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Flower Power

So, as it happens, my latest obsession has been botanical art. This is partially due to the fact that some of my favorite artists are really into it as well. But I think that it’s also something that fits my personality well. While I do love creating loose, expressive watercolors as much as every other painter, most of the time I prefer to be methodical when it comes to most things. I’m still not 100% exact when it comes to botanicals, though. (Still too impatient for that.) But at least, it’s methodical.

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Referenced from The Sweet Pea Book by Graham Rice

You can blame it on good old nursing school discipline, perhaps. Anything I do still follows the framework of assess-diagnose-plan-implement-evaluate. Yes, for everything. Even painting. And, as you may imagine, that’s not exactly something that flies when you’re trying to be loose and painterly. Basically, I have a stick up my ass. So judge me.

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It’s taking forever to finish this one…

And while I do like getting messy with paint sometimes, I find planning and taking my time to put in tiny details just so meditative. This is probably why, nowadays, finishing a single piece takes such a long time. Painting is not any more about producing finished things to post online (although that’s nice when it happens, too). Instead, it has become about exploration, getting to know things in a way you never would otherwise. You can, after all, appreciate all the flowers in a parts. But drawing them helps you get to know every single leaf whether green or dry and every single hole carved out by a hungry insect. You don’t see flowers that are just white or red or yellow anymore. Instead, you get to know all the tiny little hints of purple or blue or deep gold. That’s the true joy of painting, I think.

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In honor of R+L=J

And on today’s morning walk, I think I found myself my next subject. If anyone can tell me what sort of plant this is, I’d very much appreciate it.

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Where to Next?

(bits and pieces of the past two months because I’m so far behind with blogging)

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself so far this year, it’s that I’m super restless. I have a chronic need to always have a plan, to learn things, to make things, to have a purpose. And so I immerse myself in pretty much anything that sparks my interest. Which is probably how I end up places, wondering how on earth I’ve gotten here.

That’s pretty much how this year has gone so far.

Oh, and most of it is recorded in this really nifty planner which I have turned into a visual journal.

Where to Next?

(As a side note: It’s obvious that this photo was taken on a really stressful day. There are very few occasions in which I’m willing to buy both dark chocolate and a cappuccino to calm my spirits.)

“Where to Next?” I like that. It implies a sense of completion and, at the same time, excitedly moving forward to the next new thing.  Oh, and the great thing about this planner is that the pages are, for the most part, unlined. So I had a bit of fun documenting my life in small doodles inspired by the work of @naomi_zz_kuwa.

A Visual Journal Page

Sketching stuff I’ve eaten, and memories of a twice-a-week zumba dancing session I’ve been going to. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve really danced but it’s always nice to get the feel of your own body.
A Visual Journal Page

We spent the Holy Week at my father’s home town. So one day we went out to visit some relatives and they didn’t say we would be going to the beach afterwards. So I didn’t bring any beach stuff and so, instead, sketched the beach people.

A Visual Journal Page

Some more things I’ve eaten, running at Pelaez Sports Center, a Calligraphy workshop (which we’ll get into in a bit), and brush pens I bought on impulse after a tip from a fellow art supply addict.

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I’ve also taken to sticking receipts, labels and movie tickets in the pages. Just so I know what I’ve done that day. Here, I bought a pair of sunglasses because of the goddamn summer heat.

And also: vandalizing unapologetically on the photo pages with a white ink pen. I am so in love with white ink right now.

White ink on a photo pages of the Where To Next Planner. White ink on a photo pages of the Where To Next Planner.

(Poem credit to Nayyirah Waheed, who writes the shortest but most heartfelt poems I have ever seen.)

By the way, this one is a travel planner from Where to Next? which my boyfriend gave me (after claiming that he was keeping it for himself.) Admittedly, most of it is still blank because sometimes I’m too preoccupied with things to spare time for a doodle. (Or, more accurately, I tend to doodle pretty much everywhere and I forget to doodle on this one.)

