my heart out and paint all my dreams, for me and my family… And if I can continue with a food business, like how my parents dreamt, I will restart and do it all over again—maybe a cute, secret hideaway restaurant for artists and fans, and a nice gallery.

With all those different things you got going on, how often do you paint? When do you find or make the time for it?

When traditional animation (2D) here in the country turned slow and suddenly, India was taking over, I decided to close down because we can no longer compete with the price.

That’s when I started painting again because I was so missing the momentum I had with my animation business. Painting lessened all the strain I got from working on our business. Of course, it was more on troubleshooting. After my father died, financial losses, and uncollected debts, painting became my medium to release the stress.

Is painting a plain hobby of yours? Do you also get to join competitions and exhibits? And do you get to sell your paintings? Have you turned this hobby to a sideline job as well?

PAINTING is my passion, my comfort, and my source. Unlike before, I was very shy to join any contest, to join any art group. It is just here on cyberspace that by luck, I was able to follow the trails of some real life artist friends. I love the artist interaction especially Kimnetix.  I love that group.

I don’t know but I’m too tired of competing. All I want to do now is go with the flow. Whatever will come out of this, I am charging to experience. My painting is my own escape from reality but faith and fate will change its route and who knows what could happen but for now, this is a hobby.

Painting is like I am travelling into a different dimension....creating a world of my own....Thus,time passes by too quickly and I dont even notice..........My Passion :) --A Quote taken from her FB album.

Painting is like I am travelling into a different dimension….creating a world of my own….Thus,time passes by too quickly
and I dont even notice……….My Passion 🙂 –A Quote taken from her FB album.

What do you paint best? What is your specialty and what is your best sample of that which you did?

I have no favorite piece. I love all my creations. It’s difficult to separate from them. I love the feeling if some people will somehow treasure my pieces, keep them as their own and make them a part of their family—I will miss them though.

Tell us about your foray into animation. How did you go about it? How many projects have you done? Enumerate your best works. What is your future in animation (projects that will come out this 2015)?

We were then the pioneers in animation here in the country. I was employed by Optifex International, one of the first animation studios in the Philippines together with Burbank, and then finally made it at Fil Cartoons as a 2D key animator.

How long have you worked in advertising? Do you still do it from time to time?

I was able to finish my course despite being three months pregnant and having an early marriage. There was a two-year interval for all my three daughters, and in between those years, I managed to work and practice my course. I worked for a textile company as designer, t-shirt designer, and then finally, I made it to the animation industry.

What are future events in your life as an artist that you’d like people to know about?

Now, I’m more concentrated into painting. My mind is bursting with so many ideas. If someday I make it, I will be very thankful because it is my passion, my kind of fun, my healing, and my stress buster.

Thank you so much for the interest. I know you are very nice for helping artist alleviate the life of struggling artists. More Power!

All images courtesy by the artist.

Featured Artist: Sr. Venus Marie S. Pegar

Meet Sr. Venus Marie Pegar, the nun who paints on the side. She started drawing at an early age and continued her artistic pursuit even when she made the VOW to be God’s servant. She said she is grateful that her congregation, Sisters of St. Francis Xavier, supports her artistry but her community outreach will always come first.

Sister of St. Francis Xavier was portrayed by actress Jessy Mendiola in the August 30, 2014 episode of TV drama show “Maalaala Mo Kaya” on ABS-CBN Channel 2, for her incredible story of life, love, devotion, and vocation. (Please check a short clip of Jessy Mendiola below – Yeah that’s her) 😉

Every artist has an art journey to tell.  I as a blogger intend to showcase these stories. Sr. Venus hopes one day she will exhibit her work and that would be her first exposure to the art world including this feature article.

Nuns do paint too. Read her art journey and get inspired.  Enjoy!

You’re a nun. At what point in your life did you realize the artist side of yourself? When did you develop it and what influenced you to pursue it as one of your passions, second to serving the Lord?

Actually, artist runs in the family.  I started drawing at an early age of eight (Grade 3, at that time). My dad was also an artist but only known to some. He encouraged me to draw and supplied me with the materials. It is not really a second option together with serving the Lord. My siblings: my brother is a professional artist based in Cebu and my other brother is into graphics.

