Sunday, April 19, 2015

Toot Wah and Paola paint together

We must have been sisters in some past reincarnation, if you believe in such things. We're both the eldest of eight siblings. We're married to men who I can only describe as the Steady Eddie types: reliable, there when we need them, supportive but can be grouches when we cross the line.

We studied painting at just about the same time, she being more constant at it in between her higher theological studies. Well, I'm trying to focus on being a good person so we have that commonality, too. She and I also have an acute sense of when each is stressed out and needs to paint to relax.

That was how we found ourselves painting together in the middle of the week, sharing one long table with our own sets of paints and brushes. Her subject was a mini-garden within a bigger garden, particularly the one that the Panagbenga Festival initiator Damy Bangaoet designed and developed gratis for the Baguio General Hospital. My work was more like an exercise in feeling my way out of something with an earnest hope that I may finally sign the work when I sense that it is finished.

Our respective "messes" all laid out

Call me crazy but when I examined this photo I took of Toottee with her back turned and with her help looking for something under the kitchen sink, I was somehow reminded of certain interior scenes that the Dutch painter Vermeer did in the 1600s.

I texted, "Is it painting day today? Just making sure. Thanks. (signed) Paola Picassa."

Forthwith she texted back: "Yes, need a break, too. (signed) Toot Wah Renoir."

Toottee wanted badly to finish a painting that she had set aside. She was impelled partly out of guilt. She wanted to give it to Damy as a token of appreciation for the improvement he did on BGH's grounds. But she never got around to finishing it until she heard news of his passing in the States. She said the lesson here was to finish something that one wants to give to someone while there's time. Don't put off for tomorrow, etc., etc. At the end of the afternoon, her work was done, mine wasn't. She'll give hers to Damy's widow Bing.

Sorry again, I ain't done yet. My old critic-in-residence Rolly Fernandez thinks many finishing touches are needed. I know he's right, but due to my return to working-girl mode, I'm playing deaf. Photos by Babeth Lolarga
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