One usual rainy day in summer solstice, my mom came home with a bundle of books. My attention was easily caught by the smell of freshly printed photo calendar. I excitedly grabbed it but little did I know that as I slowly turned the pages and discovered those beautiful landscapes that represented every month, a little girl’s dream began.
Growing up in a small village in Philippines, I felt the hunger for the bigger world. I wanted to be in those places and paint them!
I loved my hometown, yet being born in this place where a painter wasn’t considered as a profession, I did what every normal person would do as they say. I went to the university, took up education, and few years later I found myself wandering in China as an ESL teacher.
Teaching had become my passion. It took me to different places including Paris which was a dream place for me. I even armed myself with CELTA to be fully-qualified.
So clearly, the dream of becoming a painter had been long forgotten. Until one day, me and my husband with our one-year-old decided to embark in a “soul-searching” adventure in Asia. We left France and everything behind it.
Our nomad life had begun from Philippines to Thailand and finally Vietnam where I had a wonderful teaching experience! It was amazing exploring Ho Chi Minh with my sister who happened to live nearby a little paradise called “art supplies store” Eh Voila! I picked up not only pencils this time but also the watercolour brushes! Right there and then, I knew I have found “that something missing”.
During this soul-searching adventure, not only have I found myself but also my lost dream! The rest is then a history.
We went back to Europe, from France to Spain. Year 2021, I made a tough yet scary decision to become a full-time artist. To where is this new adventure is going to take me? … Well, it doesn’t really matter. As they say, life isn’t about the destination, it’s the journey!
Of all mediums, why watercolours?
I fell in love with its spontaneity, deepness, and freedom. They say it is one of the most challenging medium and I couldn’t agree more! I think the more you paint watercolours, the more you’ll discover how beautiful it is!
A new life in Valencia, Spain as an artist
Valencia is a perfect place to be if you are a painter. The city is packed-up with lovely places to paint! I am very excited to be here and just enjoy exploring the city and grow as an artist.
Art as a healer
Every day of my life I thank God for the gift of art. I was diagnosed with panic attack during our travels in Asia. And painting has helped me calm down and settle in solitude. No doubt, art has healed me in so many ways and is still doing miracles in my life. With grace, I’ll be forever grateful to be able to paint everyday and see the beauty of this world in different ways.
My paintings are inspired by own life struggles, travel-adventures, failures, success, happiness, sadness, other artist, and the wonderful collision between man and nature. For me, nature is the best form of art that ever existed. There is nothing more beautiful than watching the sunset fade away or getting lost in the misty forest in the mountains.
The challenges on being a self-taught artist
For the last few years, we moved a lot and so I had to learn painting in the most challenging situation in our “nomad life” with limited materials available at hand. Although, looking back, I had no regret as I considered them to be blessings in disguise. It made me become more patient, resourceful, creative, and grateful.
It isn’t easy to be learning on your own. I’ve learned a lot from watching videos, reading books, being inspired by other artist’s life and work. I’m a tactical person. I think painting daily is still the best way to learn. Learning from errors– I could paint the same scene for at least 5 times until I obtain my goals. I guess, if we really want something, there is no room for giving up, just improvement.
Few words to ponder for other self-taught / start-up artist like you...
Arm yourself with knowledge.
Read books that inspire you.
Watch videos that make you want to paint after.
Set a time to paint and try to stick on that (I paint every morning while my daughter is at school).
Bring a sketchbook everywhere so you’re all set to sketch whenever you can.
Do not be overwhelmed with the materials.
For watercolours, I’d say using a decent kind of paper for a start is a must.
Focus on what really matters.
I know painters maybe can be messy, but unclutter, value your materials.
Learn from other artist. Be inspired with their works but never compare.
Every artist is unique.
I believe no two artist are the same.
Find that subject you love and be good at that.
Eat healthy food and take care of your well-being.
Every art is the reflection of the artist so do your best to inspire others.
Never be afraid to make mistakes.
Love and be nice to yourself.
Stay positive and when things doesn’t go your way, tell yourself “this too shall pass”.