Tag: watercolor painting

The Old Is Gone, The New Has Come

IMG_4917

These days, the pervading attitude towards inmates and even those who struggle with drug addiction is more uncharitable than I ever remember in my life. It’s like all those people are lumped into one huge pile of subhuman specie. If you have a family member who is struggling with addiction secretly, this uncharitable attitude would probably make them think twice before coming to you for help. Especially since a lot of them die anyway, as collateral damage in a drug war that’s becoming increasingly violent. Admitting your addiction may even put your life at risk.

I was in the middle of a hiatus from the prison ministry when this drug war commenced. I was overwhelmed with work and could not fulfill my duties in the ministry properly. But day by day I see people talking about addicts and offenders as if they have forfeited their right to live. All this made me remember my sisters in Las Pinas City Jail so I broke my hiatus (even though there was no change in my workload) because I could not stop thinking about them. These days we have to hold our bible study at the main corridor of the female dorm because we don’t fit into the visiting area anymore. I welcome this problem though. It’s a happy kind of problem. Everybody is welcome.

IMG_4919

I realize how impossible it is to change the minds of people who are riding the wave of hate and violence. I cannot change the flow of the tide. I can only do my best to work with the inmates together with other people who are in the ministry with me, help them focus on the Word and remind them of how God sees them, instead of how the world sees them.

A lot of people say that nobody in jail will ever admit that they’re guilty, but that’s not true. A lot of people in my bible study group have owned up to their guilt, are quietly serving their prison sentences, and dealing with the regret of wasting so many years of their lives, aside from the years of incarceration that stretches ahead of them. Many of the inmates we work with are there because of drug-related charges. A lot have been there for years while still waiting for their first court appearance. While many may have been drug addicts, as you can see by the way years of drug use have ravaged their appearance, a lot are already in the process of waking up from the stupor. They’re realizing how they’ve damaged their lives, how they’ve hurt and alienated their family who now refuse to visit them. It’s like they’re waking up after a rampage and are only beginning to comprehend what they have done. Many have not seen their families for years and have endured…are continuing to endure incredible loneliness as part of their punishment. Prison is a dark place where people are soon forgotten.

Our bible lessons are always hopeful, helping them deal with the reality of their present as well as the possibilities of their future. As deep and dark as the pit may be, the light of Jesus still shines. And though the vast majority will treat them like vermin fit for extermination, we try to remind them of a simple truth:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Pens Through the Years

Fountain Pen Network Philippines will  be joining the celebration of Fountain Pen Day on the first weekend of November. I was invited to submit some artwork along with other fellow members of FPN-P. I’m usually really shy about showing people my art in person, but I figured that it might be a fun way to give back to the community and meet other artists as well.

I kind of agonized over what to submit, what paper to use, etc. I redid this a few times because I had some details wrong (plating color of a clip here, nib color there). But last night I was able to finish my final pieces.

IMG_4834

Overall, I enjoyed the process of making these two pieces a lot. Using fountain pen ink in the washes is challenging because it gets absorbed by the paper almost as soon as you brush it on. Mixing it with a lot of water helps. It’s also very fascinating to read about the pens again and see the tiny little details that make each pen unique. These two are collection of pens from Sheaffer and Parker through the years. There’s a lot of different kinds of pens to choose from, so I picked several that were made in different decades. It was really so much fun, and it reminded me again why I love vintage pens, especially Parker pens (I’m a Parker gal). They don’t make ’em like they used to.

This year’s Fountain Pen Day celebration will be on November 5-6, at the 3rd floor Atrium of SM Aura. Aside from the art exhibit, there will be other activities like calligraphy demonstrations for adults and kids, and pop up stores for fountain pen/calligraphy fans.

