10/21/2015

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.
Pardon my audacity, but I actually have two things in common with O'Keeffe. She went to the same school I went to, Art Institute of Chicago. And we both love to paint flowers and nature's bountiful grace. But there end our similarities.

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)


2 comments:

Vie Velasco said...

In the dance world there are a lot who criticize choreographies. Nevertheless, using bodies as my instruments, i express myself just like you do--the thump-thump of the heart. It works! Hihi

Grace D. Chong said...

Hi, Vie! I liken this to my singing as well. I love to listen to songs and sing along with the singers with gusto and heart thump-thump, but left alone, my voice can't simply carry the tune. Hahaha! Thanks for taking the time to visit my posts.