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Sr. Venus Marie S. Pegar was inspired to paint the Pope to commemorate Pope Francis Philippine visit on Jan 15.

How many years have you been a nun? Under what order or congregation? Do they support your artistry or did you struggle with that aspect?

I’ve been in the congregation of the Sisters of St. Francis Xavier for eight years and a professed sister only for four years since I entered the convent in my later years after working outside.

My congregation and community supports me with my artistry. I’m so at peace in reawakening my passion even our superior general approves it with love. And most especially, the support of my brother who provides me with the materials.

How old are now? Where are you from? Your life story was featured on TV’s ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ (in the episode “Sulat,” last August 2014). How did they learn about you? Did you write to them and sent your story?

Last December 11, I turned 38. I was born in Leyte but studied college and worked in Manila. I hid my identity in my MMK story to protect everyone. I just made it known to some close friends and family. At the end of the episode, my pic appeared so some recognized me.

How many suitors and how many boyfriends did you have before you decided to pursue Holy Orders? Your last boyfriend must have been crushed with your decision to become a nun. Did he or did any of those men who came into your life inspire you to paint?

I had a lot of suitors during my younger years but I only had one boyfriend until the time when I decided to enter… My dad inspired me to paint since it was our bonding moment together before he died.

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The subject of the painting was based on a pink flower she saw at Tagaytay Picnic Grove. It is a meaningful remembrance of her first community outing.

What is your first masterpiece? Tell us about it.

My first drawing was when I was eight years old. My dad encouraged me to draw so I came out with the portrait of Ms. Gloria Romero in pencil. The portrait ended up as a birthday gift to my grandmother.

You are also an educator now? Where? What do you teach? How long have you been teaching? What do you always tell your students?

I am currently assigned as a formator to aspirant, and postulant of our congregation. My position helps them spiritually on how to be a Religious Sister of our congregation. I always impart in them the reality that we are created by our loving Creator so we need to be creative and express our great appreciation of all things around us by means of art like painting. Every Tuesday and Thursday night is their artworks and painting time with myself.

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The subject of painting is Estes Park in the U.S. where her best friend lives that she hopes to visit in Gods time.

As a nun, you also get to serve at masses. What is your role? Are you part of the choir, lector, communion minister, or donation collector?

Besides being a formator and vocation directress of our congregation, I’m also help in our mission in taking care of the elderly in our institution, the Mary Mother of Mercy Home for the Elderly and Abandoned. We serve and cater to 20 abandoned senior citizens. We have our own Sunday Mass wherein we ourselves are the choir, commentator, and lector. I also teach our candidates about music, singing, and playing guitar; flute and keyboard, a bit.

Who are the artists you look up to?

I look up to all the artists with their artistic masterpieces but recently, I have been admiring the works of United Women Artists Association of the Philippines (UWAAP)most especially, the obras (paintings) of Ms. Menchu Arandilla (Please check my featured post on Menchu here). So amazing!

How do you juggle your roles? What is your weekly schedule? What is your best art work? Tell us about it. Do you sell your paintings?

I just do my paintings on my free time. I don’t let it intervene with my mission work in the congregation. I paint during our evening recreation and sometimes Sunday afternoon.

The best painting I have is my second try with the oil painting, the sunflower. I took a picture of that sunflower somewhere in Tagaytay as we had our first community outing. I like sunflowers so I’m planning to paint more of it.

Before, I never thought of selling my art as I used to just give my charcoal paintings to some friends. But now I realized that I could contribute to the financial needs of our Formation and Mission Program of our Congregation. Wishing, I get to sell my art works and with the help of UWAAP (Check my UWAAP post here: Filipinas all over gather for love of art at the 1st SBMA ‘Bagong Pinay’ Arts Summit) I will fulfill my wish.

I would like to experience an art exhibit showcasing my works. This will be my first exposure to the art world and thanks to this article; she hopes to get more exposure.

