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.

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Sr. Venus Marie S. Pegar, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Filipina Artist, Reflections, Nun Artist, Nun Paintings

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.

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Sr. Venus Marie S. Pegar, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Filipina Artist, Reflections, Nun Artist, Nun Paintings

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.

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Sr. Venus Marie S. Pegar, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Filipina Artist, Reflections, Nun Artist, Nun Paintings

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.

UWAAP, United Women Artists Association of the Philippines, Empowered Filipina Artists, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SMBA), 1st SBMA ‘Bagong Pinay’ Arts Summit, Ang Bagong Pinay, Pinay, Filipina, Filipina Artist, Art Summit, Women Empowerment, Art Exhibit, Interaction Painting, Philippines

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: Marilyn Santos-De Lima

Marylyn like me started joining artist groups. In the beginning, she would just like all the art works until she started painting. A self-taught artist, guided by her Master artist friends from 4S Group Style Stroke Sketches Society made her more confident to pursue arts.

I came across Marilyn Santos-De Lima @ AFKN Filipino Art Community and viewed her albums and said to myself, she can be an inspiration to all Pinays here and abroad. So I asked her if I can feature her art journey in my blog, and she happily obliged.

Now this feature is in Tagalog and English (The same as my Featured Artist: Lord Ahzrin Bacalla post.). I try to keep the artist insights as original as possible with accompanying English translation for non-Tagalog readers. I’d like to be fair on the featured artist part, as he or she took the time out to answer their artist insights from the bottom of their hearts art journey.

A Bulaquena and a former overseas worker, who found solace in the arts, shared her art journey to me and to my blog. Enjoy!

When did you decide that you wanted to become an artist? At what age did you start? Who influenced you? What inspired you?

Ako ay isang batang laki sa iskwater at hirap sa buhay na nahihilig sa Art. Bata pa lang po ako ay mahilig na po akong magdrowing basta nakakakita ako ng lapis at papel. Mahilig din ako mag ekperimento sa larangan ng mga kraft. May kapit bahay kaming. Artist magaling siyang artist. Nauubos ang  oras ko at hindi naibebenta ang nilalako ko na paninda sa kapapanood sa kanya.

(I grew up in the slums yet I like art. I always drew when I got hold of paper and pencil. I like to experiment in crafts. We had a neighbor who was an artist back then and I would get distracted me from making sales as a street vendor when I see him paints.)

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Confessions, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Marilyn Santos-De Lima, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections

Marilyn Santos-De Lima’s art studies.

What do you specialize in when it comes to painting? Are there other art forms that you do?

Lahat ng klase ng midyum pinag-aaralan ko. Sa ngayon ay nasa oil painting na ako at sumusubok na rin sa canvas.

Pero nang napasok ako ng 4S at kinausap ng head admin, sinabihan ako na magpokus muna sa isang midyum at karamihan ng nagawa ko sa ngayon ay gawa sa pastel at colored pencil.

Sa mga gawa ko ring ‘yon ay nanalo ako bilang 1st runner-up at finalist. Nakapag-eksibit na rin sa Japan, nakapag-komisyon na rin.

Portrait ang nakakahiligan ko sa ngayon pero ang balak ko ngayong 2015 ay harapin ko na ang takot ko sa malalaking canvas at sa pintura at uumpisahan ko nang gumawa ng landscape at still-life oil man o acrylic.

(I study different kind of art mediums. I’m trying oil paintings on canvas now. Since I joined 4s, I was advised by the head admin to focus on one medium first. Prior to oil, I would use paste and colored pencil. I’ve won 1st Runner-Up and became finalist for it. I’ve also gone on exhibit in Japan and was commissioned. I like doing portraits but this 2015, I plan to face my fear of big canvases. I will start painting landscapes and still-life, in oil or acrylic.)

You worked as an OFW and then you became a businesswoman. Where did art come into the picture? How did it make it to your plans?

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Confessions, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Marilyn Santos-De Lima, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections

Marilyn Santos-De Lima’s very first Oil on Canvas 18×20.

Nag-aabrod ako at ‘pag umuuwi ako ng Pinas, hindi nawawala sa akin pagiging crafty. Madalas ako mag-sketch, (I go abroad and when I go home to the Philippines, I don’t lose being crafty. I often sketch) mostly charcoal, at ipa-freym kong mga iyon (and I have those framed).

