Sunday, April 21, 2019

An opal for my wonderful, beloved pal!

AS we celebrate my wife’s 63rd birthday, which is also, by her design, our wedding anniversary, we decided to do as we always did throughout the years.  Spend time together as a family. When the kids were just growing up, we used to take them to nearby Laguna, invite family and friends and have an overnight stay in a private pool. This was the time that the children were learning how to swim.  We did this until they grew old and we decided we have had enough and just have a staycation inside a luxurious, - at least within our concept of what is, affordable hotel and enjoy its amenities.  We have celebrated in Shangri-la in Mandaluyong, Crimson in Alabang, Nobu, Crowne Plaza to name a few.  This year, we decided to try nearby Ascott Hotel in BGC. During these staycations, I have always managed to write something about my wife and our marriage as a way of a gift to her.  I have kept them in my blog and you can review them hereherehere, and my favorite, here.

As I woke early the day after our celebration, I am once again tinkering with my computer trying to compose a little something for my beloved spouse.  I searched through the net and came to know that there is no traditional gift for the 34th as the charts only provided until the 20th. Could it be possible that those making the chart have foreseen marriages to last only until the 20th? If this were so, then, we could say that our marriage has withstood the test of time! I tried to reason some more and remembered there is the gold for the 50th, and the supposed chart even goes farther like diamond for the 75th -but who gets to live that long other than Methuselah, right? So, I have been thinking there must be something. A little research would yield something.  What do they celebrate the 34th with?

Opal! That is what it is!

Opal is thought to be derived from the Sanskit ‘upala’ meaning ‘precious stone’ which is also the Greek derivative ‘Opallios’ meaning to ‘see a change of color’.  How does one relate that to a loved one? Nitz is definitely and undeniably my precious stone. What about the changing of color? How do I relate that to her and our marriage?  Does she suddenly become a chameleon, changing color to camouflage her emotions? Does our marriage have to change color? But our relationship has been the color of happiness throughout the years. There is a saying that one does not fix that which is not broke! Then I realize, yes, people change and we are not an exception.  We have lived our lives almost to near perfection that I believe we have passed all the trials and tribulations sent along our way. We managed to have our children stay in school until they graduated in college and are now earning their keep.  We have finished paying the house mortgage and the house we live in is completely ours, we have even renovated it to suit our growing family (physically that is, not in number), have a good car for mobility, gone abroad either alone or with the whole family, etc.  Yes, it is possible that Nitz and our marriage could change color but only for the better.  We have proved ourselves as individuals and as a couple and it has been a wonderful ride through life and I am only happily fortunate that I had her as my companion during this journey.  I could not imagine taking it without her.  And  so, an opal it is for my everlasting love, my pal, my soulmate!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Welcoming Baby Kauai

You must be intrigued with the title of this one. It is my title for a painting I have been doing which is actually a milestone of some sort. I had been thinking of joining one of the biggest art competitions for artists here in the country, the GSIS Art Competiion/ as has been first suggested by my former student, Penelope Pantola. During a watercolor convention I recently attended, I met with my classmate, Buds Convocar who was to deliver a talk on the state of the arts today and he also urged  me to join. As per his prodding, I got a copy of the forms to be filled out and submitted together with the artwork.

Last Saturday, I decided I would like to have a  go at it.  My first obstacle was how to get a quality canvas at a very short notice. After all, the submission of entries is on May 4 which is two weeks from now. My friend Tutit, from whom I have been getting my canvas can only make one after the   holy week.  Considering how meticulous my work is, that will be too late.  I was about to abandon the project when I remembered that another artist, Lander Blanza, also manufactures ready to paint canvases.  I contacted him if I can order one and how fast I could get it.  Initially he said Monday but the following day, he said it was ready for pick up. So that very instant, I took a bath and went to Las Pinas to get the canvas.

My next hurdle was what to paint and  how in heaven's name can I transform my work into mixed media as this was one of  the requirements to the representational category I plan to join in.  I  have never done mixed media before.  So, the following day, Monday, I went as early as 6 am to my my studio which is a short walking distance from home, sat in front of my canvas and just let my hand guide me.  As i worked, different layers of ideas came pouring in, one of which was  the color scheme.  I thought what if I went  for something like a chiaroscuro effect - a dramatic lighting effect made popular by Rembrandt?  Since I am at it, what could be a nice source of light? I decided it would be a baby at the lower center of the canvas. From that time on, I added more and more people.  And thus, "Welcoming Baby Kauai" came to fore.  Who is Kauai? He is my first grandson who is yet to be born soon, probably late April or early May.So, the next question is how to make the painting into a mixed media? I plan to glue plastic onto the painting. They shall be layered like they are the ones giving that transparent effect. i also plan  to paste sample music notations, a part of my poetry, a plastic which I got from Mamang's  abubots, to serve as a memory of her.  Probably some pins and anything associated with a baby. I will have to do some shopping soon.

I had been working for almost 8 hours everyday since Monday, a thing I never did before.  :I usually worked for five to six hours at the most given that I have to find time for gym and other things I had to do before. Right now, the painting is more than half finished.  Hopefully I can finish painting next Friday or even earlier and will have to dress it up on Monday after next and off it goes to GSIS.  I am praying that I shall be working on a winner this time! Keeping my fingers crossed.

In the meantime, my wife is celebrating her birthday and our 34th wedding anniversary today. Like the family always does, we shall be having a staycation at  a hotel, this time at the Ascott Hotel at BGC.  I wish her a happy birthday and a glorifying wedding anniversary.


I have finished the piece after two weeks as planned and have submitted it on the scheduled day of submission. As expected, there are about a thousand entries.  Hope Baby Kauai shall bring me luck as he brings joy to the whole family just by being who he is.  Here is a pic of the painting. 

Welcoming Baby Kauai
Mixed Medium
48" X 36"