Look At Me

It’s been way too long since my last post. I’ve since returned to the corporate world, and have been trying my best to blend in after a yearlong absence.

It hasn’t been easy though. I had originally planned to just “exist” and do my job quietly, drawing as little attention to myself as possible. I am no longer interested in climbing any kind of corporate ladder. However, I think someone played a joke on me, and now I find myself in a position that is the exact opposite of what I planned for. Since then I have been in random states of self-doubt, excitement, disbelief, and all kinds of insecurity known to man. Am I overthinking? Am I overreacting? Am I downplaying things? I don’t even know. I’m just trying my best to get by. As my good friend always says, “more to come”.

This is a portrait of my daughter on her fourth birthday, on her way to a small birthday celebration we organized at her school. I miss the days when I only have to worry about what to cook for dinner.

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Back to you

Is it back to watercolors for me after I resolved to stick to pencil drawings?  That lasted a day.  I am so inconsistent.  I did a couple of pencil sketches and I just couldn’t help but to paint over them.  I like that some of the pencil shadings show through the paint.  And I really like how the colors turn out in this paper.  This is my Moleskine sketchbook which has a nice off-white paper.  It’s vey absorbent though and cannot take washes and repetitive brush strokes.  On watercolor paper, I apply a small amount of paint and then just push it around with my brush.  That approach does not work on this Moleskine paper at all.  I need to check if there is a watercolor paper out there with this shade of white.

Anyway, I will try to fill up the rest of the pages with pencil and watercolor paintings and see how it goes.  Maybe it will help me minimize my brush strokes.  I do tend to overpaint and obssess over the details.

This is my daughter in her Lunar New Year party dress.  I wonder until what age would she allow me to put a flower in her hair.

All of the Stars

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by Ed Sheeran

It’s just another night
And I’m staring at the moon
I saw a shooting star
And thought of you
I sang a lullaby
By the waterside and knew
If you were here,
I’d sing to you
You’re on the other side
As the skyline splits in two
I’m miles away from seeing you
I can see the stars
From America
I wonder, do you see them, too?
So open your eyes and see
The way our horizons meet
And all of the lights will lead
Into the night with me
And I know these scars will bleed
But both of our hearts believe
All of these stars will guide us home
I can hear your heart
On the radio beat
They’re playing ‘Chasing Cars’
And I thought of us
Back to the time,
You were lying next to me
I looked across and fell in love
So I took your hand
Back through lamp lit streets I knew
Everything led back to you
So can you see the stars?
Over Amsterdam
You’re the song my heart is
Beating to
So open your eyes and see
The way our horizons meet
And all of the lights will lead
Into the night with me
And I know these scars will bleed
But both of our hearts believe
All of these stars will guide us home
And, oh, I know
And oh, I know, oh
I can see the stars
From America
I wish you love and only love, now and always.  Happy Valentine’s Day.

Mass media

I’ve been playing around with pencils these past few days.  I still come back to it somehow.  One would think that after a year of drawing and painting, I would have discovered what my preferred medium is already.  I’ve already tried pencil, ink, watercolor and gouache.  I thought for a while that I liked watercolor the most, but I still feel like something’s missing. Technique? A signature palette?  I’m not sure.

Going back to pencil felt so comforting.  It’s like it’s telling me that it’s ok to doodle aimlessly, to overshade, to make wrong strokes. It’s like an old friend who’ll always go easy on me no matter what I do.  Maybe I’ll stick with it for a while.

This is a pencil drawing of my daughter sporting her new haircut.  I’ve actually used color pencils on this but I prefer the greyscale version.

Not Only Numb


I never really understood this song, but I like it.  It sounds sad and defeated but hopeful at the same time, which is how I feel at the moment about everything – my art, our dwindling bank account, the mountain of laundry that I’m trying so hard to ignore, the failed CPP/NPA peace talks (yes, it bothers me), Philippine politics, my daughter’s therapy, my  joblessness.  

Having so much time to think is not so good after all.

These are waterlilies at the Singapore ArtScience Museum.  I like how it turned out, but as expected, my favorite critic didn’t.  He said it looks muddy.  As the song goes, I’m not only back, I’m not only numb (whatever that means).

Green-minded

Sometimes, when I get so frustrated with drawing people, I go back to my comfort zone.  You can never go wrong with trees or flowers.  They will always look nice no matter how you draw them.  With people, even the most subtle change in stroke or shading can transform the face into a completely different person, and it drives me crazy.

Singapore is full of trees and green open spaces that it’s not hard to get inspired.  There are no dramatic landscapes here, but I find that I have always been drawn to the small things – intertwined tree branches making lovely patterns against the sun, vines creeping out onto the sidewalk,  bright yellow flowers dotting the green bushes, rows and rows of very old trees arching over the expressways.  There’s just so much green everywhere and it’s beautiful.

This is the view from underneath my favorite tree.  The leaves look like butterflies and the way the branches spread out is so lovely.

Make a wish

My sweet nephew turned one year old today.

I hope you had a great day my dear nephew.  I hope that today, you played and smiled and laughed and ate as much cake and ice cream as you wanted.  I wish you comfort and happiness, I wish you’re always surrounded by people who love you.  Sana lumaki kang mabait, matatag at matalino.  Happy Birthday.