What is the latest about you? Where can people view your work? Any upcoming exhibits or events you would like people to know about?   

I only started painting seriously. I just simply post it on my Facebook account. People can also just view the page of UWAAP as I also update my ongoing paintings there.

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UWAAP Member Artist. United Women Artists Association of the Philippines is an association of empowered Filipina artists in the Philippines and abroad.

All images courtesy of the artist.

 

Featured Artist: Lord Ahzrin Bacalla

SHEER GRIT and TALENT in painting is what got one kid visual artist, Lord Azhrin D. Bacalla, closer to his dreams after being discovered and sponsored to his schooling now at Navotas Science High School.

It is his dream to inspire all Filipino kids to dream big and never give up.

According to our Facebook chat, he mentioned that with hard work and determination, he knows one day he will succeed in life as a painter.

It is in the Philippine Horticultural Society Inc (PHSI) ART COMPETITION 2013 where he got the chance to learn art from Master Artist Fernando Serna. He asked if he could use his 2 art workshop stubs to be able to attend his art classes.  He said, no problem, you are an art scholar for life.

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This article is the longest article I have done and this is the most personal.  I have never met such a kid like Ahzrin with so much grit for the love of his art.  I am practically close to 3,000 words and I could not edit it down.  All I want is for this kid to succeed and I know he will. I sent him a couple interview questions for his artist insights and this is what he said:

You’re so young. Only 13 years old. Grade 8 in High School. At what age did you start painting? Who or what influenced you to pursue it?

Bata pa lang po ako mahilig na akong mag-drawing.  (I love drawing since I was a child.) (I was) Nine-years-old po ako nang una akong sumali sa isang (when I first joined an) on the spot poster making contest. Luckily, nanalo po ako ng (I won) second place.  Simula po noon, nagustuhan ko ng sumali sa mga (Since then, I liked joining) drawing and poster making competitions sa (with the) guidance ng papa ko na si (of my father) Dario Bacalla.  Marami po akong sinalihan na mga (I joined many) drawing competitions, simula sa (from) school napunta sa mga (to) district competitions, division level, NCR, regional at (and) international.  Kadalasan masuwerte naman po ako na nananalo. (I’m lucky to win, most of the time.)

His first time to join a drawing competion at 9 yrs. old.

His first time to join a drawing competion at 9 yrs. old.

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Gusto ko pong magkaroon ng isang  (I want to have) formal art lesson or makaranas ng mga (experience) art workshop, pero  hindi naming kaya na mag-(but we can’t afford to) enroll sa mga ganoon (to it) dahil sapat lang po ang kinikita ni (because) Papa para sa mga (only earns enough for our) needs naminAkala ko noon hanggang pangarap na lang pero isang araw dumating ang (I thought that I could only dream about this until it arrived, the) opportunity.  Nakita ni Papa ang isang (saw an) announcement online na magkakaroon ng (that a) drawing contest bukod sa (was going to take place and the) cash prize at (and) art materials, magkakaroon ng (there will also be) free summer art workshop ang mananalo (for the winners) sponsored by Rotary Club of Makati-Pasong Tamo at (and the) Art Discovery and Learning Foundation, Inc. ni (of) Sir Fernando Sena ang (the) Father of the Philippine Art Workshop. Naging (I was) first place po ako out of more than a hundred participants. Masayang-masaya po ako. (I was very happy). Nagsimula ang (My) Free Summer Art Workshop ko (started) April 2012.  Sa (At the) summer art workshop, isa po ako sa naging (I was one of those who became) outstanding student ni (of) Sir Sena, at dahil sa nakita niya daw po sa akin ang tiyaga at determinasyon kinuha na niya akong scholar niya sa pagpipinta. (and because he saw the patience and determination in me, he took me in as scholar in painting.) Isa po ako sa maraming (I am one of the many) under-priviledged children na binigyan niya ng (he gave) opportunity na maipagpatuloy at ma-(to continue and) develop ang talent sa pagpipinta (in painting).  Kaya ngayon po ay tuloy-tuloy pa rin akong nagsasanay sa kanya. (That is why I continue my training with him.)