Mahilig din ako sa (I also like) cross-stitch.

May mga gawa ako na (I have creations of) cross-stitch, 1997-1999.

Mahilig din akong mag-ayos ng bahay, simula sa kurtina (I also like to do interior design, from the curtains), center table, flower arrangement at ‘pag may handaan ay mahilig ako mag-ayos ng mga buffet settings (at parties, I also like to set the tables), simula sa (from the) table arrangement flowers, balloons, etc.

Hanggang sa nagtayo rin ako ng (Until I put up a) flower, gift shop & catering service dahil mahilig din ako sa food arts (because I’m also fond of culinary arts), hindi nga lang pinalad dahil salat sa kaalaman (it failed though because I lacked the knowledge).

Nag-aral din akong gumawa ng kandila sa (I also studied candle making at) Negoskwela at ang mentor ko ay si (where I was mentored by) Merlin Gepte anak ni (son of) Merlito Gepte, a sculpture artist.

Nagpokus naman ako sa paggawa ng kandila as sculpture at paggawa ng mga molde (I also focused on doing wax work).

Naging hanapbuhay ko rin siya sa loob ng tatlong taon pero nabuntis ako at natigil ko iyon dahil masama sa buntis ang amoy ng wax ‘pag niluluto pero patuloy pa rin ako sa pag-ukit ng wax at paggawa ng mga molde para sa mga design.

(It became my job for three years until I got pregnant and had to quit because the fumes were bad for the baby but I did it again after giving birth).

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Confessions, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Marilyn Santos-De Lima, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections

Marilyn Santos-De Lima’s portrait rendition by Filipino Master Artist Rafael Maniago.

2013, nakita ko sa (I saw here on) Facebook si Maestro Merlito Gepte. Naging friends kami (We became friends).

Sumunod naman si (Next were) Maestro Fernando Sena at (and) Julius Legaspi, mga artist sa pagpipinta (all artists who paint).

Taga-like lang ako ng mga gawa nila at simula noon (I was simply a liker of the works they posted then and from then on), unti-unti na rumami ang mga friends ko na artist painter, mga kinikilala sa larangan ng sining biswal (slowly, my painter friends multiplied until even those prominent names in the visual arts too made my friends list).

Taong ito, nakapasok na rin ako sa mga art group pero tagahanga lang nila ako at taga-like. (This year, I joined art groups but only as a fun and avid liker).

Early this year, nagdro ako at inaplowd ko sa (I drew and uploaded it on) Facebook. May mga nag-like at nag-comment (There were people who liked and commented).

Sabi ng isang artist, “Sabi ko na nga, marunong ka rin  eh.” (One of the artists said, “I knew it that you had it in you.”)

Doon ako nag-umpisang ma-encourage at magpatuloy sa paggagawa hanggang sa dumami ang mga friend kong artist at naaya akong pumasok sa isang (It was then that I got encouraged, my artist friends grew in numbers and I was persuaded to join an) Artist Group, 4S.

Napasubo akong gumawa.

Sobra pa akong takot noon sa mga kulay dahil (I was pressured. I was scared of colors because) pencil at (and) charcoal palang mga nagagawa ko (was what I only knew) pero sa tuloy-tuloy kong paggawa ay nakagawa ako ng isang obra na nagpanalo sa akin bilang (but I just went on creating until I made a masterpiece that won for me) 1st runner-up sa  (at the) tournament ng (of) 4S.

Doon na nagsimula ang lahat hanggang sa weekly na iinterbyu na ako at nirerepresent ko na ang mga artist sa grupo ko hanggang sa nagulat na lang ako at ginawa nila akong admin ng (It all started from there until I got a weekly interview {on AM radio} representing the) 4S group ni (of) Pops Noel David na (the) founder ng (of) 4S Style Stroke Sketches Society.

Nasorpresa ako nang gawin nila akong admin ng (I was surprised when they hired me as admin of) 4S.

Is there anyone else besides you in your family who is into art?

Gumuguhit din ang tatay ng nanay ko, kaya lang sa hirap ng buhay at kailangan niyang maghanap buhay nasaisang tabi niya ang (My mother’s father also drew but because he had to support the family, he had less time for the) arts.

Ang mga tiyo at tiya ko ay mahilig din. Maging tatay ko at mga kapatid ko. (My uncles, aunts, my father and my siblings are into art too).

