Arlene de Castro-Anonuevo (Adec): Poetess & Visual Artist

Arlene de Castro-Añonuevo or “Adecastroan” is a poet and thinker who wielded the paintbrush or pencil as passionately as she did the pen.  She is a versatile gifted artist who occupied many creative realms that provided reciprocal sources of inspiration. She can easily shift from one style to another from realism, impressionism, expressionism, surrealism, and abstract. She brings her variety of eclectic style and her attention to the finer details of the painting, the use of allegory, the story and emotion she conveys in each of her work that invites the viewer to explore the depths of her subject and have a glimpse of her soul as an artist. She further augments the countenance of her art by using a broad range of medium from pastel, watercolor, oil, and acrylic on paper and canvas. Then, her words follow her paintings, as a poetess who creates a poem in response to her work of art, her words become a way of seeing—a collaboration within the conversation.

“I have a very creative mind, and often the products of my creative mind manifest first in my dreams,” as quoted in INQUIRER.net.

Art was always part of Adecastroan’s life, her childhood hours spent sketching and drawing instead of playing. Native of the rustic town Iba, Zambales by Carlos Gonzales de Castro, a Zambaleno of Spanish descent and Estela Sy Loria, his Chinese-mestiza wife from Pangasinan. Her patriarchal roots in this place can be traced as far back as the time of revolutionary patriot Andres de Castro Bonifacio,” whose mother Catalina who hails from barrio Dirita, is her great grand aunt.

Adecastroan, an AB Sociology graduate of the University of the Philippines who only started painting in 2003 after her early retirement from Cathay Pacific Airways as a stewardess, and later from Midtown Hotel which allowed her to enhance her artistic expression furthermore. Although largely a self-taught artist, she did learn the basics from Filipino master artist “Fernando Sena,” and Arte Pintura artists specifically, “Addie Cukingnam,” “Azor Pazcoguin” and “Rey Ademis.” In the short period of time, she has developed a unique style of her own inspired by the variation of post-impressionism color theory, combined with a keen sense of observation of the natural world. Indeed, her opulently textured artworks are a visual feast to the eyes.

 “I paint my subject as he gets in touch with his inner self. Whenever one looks at my painting, I want him to answer this question: What does it mean to be a person historically, experientially and personally? The viewer has to go beyond the surface and reflect on what he sees so as to arrive at a deeper understanding of the human psyche. This is the foremost reason why I do not render my subject based on the usual standard of rendering it; symbolism always being an integral part of my work. Philosopher Descartes says “I think therefore I am.” In my paintings, I say “I think and I feel therefore I am.” Painting is not a matter of duplicating an image but capturing my subject’s essence- soul on canvas.”~Adecastroan

She is a highly talented painter, blogger and a poetess who sometimes dabble in modeling for photography. She is currently residing in Quezon City and had her first one-artist show in the Heritage Art and Antiquities Gallery in 2009. She has participated in various group exhibits including Katha,” which is a monthly art exhibit on different themes expressed through art by different independent artists.  She is an active member of the Linangan ng Kulturang Pilipino Group.” This sociopolitical organization that tackles issues in society and she is involved with visual and performance arts under poetry. Her artworks are also displayed at “Bahay Nakpil-Bautista and joins poetry reading and other Filipino heritage events. Her other interests includes membership in the Screenwriter’s Guild of the Philippines and the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). The proceeds of her work support her staunch activism for animal rights and welfare.

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

(Please click image to enlarge)

To contact the artist:

Facebook Pages:

Website: www.adecastroan.blogspot.com

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‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

I interpret this as don’t do the same as everyone else. Have the courage of your convictions and stand by them. Be your own person and rely on no one other than yourself. Accept responsibility for your own actions. Be prepared to standalone and have faith in yourself, even if it’s lonely and painful.

Always always believe in yourself and never let others bring you down. Always be honest and true to yourself and live your life to the fullest. Rudyard Kipling’s inspirational poem ‘If’ first appeared in his collection ‘Rewards and Fairies’ in 1909. The poem ‘If’ is inspirational, motivational, and a set of rules for ‘grown-up’ living. Kipling’s ‘If’ contains mottos and maxims for life, and the poem is also a blueprint for personal integrity, behavior and self-development.