You’ve won two international competitions and was awarded by the NCAA    because of it. Tell us about these experiences. Who urged you to join internationally? What were the themes of your winning works?

 **UNGEI Drawing Contest 2012-2013.  Ang UNGEI (United Nations Global Education Initiative) ay isang (is a) branch ng UNESCO.

The theme was:   “What can a teacher do to ensure girls and boys benefit equally from quality  education?”

*Isa po ako sa mga nanalo (I was one of the winners) in over 800 entries in the Asia Pacific Region.

**The 2013 International Drawing Competition by YUNGA (Youth United Nations and Global Alliance) had the theme: “Protecting our Fisheries Inheriting a Healthier World.”

*I finished at Second Place in the Under 11-15 years old category. I won in over 1000 entries from 50 different  countries.

Dahil po sa pag-encourage sa akin ni Papa, nagpadala po ako ng entry outside the country at hindi po ako natatakot ipakita ang kakayahan ko dahil palagi nasa tabi ko si Papa. (Because of Papa’s encouragement, I sent an entry internationally and I am not scared to compete because he is very supportive of me.) Dahil po dito, (Because of this, on) February 2, 2014 ay naging (I became an) awardee po ako sa (at the) 6th ANI NG DANGAL ng (of the) NCCA for achieving the highest level of excellence in the field of visual arts. At para po sa akin, isa po iyon malaking karangal at  (And for me, that is one big honor and) inspiration para lalo kong pagbutihin ang aking ginagawa (to keep improving what I am doing).

You are a student of Navotas Science High School and yet, you are inclined towards the arts. How does that work for you?

 As a student of Navotas Science High School, I balance my time in studying and painting.  But I give more priority to my studies, since I’m in a special science class and I have a certain grade to maintain. I must see to it that I get excellent grades.

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Is your inclination towards painting a prelude that you will be taking up Fine Arts in college? 

Yes. Gusto ko po talagang kumuha ng kursong (I really want to take up the course) Fine Arts at sana po matupad ‘yon (and I hope it comes true). Sana maging (I hope to become an) academic scholar ako.

What was your first masterpiece when you started as a painter? And what was your first winning piece?

Hindi pa po ako talagang nagpipinta noon eh. (I wasn’t really painting before.) (I was in) Grade 3 po ako, (at) nine years old noong unang manalo (when I first won). Iyong unang (My first) winning piece ko po may (had the) theme na: “Pangangalaga sa Wika at Kalikasan, Wagas na Pagmamahal  Talagang Kailangan” (True Love Is Really Needed to Preserve Language and Nature).

What is your most important work? Most awarded?

Bukod po sa dalawang napanalunan ko sa (Aside from my two wins from) UNGEI (UNESCO) at (and) YUNGA, maituturing ko po na ‘yong ginawa ko sa (I consider what I did at the) on the spot painting competition ng (of) Art Association of the Philippines (AAP) last December 13, 2014 na napasama (that made it) as finalist  ay (as my) most awarded. Ito po ‘yong obra na (It’s my masterpiece with the) title ko po ay “Don’t Look at Me.”  Kasi po nakasama ko po ‘yong maraming magagaling na artist. Ang iba pa po sa kanila mga hinahangaan ko po.  Kaya po nang mapasama po ako as finalist kahit hindi po nanalo ay isang malaking karangalan na po sa akin at ako po ‘yong pinakabatang sumali doon at napabilang sa finalist. (I didn’t win but I was a finalist and I felt honored being the youngest and meeting professionals and my idols there was a privilege for me already.)

Lord Ahzrin Bacalla and Sir Fernando Serna

Lord Ahzrin Bacalla and Sir Fernando Serna, Master Teacher

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Acrylic, Oil, Soft Pastel, Oil Pastel; Hyperrealism, Portrait, Still-life, Surrealism. What drew you to do these and choose these forms of art?

