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Posts Tagged ‘painting’

I’m No Frank

Frank Lloyd Wright

and his falling water. Masses

of concrete cantilevered,

and extending outwards

like hands reaching- symbiosis.

But I’m no Frank

and dreams might be

my little fingers clasping

hard and pushing pencils

for somebody else’s utopia.

 

The hewn boulders of rock

resisting the foundation

on which this grand design sits,

I bear the weight of expectations.

Balancing upon the scales

on which the measure of cement

is mixed in sand and water.

The lapping over of slates into a bond.

The forward thrust of hammer to nails.

The tightening of ties around stirrups.

The alternate laying of the roof decking.

 

And the network of drain pipes,

cables and ducting, and waterlines

resembling the veins and sinews

of the building’s skeleton. I build

a symbol- the framework of the mind.

The genius envisions an edifice

in his intellectual acrobatics,

justifying to the world the modern-

reality that build themselves on paper.

 

Summoning the masons to lay

its plaster to newly cured blocks.

The painter to swab the walls

in fresh coats. The decorator

sets the chairs, the beds,

the mirrors and the tables.

The vases and layers of curtains.

The lifeless sculpture pieces

and paintings hanged to the walls.

Fixing rolls of wallpaper  and carpets

over polished granite floors.

 

The carpenter assembling

cabinet boxes, ledges and shelves.

The windows fitted to the sills.

And the doors hanged on frames.

The location of the chandelier.

Installing wooden slabs on stairs.

The green patinated balustrades.

The landscaper to plant shrubs, and ferns

and vines and trees and patch of grass.

The water fountains and the waterfall

arranged mimicking a natural set-up.

 

But I ‘m no Frank.

The hours stretched for miles and miles.

The drafting table becoming wet with fog

until  the first  hours of the morning.

I can hear the mad conversations

of the vellum and the graphite saying,

“deadline nears, it’s almost here”.

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Somebody asked me if it is true, that my age is way past 30’s.  I just told them the truth, nothing less. Maybe it’s just a way to amuse me further, when they thought I am just 26 or something.  But really, inside me is just so younger than what my real age is. I believe that even if we age, one must try to keep a youthful attitude towards an inspiring life.

But folks, I am also into thinking sometimes. It is only roughly eight more years before I reach the 40’s. Don’t misconstrue that I am experiencing some mid-life crisis.  I am just trying to think ahead and be wise about the decisions I have to take in the future. 

Things now are uncertain, but I would like to push myself into realizing the artistic pursuits which I am  always aspiring to do.  I would pursue more frequently my writing. I would pursue more frequently my painting.  I would pursue learning music most especially playing piano. Or maybe, I would get myself involved into the academic work or consultancy work. Or on a more grander scale, I would do missions work  or to be with an NGO group.

Some may think that the things I hope for the future are too ideal.  Unprofitable and would not generate any substantial monetary investment for me.  Which partly is true, but I have learned not to trust too much on these things.  I still abide to put my trust in God, who knows much more than I am, and the One who knows about the future that I have to take.

I am optimistic that eight years before the 40’s is much a life ahead.  There’s just so much more things that can happen. I would only strive to pick or select the things which matters and inspiring me to be thankful of the years passing.  But on the other hand, I too myself, is being realistic, in the sense that I do not know until when will I have to live more.  Nobody knows.  So I try not to attach myself on things.  Because things are just passing. It can be lost. It can fade to obscurity.

What matters most, is that I have lived a life that is fulfilling and enriching.  That I have given myself selflessly to a worthy cause which imparts love, compassion  and commitment to others.  That I have inspired others to live life on simple terms and have faith to the One who is omniscient of all.  

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Munad is the inverted name for “danum”, which in Ilocano (a Northern Philippine dialect) means water.  Under Iwag Palattao’s direction alongside with Dato, a Baguio resident artist, they formed a visual artist group of five which included myself.  I am the youngest and the least talented, and I don’t have that great artistic talent to venture out, other than just scribbling line figures.

Julius, a great friend I remember, the leader of Munad, approached me that time and asked if I am interested to join the group.  I was taken aback. Because, in my opinion, I am not inclined to visual arts. I said I am more into creative writing stuff. He said I can try and learn from there.

The next thing I know is that I was being introduced to a bunch of bohemian looking guys. Their eyes poring at me as if they are reading something. You know artists, they have a keen interest in observing things and personalities. I think, they are filtering me through that yardstick.  If I can truly express myself artistically, in visual artform.

Then Iwag, proposed for a group exhibit that was slated then to be mounted in two month’s time.  Each of us, are required to produce five visual painting pieces, either realistic or an abstract. I chose the latter. I came up with five, but only allowed to mount three.  They said the other two lacks depth of subject.

