Project 52: Weeks 7 to 11

In an effort to not make my blog too saturated with Project 52-related entries, I’ve decided to post them in digest form. This endeavour started out as a way for me to put down ideas for possible future paintings on paper. But aside from being a creative exercise, this project has evolved lately into something reflective of what transpired in a week — sort of a visual diary, so to speak. But that doesn’t apply to all drawings of course, and I can’t be expected to specifically point out which ones visually encapsulate events that made such an impression on me or just sudden realizations and thoughts that struck me enough to make me want to draw about them. When a special occasion falls on a certain week, say for example Women’s Day, then my drawing would be something timely for it. So without further ado, here are five weeks’ worth of drawings, which I only found time to scan and add dashes of color to just now. This is the first of two parts. We have a lot of catching up to do.

Butterflies in my Stomach. Drawn for Valentine’s Day. You know what they say in life, love, and everything else – “No guts, no glory.” Literally.

Week 7: Butterflies in my Stomach

Week 7: Butterflies in my Stomach

Strength. It’s when they have crushed and burned every last inch of you that you discover how strong you truly are.

Week 8: Strength

Week 8: Strength

Chasing My Own Shadows (while I’m running away from them). I was listening to Matilda, my favorite all-female local band, when I thought of drawing this. This was inspired by a track from their 2003 EP called “I n Me,” a powerful song that has always spoken to me. Put your headphones on, play it at full blast, and do check out the lyrics. A side note: I had to incorporate a couple of Wayang Kulit in there since I was talking about shadows.

“Oh this is endless perplexity
Unless I understand me
Unless I forgive me
Unless I see, hear, feel, touch, heal
Unless I claim me”

Week 9: Chasing My Own Shadows (while I'm running away from them)

Week 9: Chasing My Own Shadows (while I’m running away from them)

Exit Wounds. Sometimes our best products are born out of our darkest moments. A drawing for International Women’s Day.

Week 11: Exit Wounds

Week 11: Exit Wounds

Sea Witch. I recently found my collection of children’s books while spring cleaning, and was reminded of how beautiful the illustrations are on the Ladybird Well Loved Tales series. “The Little Mermaid” was my favorite. Thanks to a friend (because I couldn’t find it in the book’s insert and I’m bad at Googling information), I learned that the artist was Brian Price Thomas. I must note that the Ladybird classics stand out for their appealing, non-saccharine, almost realistic but still whimsical illustrations. So yes, mermaids — can’t get enough of them. And this is my version of the sea witch, seated on her throne with an anglerfish for a companion just to show how deep within the ocean she resides.

Week 11: Sea Witch

Week 11: Sea Witch

Her Human Lover

A quick ad before proceeding to Day 9 of the 365 Women Project. I’m one of the speakers on DLSU Manila’s upcoming 5th Young Multimedia and Graphic Designers Summit (YMGDS). Organized by Moomedia, YMGDS is a series of multimedia seminars that will be held within the DLSU Manila campus. It’s not only open for the whole university, but also to other students from different universities, colleges, and schools. I’ll be giving a talk on illustration and graphic design. I might include a bit on painting and photography, but we’ll see. Details will be posted soon.

Moving on, today’s drawing was supposed to be for next week but I decided to execute it today because it’s Friday the 13th. Nothing could be more apt for this unluckiest day of the year than a mermaid (Sirena in Filipino).

Her Human Lover. He was a pirate. Too bad he couldn't live for so long.

Beautiful mythical creatures that they are, they are regarded in traditional Filipino lore as bringers of bad luck. This applies especially in coastal towns where they are believed to hypnotize fishermen with their enchanting voices, then abduct them. Some believe they carry their victims to the depths of the sea to offer them to water deities. But then almost all Philippine mythical creatures are malevolent in nature.

Mermaids were my favorite subjects to draw ever since I was a child. I had a beautifully illustrated “The Little Mermaid” book and one of the images that struck me was an illustration that depicted the little mermaid’s garden in detail.

Each little princess had her own small garden plot, where she could dig and plant whatever she liked. One of them made her little flower bed in the shape of a whale, another thought it neater to shape hers like a little mermaid, but the youngest of them made hers as round as the sun, and there she grew only flowers which were as red as the sun itself. She was an unusual child, quiet and wistful, and when her sisters decorated their gardens with all kinds of odd things they had found in sunken ships, she would allow nothing in hers except flowers as red as the sun, and a pretty marble statue. This figure of a handsome boy, carved in pure white marble, had sunk down to the bottom of the sea from some ship that was wrecked. Beside the statue she planted a rose-colored weeping willow tree, which thrived so well that its graceful branches shaded the statue and hung down to the blue sand, where their shadows took on a violet tint, and swayed as the branches swayed. It looked as if the roots and the tips of the branches were kissing each other in play.

So I tried to incorporate that rose-colored tree in my quick drawing above, only I turned it to a coral because of lack of space. I’d love to paint that scene on canvas someday. I’ve been meaning to draw a mermaid since the day I first started on this project so I’m really happy I was finally able to do it today. And this is a requested drawing by Cons Canapi.