May pamangkin din ako na nakakasabayan ko na rin sa pagguhit at pagpinta (The child of my sibling was also into drawing and painting).

Ipinasok ko siya sa (I entered the child as member of) 4S para lalo pa niyang mapagbuti (for further talent development).

Ang mga anak, ko ay mga musikero naman (My children on the other hand are into music).

They like playing instruments and vocals sa banda (in a band).

Ang pinakabata kong anak na lalake ay (My youngest son is a) dancer. Ang bunso ko na nag-iisang babae na (My youngest child and only daughter who is) six years old ay nagiging (is growing up to be a) singer, dancer, at pintor (and painter).

Artistik talaga ang pamilya namin. Iba-iba lang (Everyone in my family is an artist, only in different ways).  <Tumatawa – laughs>

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Confessions, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Marilyn Santos-De Lima, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections

This is a piece of art work she won 1st Runner Up on 3rd Anniversary Painting Contest called “Pinay in Japan.”

Are there any regrets in your life in the path you chose now?

Wala naman akong (I don’t have any) regrets kasi lahat naman ng nangyayari sa buhay natin ay may rason, may kanya-kanyang (because everything happens for a reason and a) purpose.

Pero kung mayroon man, hayun siguro ay ang maaga akong nagkaanak dahil hindi ko na-enjoy ang kabataan ko dahil sa hirap. Lahat ng puwede kong gawing source of income ko para makaahon ang pamilya ko, ginawa ko.

(If there was, that would be my becoming a mother at an early age. I didn’t enjoy my childhood because I needed to work extra hard to address my family’s needs and lift us all from poverty).

Kaya ‘di ko naipagpatuloy pag-aaral ko (That’s why I wasn’t able to finish school). Panganay kasi ako (I am the eldest child of my parents).

Although may trabaho si Tatay (my Dad had work), malaki ang pamilya namin, hindi sumasapat (but we have a big family and what he earned wasn’t enough).

Masalimuot ang kabataan ko subalit kailangan nating mag-(I had a rough childhood but we all must) move on to live in this world na makabuluhan (with meaning).

How does art make you feel?

Malaking bagay ang art sa akin (Art means a lot to me).

Nagiging masaya ako nakakalimutan ko ang mga problema ko ‘pag nakakatapos ako ng Obra ko at na uplowd ko na siya sa (It makes me happy and forget my problems especially when I finish a Masterpiece of mine and I upload it on) Facebook.

Nakikita ko ang mga (When I see the likes at (and) comments, sobrang saya ko na (that gives me much joy already).

Kapag may nagtitiwala sa akin at nagpapagawa ng (When someone trusts me to do their) portrait nila, sobrang saya ko (that gives me so much joy).

What is your best work? Favorite work? Most acclaimed/awarded work? You’re best achievement?

Sa ngayon po, baguhan pa lang po kasi ako. Ang masasabi ko lang na (I’m just new to all this that’s why I can say that my) best para sa akin ay ’yong pagkapanalo ko bilang (is when I won) 1st runner-up, ‘yong mga (my) exhibits ko sa (in) Japan at ‘yong (and my) portrait ng (of the) first family na gawa ko (that I did).

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Confessions, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Marilyn Santos-De Lima, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections

Her first exhibit held in Shinjuku Tokyo Japan at Mama Aki’s Ihawanshinjuku Kabukicho.

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Confessions, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Marilyn Santos-De Lima, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections

Marilyn Santos-De Lima’s first commission work.

You do PR work now. How is it so far?

Nakakatuwa (I feel happy).

Naging (I became) PR  Admin ako agad sa (in a short time to our) group namin sa 4S.

Eto kasi si (All because) Pops natuwa sa akin kasi daw (believes I am the group’s) lucky charm ako. <laughs>

Hindi ko inisip ‘yon kasi para sa akin kung ano man ang tagumpay na mayroon ako ngayon ay tinatanaw kong malaking utang na loob kay (I don’t let it get to my head because whatever success I enjoy now, I owe it all to) Pops Noel David at sa mga (and to the) members ng (of) 4S, lalo na kay (especially to) Sir Norberto Villez, Tani Santos, Maryrose Soriano, Armar Ramirez, Marko Bello, Fher Mission, kasi sila ang nag-ga-(because they) guide sa akin (me) ‘pag may mga (when I have a) question ako.

Sa totoo lang, wala talaga akong kaalam-alam.

