Monday, January 28, 2013

Womanly, naturally

Two artists have been uppermost in my consciousness while working on this painting: Anita Magsaysay-Ho and Jerry Araos. 

The first I admire for the subjects that filled her canvases and watercolor paper for much of her career--women doing farm chores, selling chickens, getting together with friends for a relieving round of giggling, etc. Hard-core social realist painters may fault her for idealizing the back-breaking work that these women did, but she gave her kabaro a dignity they deserved.

Jerry I continue to admire for, among many qualities as a sculptor and gardener, his choice of women as subject of his wood torsos (only in his last show while still alive at the Crucible Gallery did he do a bakla series) and the way he planned his garden in Antipolo. There may have been a schematic drawing of his plans for the garden, but sometimes Jerry would just let himself be moved by his dreams and feelings--he just let things flow naturally until before he or the others knew it, he had envisioned and carried out a Bob Fosse pathway, a mandala with a seat of power, etc. 

So here's to both of you, Ma'am Anita and Jerry, a small tribute from a smaller painter who has kept you both in her mind's eye.

Thank you also to Norman Chow, the most patient art teacher and friend I know, for sorting out my sometimes incoherent thoughts when I get ready to paint. He said he gets me quickly precisely because he is a teacher. Love you, Teach!

For me the lotus is more than a flower. It is also symbolic of how a fragrant beauty like it can blossom out of stench and mud.

Adding the human figure, a bent woman, in the background

Putting the background of a restful blue

Adding the skin tones

Drying the acrylic on canvas work alongside the day's laundry (thanks, Kimi and Ate Mack)
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