Noong hindi pa po ako (When I wasn’t a) scholar sa (yet in the) painting class ni (of) Sir Fernando Sena, madalas ko pong gamitin ay  (I often used) oil pastel dahil pamilyar na po ako sa (because I was already familiar with that) medium na ‘yon.  At sa mga (And at) on the spot contest(s) po na sinasalihan ko, kadalasan (that I joined, often) oil pastel po ang (is the) medium na ipinagagamit nila (that they make us use). Sa pagtuturo po ni (In the teachings of) Sir Sena at ng kanyang (and his) staff, unti-unti kong natutunan ang iba’t-ibang (I learn piece by piece various) painting medium(s), na sinasabayan ko rin po ng pagbabasa, ‘pag re-(that I reinforce with reading when I do) research at panonood (and viewing) online kung paano gamitin ang iba’t-ibang klase ng (how to use the different) painting medium(s). Saka nagtatanong-tanong din po ako sa ibang (I also ask my) FB friends ko na (who are also) artist(s).

Pinag-aaralan ko ang iba’t-ibang (I study various) painting style(s) para matuto po ako at i-(so I will learn and) challenge ko po ang sarili ko sa kung ano ‘yong mga kaya kong gawin (to know myself and what else I can do).  Saka po sabi po ni Sir Sena (told me) bago lumipat ng ibang (before you jump to a different) style dapat po alam mo na or na-(you should have learned and) perfect mo na ang ibang (the prior) style of painting na gusto  mong malaman (that you wanted to learn).

“3 of his favorite paintings”

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What is your most cherished work? Your favorite and why?

Sa mga nagawa ko na po, tatlo ang (Among my works, I have three) favorite(s) ko. Sa (From my) series ko po ng “I Am Beautiful” ang (my) favorite ko po ay ‘yong (is) Classic Red Lip, ito kasi ang kauna-unang gamit ko ng (because it’s my first) oil paint at kauna-unahan kong paggawa ng (and my first try at) hyperrealism. Isa po siyang (It’s a) photo shot na nakita ko at ipininta (that I saw and painted).  Isa pa po ay ‘yong (Another is) “Me and my Teddy.”  Natutuwa po kasi ako sa kapatid kong lalaki sa hilig niya sa teddy bear. Kapag natatakot siya, natutuwa  at sa pagtulog lagi niya, yakap ang teddy niya. Kaya lang ‘yong painting ko po na iyon ay ginawa kong girl version. (I was inspired by my kid brother’s fondness for his teddy bear. I painted it but a female version of him.) At ang isa ko pa pong (My other) favorite ay ‘yong katatapos ko lang na (is my recently done work) “Holding My Time”.  Kasi po (Because) part of me was represented in the painting – ‘yon pong kapag may (when) opportunity, ‘wag pong palampasin, hawakan mo po ang mga oras na nabibigyan ka ng pagkakataon ipakita at pagbutihin ‘yong mga ginagawa mo (comes to you, grab it and do your best to make it worth it).

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Preparing for his
” PROTEKTADO AKO LABAN SA DROGA”
poster making contest.

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Aside from you, is there any artist in your family? How has your parents nurtured or supported the artist in you?