Basta guhit lang ako ng guhit (In truth, I don’t know anything. I just draw and draw). ‘Yong mga (All those) terms na (such as) medium grid, freehand, etc. <laughs>

Sa labas naman ng grupo namin, lubos akong (Outside the group, I’m also very) thankful kasi napasok din ako ng (because I also got to be a member of) ArtPhil.

Kina (To) Buhay Mendoza, Budz Convocar, Arturo Cruz, Joel Ferraris, Fidel Sarmiento, Matthius Garcia, na sinabihan akong ituloy ko lang ang paggawa ko kasi walang mali sa art, lahat tama basta galing sa puso (who advised me to continue my craft because there is no wrong or right in art, as long as it comes from the heart).

Sa (To) foreign artist na si Jesse Quintanilla na (who) step-by-step tinuruan din ako (taught me too), si (to) Sir Lito Ballaran na nagtiyagang mag-crop ng work ko (who had the patience to crop my work), kay (to) Mestro Rafael Maniago na napaka-(who’s very) down to earth sa kabila ng kasikatan niya (even if he’s famous) managed to guide and teach me, kay (to) Aubrey Pabuhat Yano, para sa mga (for her) artist na connections niya sa (in) Japan sa (for the) commercial ng mga gawa naming (of our art works), kay (to) Ma’am Nitz Cea na (a fellow) art enthusiast  na nag-(who did) encourage me na mag-(to do a) weekly DJ job on Radio Net Japan Tokyo Raydio Filipino, that got me appointed by Pops Noel David as Public Relations officer  kasi madaldal daw ako at mahilig daw makipag(because they say I am talkative and love to) communicate <laughs>.

Mahirap ang PR work (is hard) sa grupo namin na (in our group) 4S kasi may mga baguhang papasok (because there are newbies who join).

Need mo silang i-(to) guide (them), Minsan personal works ko nabibitin gawin kasi need kong gawin ang task ko as PR pero masaya kasi marami akong nakikilalang bagong kaibigan (Sometimes I sacrifice my time to finish my paintings just to attend to the needs of my PR job but it’s fun because I get to meet many new friends).

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Confessions, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Marilyn Santos-De Lima, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections

SEMI Finalist out of 28 entry’s on a Precious Child Tournament.

Do you get to travel? As an OFW, have your experiences in foreign soil influenced your art? What countries have you been to? Did you do any painting while there?

Sa pag-aabrod (When I was) in 90s, naikot namin ang (was able to travel around) Asia like Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Hong Kong as group at mahilig akong bumili ng mga (and I loved to buy) art works.

From 1999 to 2002, I was as an Overseas Performing Artist or OPA in Japan.

Mahilig pa rin akong mag-(I still loved to) sketch at mag-(and to) design doon (there).

I did Design ‘pag may (at every) event ang (of our) company.

Minsan may isang (Once there was a) Japanese na natuwa sa akin dahil sa (who liked my) sketch ko sa (on) table napkin.

My works were requested and then I was invited to an exhibit where I saw works of D’ Vinci Monet Picasso etc.

Nagulat talaga ako at sobrang tuwa ko (I was really surprised and overjoyed).

The Japanese offered if I wanted to pursue further studies on painting but it was not on my itinerary and so I forgot about it.

What are your future plans for the next five years? Any upcoming significant event to you that you would like to promote?

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Confessions, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Marilyn Santos-De Lima, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections

Please support our own and watch her radio show, Raydio Filipino Tokyo.

Gusto ko makagawa ng isang Obra na kikilalanin talaga at makakatulong sa mga kapwa ko (Filipino Artist) para sa Bansa natin (I want to create something that will really be big internationally and will benefit our fellow Filipino Artists and the Philippines).

Sa (On) January 10,zd may (we have an) exhibit, 4S Group Artists entitled Abbygale in Style Stroke Sketches Society” at Four Seasons, Tokyo, Japan.

Panoorin ninyo rin po sana kami tuwing Sabado (Please also tune in to watch us every Saturday), 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Raydio Filipino Tokyo Radio net where I am co-DJ, sa paghahangad na maipakilala ang sining nating mga Filipino sa buong mundo (who aims to promote our Filipino art worldwide).

 

All images are courtesy of Marilyn Santos-De Lima unless noted otherwise.

Feel free to contact Marilyn (Apple D Apps) via Facebook.

