During weekends as family gathers around the living room, my father always asks me to sketch him; either he’s sitting or doing something else. He handed me the old sketch book he had when he was in college. The sketch book is very old, about 2 inches thick A4 size yellowing pages, and hand stitched binding. The first 20 pages are filled with his hand sketches of foot, chest, faces of different expressions, and lips in almost life like rendition. It was awesome sketches… then 5 blank pages then after that are ink doodled nonsense there written the letters d…a…v…d and few more legible words “kindergarden” that might be “Kindergarten” instead. Few checks or cross marks in succeeding 4 or 5 pages. Then a dried rose bud, pressed in between pages. Then there’s a Ninja in his super sized calves and then a portrait of Jose Rizal that might get me a death by a gun with him in Luneta for not giving him the playboy face…not so lovely face… the eff face… I cant draw a face, a nice portrait…no wonder I just love to draw Ninja figures, well that story for another blog.
….So my Dad’s sketch book is now mine, at the back pages of that sketch book was his study of the 13th station mural. There are varying sketch of different facial expressions and composition. There’s a “Pieta” pencil sketch and some drapery studies.
I think i was 6 years old when my father started this mural. Every day after work he would go back and paint this composition in our living room converted into an art studio. If my memory serves me right, he started this painting just after Christmas of ’86. Everyday the smell of linseed oil wakes me up every morning, sometimes some laughter and loud discussions from my fathers friend and some… people who appreciate arts… or should i say just somebody on the street that has got something to say about his artwork. Some really dont know of the artistic liscense thingy and ask why this and why that.
“Why the clouds are like a cloth, it doesnt look soft.”
“Why does Jesus blood drips and still flowing when he was dead 3 days ago.”
“Why He’s wound is on the wrist and not on its palm” and so many other questions”
Of course my father likes that. He wants more of these questions; he wants more discussion about what he did.
I grew up in the Old Republica Filipina Street town of Romblon, Unlike the present Republica Filipina street nowadays, it wasn’t a very busy commercial strip then, Our neighbor Jose Mallorca was an artist like my father, we use to call him Uncle Joe he was the only marble sculptor I know in Romblon back then, who works good on his proportions, and anatomy. After school I like to drop by at his studio and watch him work. It was really fun having surrounded with arts at a very young age.
It was also my awakening on mural paintings. Just like those people dropping by on our living room/dads studio i also ask my father why did he paint it that way… and maybe i being so inquisitive, and he wants me to understand mural paintings more he showed me a coffee table book of Carlos “Botong” Francisco. From then on I always look up at Botongs work and considered him as my major influences in my watercolors
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