Wala pong ibang (There’s no other) artist sa pamilya namin maliban sa akin (in our family, but me).  Pero si (But) Papa ko ay marunong din mag-(knows some) drawing. Dati pangarap niya rin kumuha ng kursong Fine Arts (was also once his dream) at magpinta pero hindi niya nakuha ang suporta ng magulang niya (and painting, but he didn’t get the support of his parents).  Kaya po ngayon, sila ni (That’s why he and) Mama ay ibinibigay nila ang (now give me their) full support nila sa akin.  Kahit na po minsan (Even sometimes it’s) out of budget na pinipilit nilang i-(they find a way to) provide ang mga pangangailangan ko sa pagpipinta lalo na noong nagsisimula pa lang po ako (my needs in painting, especially when I was still starting).Hindi ko naman din po sinasayang ang suporta na ibinibigay ng (I don’t waste the support of my) parents ko. Mahal ko po at pinagbubuti  ang ginagawa ko. Nakikita ko kung paano nila pinaghihirapan at nagsasakripisyo  para lang po maibili ako ng mga gamit ko sa pagpipinta.  Kaya po kahit may ilang nagsabi sa akin na pangmayaman lang daw ang pagpipinta, hindi ko po ‘yon pinapasin.  (I love what I do so I don’t waste the sacrifces of my folks just to buy the materials that I need in painting. Even if others discourage us because they say painting is only for the rich.) Sabi ng iba, kung wala daw po kaming pera para makapag-exhibit, hindi rin makikilala ang mga gawa ko kaya balewala daw po. (They say that if we cannot afford an exhibit, it is useless because my works will not be known). Mas pinaniniwalaan ko po si (I believe more in my) Papa. Magiging (I will be) successful ako. Sabi kasi niya, ang success daw wala sa nakukuha mo agad ang gusto mo, kundi nandoon po sa kung ano ang mga paghihirap na dinaanan mo para makamit  mo yung goal mo (My father said that it’s not about getting to your goal the easy way, but the climb).  Kaya pagdating ng panahon ‘pag nakatapos na po ako sa pag-aaral at nakilala na ang mga gawa ko, ako naman ang magbibigay ng mga kailangan ng parents ko saka ng mga kapatid ko. (When I finish school and become successful, I will be the one to help my family.)

Where do you see yourself five years from now? Any major event you want to plug? Do you sell your paintings?

Five years from now po, malamang po “kontisero” pa rin ako (I’ll still be a contestant in painting competitions. <laughs>Tuloy -uloy po akong  sasali sa mga (I will continue to join) contest(s) hanggat puwede ako at may pagkakataon, manalo man or matalo, (win or lose, I will join if I can) kasi sa bawat (because for every) contest  na sinasalihan ko ay natututo ako at nakakakilala ng mga bagong kaibigan (I learn something new and I meet new friends).  Siyempre po, nasa tabi ko pa rin ‘yong mga kaibigan na tumulong at nagmalasakit sa akin. Hindi ko sila iiwan.  (Of course, I will still be there for my friends who stayed with me on the way. I won’t leave them behind.) At higit sa lahat, isa na po ako sa mga (I have high hopes that I will be an) assistant ni (of) Sir Sena. Kasi pipilitin ko siya. (Because I will insist.) <laughs> Ise-(I will)share ko ‘yong (my) talent ko dahil sabi nga po ni (because) Sir Sena binigay ng Diyos ‘yon at hindi dapat sinasarili kundi ibinabahagi (said it’s God-given and meant to be shared), lalo na’po sa mga bata na may talento pero walang kakayahan na magbayad sa (especially for poor kids who win the chance to be in) painting class or art workshops.  Tuloy-tuloy po akong mag-aaral para mapalawak ang kaalaman ko. gusto ko kasing mag-inspire ng mga bata. Gusto ko po na hindi nila iisipin ang isang bagay na mahirap gawin. Basta enjoy lang po nila at isang araw makakatulong din sila sa pamilya nila. (I will continue my studies to better myself and I aim to inspire other poor kids to rise from poverty by doing what they love. Just enjoy and give their best and they can give back to their families later and help others too.)

Opo. ‘Yong mga (Yes, I sell my) paintings ko po ay binebenta ko, kasi po ‘yong napagbentahan ko po part of it ay ibinibili ko rin ng gamit ko sa pagpipinta (because I use the money for my studies and painting materials).  Mahal po kasi mga gamit sa painting. Ang iba po ay isine-save ko para sa amin ng mga kapatid ko. Mahal na mahal ko po kasi sila eh kahit makukulit. (Painting materials can be expensive. I also share my savings with my beloved siblings. They can be naughty at times but I love them very much.) <laughs> ‘Yong iba po minsan itinutulong ko sa mga gastusin sa bahay, kusang-loob ko po ‘yon binibigay sa magulang ko. (I also try to help with the monetary needs at home so I volunteer to shelf out money when my parents are short of cash).

All images are courtesy of Lord Ahzrin Bacalla.

To contact the artist, please send a friend request @ Facebook, or call him at 09335318224 / 09224716128 or via his emails:

Lets all support this kid fulfill his dream.