 

Featured Artist: Marivel Mari-Galang

HER ART is her way to experience the pleasure and fulfilment that comes with the positive creation concept of colors, textures, techniques and evolution of form from its start to end. This dedicated homemaker of a banker found peace of mind and her heart rooted in art while keeping a watchful eye on her children who constantly dote on her. She is presently the founding member and treasurer of UWAAP (United Women’s Art Association of the Philippines).

Her challenging health that she suffered while she was a student and the sacrifices of her art career and being a mother to two kids may have been a cross that she had to bear all these years but she stands firm and is happy with her footing.

She is a veteran of painting circles, and has joined many art exhibits. She also sits as a judge and mentor to different workshops and painting competitions. She has showcased her works in numerous venues and sold pieces that made it internationally.

Jenny’s Serendipity’s featured artist’s is Marivel Mari-Galang. Get to know her art journey and how she was inspired by the divine:

Marivel Mari-Galang, Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections, Artist Confessions

“BEAUTIFUL” – Experimental Series #1 May2012… Beauty is how you perceive ART around us. Challenges in life will make and break us. At the end of the day, stand tall and move on gracefully with Heaven’s boundless Love & Blessings to share along. Simplicity is indeed a Beauty with depth… — at ArtAsia Gallery, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong Philippines.. MAY 17 – 31, 2012…

You are a veteran already in the visual arts circle. You sound like a lucky lady surviving all those years with art alone. How has it been for you? Describe your saga and triumphs in the pursuit of this passion you have carved as a sideline career, being a full-time mother and wife.

Oh, seems like a veteran to be there by just doing and loving what I created, creating, allowing the viewers, and time to tell na lang.

Lucky? Blessed enough with what I’ve been through had no shortcuts; then, I turned my mindset creatively and enjoyed my early days in FINE ARTS that I majored in Painting at PWU, which challenged me to do better each day just to prove to my late beloved father my choice has made me happier and there’s really life in Art.

At first, it wasn’t easy. Our professors then will just gave us lectures and the rest you have do it yourself. You show your work, and will only guide you once and your next artworks outcome will be your grade na.sobrang (too much) freedom ibibigay sa’yo (they will give to you), kaya dapat ‘wag kang makuntento (you get a lot of slack from the professor but you shouldn’t be contented). You must ask and ask until the deadline is not near yet; or else, you’ll enjoy your grades from 1, 2, 3, and 5. You get a failing grade or better yet, repeat the plates and stay like an owl finishing your plates to get excellent or favorable grades than failed…WE used to have sleepless nights just to pass…

Later part, our school then allowed students to join several art competitions, on the spot, interschool, local, and international, representing our respective schools. You can be lucky to bag grand prizes even honorables etc, wow na wow talaga, you’ll get flat uno, exemptions to all subjects and Dean’s Lister’s. Then, dito lang ako nag-enjoy ng sobra-sobra noong kabataang estudyante ako. (Only here, I enjoyed my studies)

But my health suffered sa kapupuyat (for staying up late). Got sick due to kung sa sipag at tiyaga (patience and hard work) with my artworks since I never say no to it. That is only when I slowed down because of my health.

I learned a lot in the school of art, with schoolmates who turned buddies, professors, different people, from the vendors, janitors – kasi (because) we need them for our plate subjects. Reaching out to the masa, kasama ‘yan sa sining or else kulang ang pagiging isang tunay na pagiging artist (working with art aren’t complete if you don’t deal with the masses). ‘Yan, I learned (that), and deeper pa.

When I won the grand prize at the Folk Arts experience in 1980 and others, I felt the beauty of victory, na para bang mag-(that even if I) hybernated man ako, mayroon akong babalikan, itutuloy at iiwanang mabuting legacy sa kids ko, naging students, sa young generations, mapulutan man lang ng inspirasyon sa simpleng buhay sining aking nakayanan. (I will have something to return to and leave a legacy for my children and to all my students).

I was still single and a student when everything then was so easy at home even with the absence of my mother, my late father’s heroic supportiveness to me made me enjoy my art journey further.

Married life made me understand fully my stand to my commitment at home as a wife, and as a mom. I asked myself: What if I can’t find a trustworthy house helper anymore to assist me with house chores, etc.? Will I quit being married or go on with life, but then again I told myself NO to selfishness momentarily. My decision to be a hands-on-mom and ever supportive wife-partner to my one and only hubby will go on with God’s grace.

