Friday, March 18, 2011

Two Saints

Sometime in 1996, I was commissioned by then Director, Mr. Ochave to create a painting of St. La Salle. My first problem was that I did not have any picture of the subject except for paintings already done by different artists. This made me think that the portrait that I shall be doing will be a painting of a painting. Why do I have to do that when there are lots of copies of the same painting available? It was then that I thought of doing a mosaic to put a different spin on the subject. Hence, what I did was to get colored paper, cut them into squares of about 1/4 of an inch and arrange these squares of different colors until it formed a likeness to the saint. Here is a picture of the outcome.



Unfortunately, the colored papers are now fading away and given a few more years, the face will eventually be gone. Prior to this, I made a mosaic
(my first) of another La Salle saint, Bro. Miguel Febres Cordero who had just been canonized that year (circa 1982) and from whom then newly constructed Prep building was named. I used chips of wood which I laboriously painted with different colors. It was exhibited at the facade of the building until the same has been rebuilt into a bigger edifice which it is now. I don't know where they placed the painting but I have lost track of it is now. Sometimes, this is the problem when an "unknown" artist does a work for free. It does not seem like the piece has any worth and the people that should be taking care of it are unmindful of whatever happens to it. In fairness, I don't think they've thrown it away. It's just somewhere out there waiting to be re-discovered.

A masochist by heart, this year, knowing that retirement is closing in on me, I wanted to leave behind a legacy which will remind everyone that I worked in this school for almost 30 years. I wanted to do another portrait of the founder but the Brother president had something else in mind. Since we have just finished the new administration building, he wanted me to do a portrait of the saint from whom the building is named. This time, I opted to use oil using the same principle of juxtaposing colors instead of mixing them, a technique that closely resembles George Seurat's pointillism. I made a 4' X 5' portrait of St. Mutien Marie. Here it is. Please disregard the big difference in my weight and the amount of hair on my forehead.


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