I remember the night before the opening of the exhibit, when I was asked to gather some dried leaves in the middle of the night. I hesitated at first but eventually I obliged.  That was the time, I felt that something has been stripped off out of me in the name of the arts. And the dawning of my free-spirited life occured.

I gathered a sackfull. Of dried leaves. Then Iwag, upon seeing me carrying it, grinned. Yeah, I think, he is also thinking about my initiation. Like in a fraternity. Then, I gave it to him and watch him fashioned it out on the museum floor along with sand and rice grain to form like a Japanese rock garden. I was speechless.  I can’t believe right before my very eyes an artist who can weave art like magic out of what can be considerd rubbish. It was awesome.

Then over the years, Munad goes on in mounting two more group exhibits.  And it somehow, lifted my self-esteem.  I was so thrilled looking at people stopping by my paintings and staying there for some minutes. What a joy to see, people interacting and discussing their thoughts over the paintings as if it is like a case study in contrast. And what more fulfilling it is, in actually explaining the meaning of your paintings over a group of artistic and intellectual people.  That was an experience no other.

That was the golden time for arts in Tarlac, when Tingting Cojuangco is still the governor of the province. She espouses the flourishing of arts in Tarlac by opening up Museo de Tarlac for painting exhibits and the like. Festivities are being held. Musicals like “Alikabok” had been staged at Diwa ng Tarlak. And there was a mobile museum doing the rounds in the barrios for people to experience visual arts closer to them.

One time, an uncle told me, that he was surprised that I am into painting through one of those mobile musem exhibits.  He is the driver of that mobile van.  And I can sense how proud he is touring my painting around the province and telling stories about me as his nephew.

That was the time, I produced a number of paintings over summers of each year. I had some paintings donated after that. Some are displayed at the university.  Some are in the government offices.  Some are with my trusted friends.  The mother of all my paintings was with Gerardo. I knew he is displaying it in his home.

I must say, when Julius approached me then, its like a water drop in my sleeping universe.  I never knew that this single invitation that I  accepted has created trickles and trickles of water until my consciousness towards arts grew like a river. And other artforms ensued. Poetry, university campus writing, theater, installation art, photography and this time blogging.

True to the form, Munad has been so symbolic to me in many ways.  It has opened myself to a lot of things. It has ushered me into that door of self-discovery. That I can be capable of doing something if I will just try and not afraid of failing. And the many waters of inspiration has quenched my desire to express myself creatively. 

I owe it a lot to my Munad group, though some of them are stationed in parts of the world, I know that there will come a time that the water droplets (as they are) will be gathered and create another wave from the rivers of beautiful inspirations of art.

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There is no greater feat for somebody than to live up his dreams into fruition.  No amount of money or recommendation can afford the personal fulfillment that comes along with it.

Jun Laurilla, a friendly neighbor who is a freelancer visual artist has taken his artistry to a newer level and fought hard for it.  In this crazy world wherein  artistic consumption is often synonimous with huge budget spending for public advertisement and hyped media, we are being fed up with so much commercialism. I have personally witnessed how this one fellow has stood up and keep on improving his craft no matter how others might perceive him as dispensible as another ordinary man in the neighborhood.

But like a noiseless, and a patient spider, he was able to prove that his ability as a person do not usually translate as to who might pocket a bigger amount of money or who might have won more accolade in the public eye.  His brand of character is the one that the world needs now. 

In search of a truer definition of how a person can actually thrive in his chosen field of endeavor  gives credibility to the importance of being honest in expressing your passion in everything that you do.  If one choose to believe that this perception about who he is and what he is going to contribute to the civilization is directly proportional as to how clear you envision yourself to survive and have meaning.

When people nowadays are being confronted with worries about the improvement of self-image and self worth and the continuous accumulation of money, a sudden reflection that what matters is how you choose to live your dream and be able to flourish from it.  It is also how in the process that you develop this God-given talent and abilities to benefit your well-being.  And no amount of branding and categorizing would ever put your  value as a human being like a price tag or another temporal by-product  of  this rampant  mundane machinery.

I do not want to be tagged as another humanoid that grinds the mill for the sake of living it out.  And wait for the 15th and the 30th of the month just to secure my daily existence.  I needed to re-evaluate what drives me to live this life, and how am I going to pursue my long term goals as vigorous as I can before I find my self-esteem eclipses right before my very eyes.  I will still strive to discover  more and more about myself and find out what’s more in the offing of life.  As Jun, who bravely weathers stereotyping and emerged as originally as he is. Indomitable spirited fellow fighting for his art.

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