I made diskarte then that ART won’t leave my system. I do summer art workshops at different schools, home studios, galleries, at church and for our community. There’s decent life with art. Whatever happened then, I survived with realistic adjustment in life and willingness to stand up for every failure. The creativity turned out to be very productive in my life.

You mentioned that you offered an entire exhibit to the Lord. Are you a pastor’s wife? How old are your kids now? Are they also into art? How does your husband support your craft?

Thou ART in Me” was titled that way, not because I’m a pastor’s daughter or wife, DAHIL (because) it’s my way of gratefulness, THANKSGIVING to our GOD; The Giver, Blessor of everything. It’s my way of paying forward for the gifts and talent entrusted to us, so it’s fine with me having it sold, reserved or no sale at all. It’s alright with me.

I’m blessed with two children: my eldest is 25 – Hannah, who is a registered Interior Designer and part-time faculty at CSB. While David, my youngest is 21, is still in school finishing Multi-Media Arts. He doesn’t have many classes though because of his health condition but he’s into MMA- Multi Media Arts here in Southville. Both my children have art interest too. Both in a more techy way but they do freehand works as well.

My husband is in corporate banking and officer to one of our country’s top 5 although by profession, he is a Licensed Civil-Structural Engineer. God hath been so good enough to us, even we started as family from little, and my faith in having a talent and proper education made us live simple beginnings. Yes, my hubby supports me by driving, bringing me to my workshops, exhibits, and buys me art materials when I lack budget for my art stuff. It’s optional, not by force though. He’s my number one critic too. He is very good at reading people and their actions.

You teach art to poor children. You studied at PWU (Philippine Women’s University). Was there a point in time that you considered to join the academe full-time as art teacher to elementary students?

Marivel Mari-Galang, Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections, Artist Confessions

Joyful Moment with these beautiful kids ages 2yo to 6yo this Artsy at Le Louis Learning Center Inc…

There are too many talented but under-privileged kids, special, or disabled kids that I teach part time as per my doctor friends requests, and part of their art therapy and advocacies. It’s more on volunteerism projects.

Yes, there was a time I was a sub-art teacher at Brent School, Pasig. They hired me for full-time but I cannot sacrifice time looking after my kids and just leaving them with their nannies or house helpers. I could not leave my son because he had seizures with seasonal asthma every time the weather changes.

My daughter always had sad moments when I left them after a 10 hour day. She had flu due to tonsillitis from feasting on all the sweets in the kitchen when I was gone. And she was crying the whole time while she was devouring all the candies, ice cream, chocolates and cookies that she could find. I felt so bad for my kids being home alone without me.

I couldn’t afford to be working full-time teaching other kids while my own at home were having problems. I cannot trust nannies because my kids got bruised and bumps sometimes that the pediatrician advised that an adult must stay home to watch over the children.

Those were the times I received many jobs invitations, even to Singapore as a children art teacher to their in progress museum and part-time visual artist way back 1995 to 2000. But family and my kids matter most over career, fame, and money. After all, it’s all worth it. No amount of money will equate my kids’ progress and quality in character. I didn’t compromise my kids and family’s welfare.

I do business with Rustan’s as part-time designer and supplier. Plus, I manage a transportation business to school service where my kids then had their primary to middle, and high schools. Somehow I can watch and take care of my family with little business to help. Plus, as part-time art teacher to selected schools as my way to stay in the arts and help our family breadwinner as well. Teaching is ongoing, all year round for me.

What was your first masterpiece and when did you create it?

Marivel Mari-Galang, Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections, Artist Confessions

“Playtime with Greens”..18×24..Acrylic on Canvass..1980..5th of March..,30 yrs old painting..This is her gift to her late beloved Father.. Framed simply, box typed black paint by the late sir IBARRA dela Rosa, one of her mentor and professor at PWU-CMFA…Her Father and Prof/mentor has gone but this painting is still with her hanging in her workplace that serves as her inspiration to go on..

Wow, this is so sentimental. I really had an artwork titled “Masterpiece.”  It’s a heavenly image, the style was so tedious but ended like a 3d effect on canvas, we had it exhibited our three-woman show – “TROIKA,” sometime 1981-1982. After our exhibit, we brought it home and somebody bought it flew with it to Canada! I’m still trying to find some saved photos of my artworks way back, hoping to find them around soon. I called, titled my serious artworks my “MASTERPIECE.” The playful ones are my plates with a heart in it too.

