Not a Georgia O’Keeffe
My friend Caloy, a versatile art director and a painter I greatly admire, calls me up occasionally before he begins work in the morning. We talk shop about our common interests and friends—we have a legion of them, having worked together in a large ad agency, which was my training lab as now a full-time author.
"Caloy, I am painting again today!" I announced, spewing an immediate caveat, "But don’t you dare call me a painter.”
"You're a Georgia O'Keeffe," he replied.
I wanted to crawl under my easel, even if I don't take Caloy's statements seriously.
That morning he called and asked, "Are you doing anything today? Can you and G [another close friend whom he likewise calls in early mornings] please accompany me to COMELEC?"
"To do what?"
"To file my candidacy for President of the Philippines."
That unleashed my first guffaw for the day. (A total of 130 aspirants filed their Certificate of Candidacy for this position.)
Funny that he mentioned Georgia O'Keeffe. I am in awe of her. Her painting, an exquisitely rendered white blossom of a weed, sold last year for $44.4 million at an auction, setting a record for an artwork by a female artist.
At the Art Institute, she took up Fine Arts; I took up Performing Arts.
She painted flowers with faultless finesse and impeccable rendition of lines and shadows. I paint with gay abandon, with attention only to the thump-thump of my heart.
She said, ". . . I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way—things I had no words for.”
I say, "There is no other way I could say things, but with words—written words. I paint color and shapes because they refresh my mind, pushing me to write more words."
My paintings will probably fetch, if at all, 44.40 in pesos, not 44.4 in million dollars as O'Keeffe's, but they pack me with so much joy I always ache to paint the next wonders around me after my last.
“O LORD, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.” Psalm 104:24 (KJV)