Joys of the Terrible Artist

I was so ecstatic last night

after finishing the dead layer of my Magdalena painting. I couldn’t believe I could do a decent looking painting of a human figure. I always said to myself that I’m terrible with portraits (even if I haven’t really tried it). I think such belief stemmed from my attempts to sketch my mom’s graduation picture when I was a kid and ended up deeply frustrated because I couldn’t even see her face coming out of my drawing despite my best efforts to replicate what was on the photo. So I grew up believing that I am not good at sketching portraits and faces. After painting a few landscapes, I had this feeling of sadness, realizing that I have limitations as an artist – I couldn’t paint people. So I decided to give it a try.

It was hard work

just as I expected. But I never thought it is this exciting and wonderful especially when I see my painting coming to life. When I go for a break I sit on my recliner, just staring at my unfinished work with utter disbelief that I was the one who actually painted it. It makes me almost want to cry simply because I am deliriously happy that I have finally overcome that fear of not being able to achieve something I wanted to accomplish. I guess my Magdalena painting isn’t as perfect as the maters’ but I would definitely say it’s not bad for a first timer.

Now I am even more excited

to do the next few layers which will probably be a bit of a challenge considering that I am still learning to decipher the appropriate colors (particularly the skin tone) to make my painting look how it should be. But I’m sure it’s going to be fun. It’s something I could do the whole day without even realizing that I’ve been painting for hours. It enlivens me and makes me look forward to waking up every morning because I can’t wait to start painting again. There is never a day in my life that I do not think about painting. Observing color tones, hues, shades and potential subject is a constant spontaneous process happening in my mind. I just couldn’t help myself but think about it all the time.

Someone told me I am an “artist by heart”.

I asked him what made him say that. He said it’s because I am serious and passionate about it. Well, I am in agreement with my friend’s remark. In fact, I wanted to say that I am an “artist by heart, mind and soul”. I am convinced that arts and creativity has always been with me even when I was still a kid. When I look back through the years of my life I realized I’ve always been creative in so many ways and art is something which “I couldn’t get enough”. That’s why I become very restless when I don’t do any form of artistic expression. I think it’s in the blood circulating within my veins, driving me to satisfy such unquenchable desire to create.

I’ll post a photo of Magdalena when it’s completed (which would take a while given that I have to let every layer dry for at least two weeks – I am using the Flemish Technique). For the meantime, here’s a teaser:


If you love photography please check my photos under


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