What is your most cherished work and why?

That is my daughter Hannah’s unfinished portrait when she was four to five years old, in oil and acrylic, 1995. It was my first portrait of her anticipating how she will look like when aged 18 and above. It’s still with us and she treasured it much.

Marivel Mari-Galang, Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections, Artist Confessions

Marivel Mari-Galang 1994 Unfinished Oil Painting on canvas. Her daughter Hannah was only 5 years old. She pictured here how she’ll be as grown up. She found this hidden with her other treasured art pieces.

Your paintings make it to homes in four countries. How so? Describe this entrepreneurial achievement.

My early days in college were really a bigtime for me. I was lucky due to my late father’s friends’ friends, relatives who used to visit us at home. They would see my artworks all over the garage, the backyard loan, and all over the walls of our home. They will just pick and ask me when I reach home from school. They will reserve it as gifts for their homes and some flew with them to Canada, California, Vegas, Australia, and Hawaii; even around the Philippines, including Visayas and Mindanao.

When I was a student artist, I only sold two pieces at a group exhibits and the prices then were low. Chamba ang benta (You sell with luck). Sometimes people will request me and order and then there are times I will just give my works away as gifts. Entrepreneurial achievement is most likely doable and workable. I survive via commission for a portrait. For my HG Interiors package, it’s like more on half mural and mural sizes selectively. I don’t paint thinking of money.

I paint and create because I love it then when prospective owners buyers come, they will come even when you’re sleeping. You’ll find their messages on their requests and orders. One must learn how to save and reproduce for the next journey. When you have the right attitude, timing and vibes, even without a handler, it is possible to have decent entrepreneurial achievement by being with the right people and at the right places.

What is your expertise when painting? What are your favorite subjects?

I’m into Abstraction, non-rep. My favorite subject then was leaves. Using my playfulness in tech colors, I spread them around my canvas into different forms, reinventing mixtures of colors and textures, that’s how I create.

Who are your influences, local and foreign when you thought of going the route of an artist, which you realized in your high school days?

Influences here were my father’s nun cousin. I saw one of her oil painting – still life of a San Francisco plant. She visited us after her workshop from Amorsolo, and then I told myself, someday, I will be painting too.

My father smiled at me and said – “Pang-hobby lang ‘yan anak.. Magpaturo ka sa auntie mo or mag-CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines) ka.” (That’s only good as a hobby. Ask your aunt to teach you or enroll at CCP).

I remembered what my father said from the start of my art journey till my dream came true. An artist will always be an artist. Agelessly, local masters, almost all of them: Van Gogh, Matisse, Joan Miro, and Glee inspire me.

What is a regular day like for you?

Mondays to Fridays are my regular days. Being a hands-on-mom, homemaker, little business errands, family matters, always a supportive partner to my hubby, kids, and friends like family in the art and outside. Saturdays are meant for workshops and art activities. Sunday is our Lord’s Day with family and bonding.

As a part of UWAAP, an active judge and mentor at art competitions and coaching poor kids in the arts, are there any events you might want to plug? 

2015 will be a fully loaded year.  UWAAP will be turning ONE Year this 11th of JANUARY. There are some scheduled celebration and this to be announced soon. (Check my UWAAP post here: Filipinas all over gather for love of art at the 1st SBMA ‘Bagong Pinay’ Arts Summit).

FEBRUARY  18 –  I was asked to head judging the annual PDA, poster making contest nationwide for elementary levels, venue to be announced since this will be an on the spot competitions.

MARCH – I am getting ready for a women’s month long invitational group exhibit by another friend.

MAY – Mother & Son exhibit for Mother’s Day and followed by my 2nd SOLO Woman Art Exhibit, venue update will follow soon.

Upcoming outside the country group exhibit too, almost after every two months my two art groups have exhibits scheduled. Still need to double check for the times.

UWAAP, United Women Artists Association of the Philippines, Empowered Filipina Artists, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SMBA), 1st SBMA ‘Bagong Pinay’ Arts Summit, Ang Bagong Pinay, Pinay, Filipina, Filipina Artist, Art Summit, Women Empowerment, Art Exhibit, Interaction Painting, Philippines

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

All images are courtesy of Marivel Mari-Galang.

To contact the artist, please feel free to like her Facebook page.