Mental and Physical Preparation for exhibits (Dec 21-March 22)

I will probably write about this in past tense as it is already December 2022. I joined 2 open calls by Philippine Botanical Art Society last November/December 2021. One was the Flora of South East Asia Botanical exhibition and the other one was at the National Museum of Natural History exhibit titled “Natural Heritage in Focus: The Philippine Flora and Fauna Art Exhibition“. It was a good thing that the announcement was months ahead. I had plenty of time to prepare. β™₯

After a long break from creating any art, it felt like my skills were getting rusty. So I had to practice. A lot. You could also think of this post as a compilation post of sorts as well. Picture and lengthy post ahead!

The rose painting above is the my artwork for my first ever art tambay with Aira and Hannah after lockdown. There’s still covid, but at least we finally had our vaccines so it felt a little bit safer to meet up. It also felt right that they were the first people I get to art tambay with again after a long time. Our last art tambay was around March 2020!

Physical preparation

From January to March of 2022, I practiced a lot. Just painted and painted so I could get out all of the bad art in my system. The rose painting is part of my art trade with my officemate for our Christmas Art Trade. The middle one is a periwinkle. I got the reference from one of my friends I think? The last one are daffodils I painted in my Strathmore watercolor notebook. I still have a lot of paper because of hoarding through the years. Hoping that I get to use all of them soon! I churn out a lot of paintings to get used to painting again haha.

Next up are more practice pieces on different papers. Above: Cattleya practice on baohong paper, Queen of the night on Strathmore, and a Rose painting on Canson 200gsm paper. We used to have a queen of the night in our family home. They would wake me up at night to watch this flower bloom. I didn’t really liked the rose painting, hence the color pencil layers.

Below: Sunflower painting, Poppies, and a pink rose. I could not remember what paper I used for the sunflower painting. This was also supposed to be sold off for a fundraiser, but I couldn’t find the original anymore so I gave another painting with the same reference photo used. The right poppy and pink rose are more practice pieces. The middle poppies I’m pretty proud of! β™₯ I gave the middle painting as my art exchange gift during PGW’s Christmas art trade.

Above: I tried practicing white flowers again. Gardenia (left) and roses. The left one is reserved for an art trade with a friend. I’m not happy with how I rendered the roses. It looks like a mix of cool and warm tones. Its all over the place. I need to practice some more.

Below: More practice works. I’ve been wondering why I kept on painting on Canson 200gsm paper when I wanted to paint detailed backgrounds. These paintings took a beating with too much water.

Mental preparation

It is now April 2022. The painting above is my Hoya Blashernaezii ssp siariae piece for the SEA open call. The sketch (for review and approval), progress, and final piece. Its just an A4 piece so it felt like I didn’t get to express and show the details of the flowers compared to a bigger paper. This one was hard. Because of what happened last March, it felt like nothing really mattered anymore. But I had to push through with both deadlines. I didn’t get to do a warm up sketch and painting for the SEA open call. I knew from the start that I didn’t do my best here. So it didn’t really hurt when I learned that I didn’t get accepted into Round 2 of the jury deliberation.

Feeling a bit guilty with the SEA open call, I did a warm up painting for the NMNH open call. This is so I could test out the colors that I want to use for the painting. And to get the “feel” of the flower shape this time around. I had to do this painting in two rounds, a first for me. Day one was the paper prep, sketch, and base colors. After that I didn’t continue working on it after a week. Day two was all about the details and polish. I knew it took me a long time to paint this. I started around 4pm and ended at around 3am. There was also a Day three but that was just scanning and submitting the painting for jury deliberation.

Can I also just write here that I have a love-hate relationship with the NMNH painting? I knew I did my best working on this piece. It looks beautiful and it accomplished the goal. But I really hated it. During the painting process there were times that I really wanted to tear it apart. Because it felt like painting, or whatever this hobby is, didn’t really matter. I felt like it wasn’t important to others, there were a lot of distractions, and it just…. sucked. My memories of painting and submitting this piece were all negative. When we got back the painting, I wanted to burn it lol. So it is now in safekeeping in Inggo’s relatives’ place.

It feels good to finally write about this. To finally let it off my chest. I still have 18 drafts left and 3 days to go before the year ends. Let’s do this!

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