So, those calligraphy classes I mentioned? Now, I must admit first that my writing has always been horrid. I was THAT kid in class whose papers got sent home with a footnote to “please improve your handwriting” much to the dismay of my mother, whose handwriting is pristine.

After a workshop by @sheilaleng, however, I’m convinced that if they had taught us to write with dip pens back in elementary school, my writing would be gorgeous af.

Calligraphy Workshop in CDO

Nobody ever said that calligraphy was so addicting, but I couldn’t stop for a while until I ran out of paper.

Calligraphy Workshop in CDO Calligraphy Workshop in CDO

Calligraphy Workshop in CDOI’m hoping I can snag a slot in a brush pen workshop during the summer, too.

Earlier this month, I also got a chance to be a Fellow at the first Cagayan de Oro Writer’s Workshop, which was so refreshing and eye-opening that it deserves an entire blog post of its own. Maybe soon. (Although do note that I have a habit of promising blog posts about something or another, and then forgetting about them.)

The First Cagayan de Oro Writer's Workshop

All that is just the tip of the iceberg of what happened in the past two months. I hardly believe it’s only been two months myself!

OK, so the reason behind this seemingly random, patchwork blog post is that I just wanted to get caught up with blogging. There are so many things I still need to write about but I figure I needed to kickstart it a bit.

Hopefully, I’ll be posting more frequent and more organized entries in the next few months. There are so many new, exciting things happening and I can’t wait to tell you all about them.

In the meantime here’s a photo of my dog to distract you from the fact that I’m not sure how to end:

DACHSHUNDS ARE THE BEST!!!!111one

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Sea Boys

M. Graham Watercolors on Arches Rough Watercolor Paper (or at least I think it was Arches Rough. All I know it was on sale at National Bookstore last year.)

It’s been a year since my last serious art piece. And by “serious” I mean any work of art in which I use fancy watercolor paper instead of my sketchbooks.

And, also, I finally got myself a pair of gorgeous Kolinsky sable brushes that I have wanted since forever. They’re available over at Art Whale, an online store based in Manila, which incredibly has prices that match those of international sellers, minus the crazy shipping costs. (I wish they sold my favorite paints, but I think I’ll give the Shin Han ones they do have a try.)

So I guess I was due for another big thing.

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Last year, my boyfriend and I conspired to give one of our good friends a nice painting of a few teacups. This year, I wanted to surprise him with a painting of boys playing on boats in the sea which he took with his cellphone.

I like the overall shapes of the boys, although I know there are anatomy snafus aplenty. I guess I was so excited to use color that I didn’t double check on my sketch!

I wanted to amp up the blues and the textures of the sea. Pretty happy with what I got.

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Again, many thanks to Jonard Albopera for the reference photo and the inspiration. 😀

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Painting Practice: Kanya Ash-hands (Steamhawke)

Last year, I took a traditional animation class at Informatics Computer Institute. For my final project, I chose to animate Kanya Ash-Hands, my old character from the Steamhawke RPG which I briefly participated in some years ago before life ate me off of the internet.

I totally forgot to scan my classwork before submitting them so I can’t show you those. But all that work did revive my interest in Kanya.

I’m quite happy with most of the things in this practice painting… Not all of it, but many things turned out pretty fine. The steampunk goggles, in particular, turned out better than I expected. 😀

I don’t quite like the background, though, with its scribbly blueprint-wannabe pattern. But I was ready to give up by the time I had finished her, so I figured I’d just draw something quick.

I never really got the chance to explain Kanya’s backstory, so I’ll just write some of it here after the cut.  But first! Some details.:)

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#BhaRainEverAfter

Hey, long time no post! The past month(s?) have been super crazy and I’m actually still at my wit’s end trying to catch deadlines. But I still managed to make a little bit of art which is all that matters, right?

So Rain, one of my good friends from high school, got married earlier this month. And some of us decided to pitch in to help out with the decorations and stuff. Me, I decided to make digitally painted invitations. 🙂

#BhaRainEverAfter