First Impressions on Sennelier Aqua Mini

My husband and I have very different hobbies, although we take much pleasure in indulging each other’s interests. I’m a relative newbie in watercolor, I really just recently discovered that not all watercolors come in tubes haha. I discovered Japanese watercolor (loved those!), and now I want to try other brands. I want to try small tins of watercolor pans just so that I can test them if I like them first, without buying a bigger, more expensive set. I also like to integrate little sketches in my journal entries, so having a tiny little watercolor set to bring along anywhere would be pretty great. My husband bought me the Sennelier Aqua-mini watercolor set which I think is just perfectly what I wanted. It’s my first time to try this brand so I’m completely unsure what to expect.

I think it’s really cute, though. I mean, look at it.

Sennelier Aqua Mini

Sennelier Aqua Mini

Eight colors in a tiny tin. I’ve never had a watercolor set this small. And there’s a teeny-tiny little brush in that middle slot. More on that brush later. A newly-opened, pristine watercolor set is beautiful, but of course that’s gonna get pretty messy real quick.

Sennelier Aqua Mini

To give you an idea how tiny it is, it’s just a little over 3.5 inches long and about 2.5 inches wide. It fits right in my pocket. Not that I’d carry it in my pocket. ^_^ The slots for the different colors are pretty closely spaced so if you use a big brush, it’s easy for the plastic holder to get pretty messy. I often just paint little things in my journal so I just use a small brush. It doesn’t get very messy as you can see below.

Sennelier Aqua Mini

It’s still looking pretty neat, I’d say. That teeny brush didn’t look very functional when I first saw it. I mean, it is so small. I was kinda resigned to just leaving that unused. But then the brush felt nice when I tried it. It’s pretty firm and I can use it for tiny details. Also, it’s a lot of fun to use for letters.

Sennelier Aqua Mini

Sennelier Aqua Mini

For a small brush, it gives me a lot of control with the strokes. I really enjoyed using it for brush calligraphy, which I only tried with watercolor once, if I remember correctly. I like it a lot. It made practicing my alibata characters a lot more fun.

The texture of the cakes are more soft, thick, and creamy than the Japanese watercolor that I’m used to. They’re nicely saturated and they’re easy to integrate with water and mix together.

Sennelier Aqua Mini

Sennelier Aqua Mini

Overall, I love everything about it. Small and compact, the brush is pretty nifty, and the colors are smooth and vibrant. I look forward to using it more often. 🙂

My hubby got this from ArtNebulaPh.

Why Calligraphy?

P1013643

I joined a group of calligraphy enthusiasts on FB, Calligraphy Spot. It’s a fun group. Everybody’s nice and accommodating, you learn a lot from the other members, and there are weekly calligraphy themes. This week’s theme is “Why Calligraphy?”, which made me wonder at my fascination with it, even if I have a love-hate relationship with it. My answer was because I love words. I like how stringing letters together make words, and stringing words together make up phrases and sentences that mean something. A physical manifestation of something as abstract as thoughts.

I really want to learn copperplate or Spencerian calligraphy, but I’m afraid that I’ve stopped and started this several times because I feel like it goes against my natural hand. I am more at ease with uncial calligraphy, block lettering, and the only kind of dikit-dikit calligraphy that I can manage through brush pens. In any case, I enjoy my attempts at calligraphy and I enjoy looking at other people’s works. I appreciate how people can make words aesthetically pleasing in many different ways using different tools.

“Family Portrait”

P8273694

Here’s something I did for my brother and sister-in-law. I wanted to give them something with a personal touch when they go home from their vacation. It’s their wedding anniversary and my husband and I are babysitting for a week. Being childless, nothing could have prepared us for the chaos of being responsible for three little kids. It’s a flurry of baby hugs, kisses, kicks, running around, picking up toys, stepping on toys, crying, laughing, etcetera etcetera. They follow us around everywhere. Like, even in the toilet. I had to learn the hard way never to close the bathroom door on a toddler.

My brother and sister-in-law are coming home tomorrow, and I have to say that I’m pretty impressed at the routines they’ve established for the children. With the very demanding careers they both have, they’re giving it their best shot.

This was a fun card to make. I should make some more for practice. ^_^ I wanted to write a quote or greeting in the middle using my brush pens but I’m too chicken. I didn’t want to redo it haha.