Happy Birthday, M♥m!

M♥M, 14" x 11", graphite and red pencil on white Strathmore paper

M♥M, 14" x 11", graphite and red pencil on white Strathmore paper

Fr my everdearest, belved mther, wh brught me int this wrld:
I wish yu, Mm, a  mst blessed, jyful, HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
I lve yu s♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ much, Mm, mre than yu’ll ever knw– even lng after the memry cells in my brain have frgtten even my wn name!
GD Bless yu always, Mm, with His lve and care!!!

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Happy Birthday!

Lynchie, 14" x 11", Red pencil on white Strathmore paper

Lynchie, 14" x 11", Red pencil on white Strathmore paper

Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday, Lynchie!!!
I’m wishing you the blessing of a most wonderful, enjoyable day today!
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
GOD Bless you always, sister!!!
I love you!!!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Happy Valentine's Day!

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
–1 Corinthians 13:13 (New International Version)

For real

Love shuts out pride, 12"x9", color pencil, pastel and acrylic on Bienfang 70-lb white paper

Love shuts out pride, 12"x9", color pencil, pastel and acrylic on Bienfang 70-lb white paper

& u r blessed if u feel it!, 12"x9", pen and ink and acrylic on Strathmore 400-series, 60-lb Sketch paper

& u r blessed if u feel it!, 12"x9", pen and ink and acrylic on Strathmore 400-series, 60-lb Sketch paper

To all the girls I’ve loved before: HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY to you all! I totally mean it this time! Promise.
Peace!

When I met you

When you find the right person for you– or, in the case of the Jerry Maguire film, the one who will “complete” you– will you know for certain that he/she is truly the one? Uh, uh…absolutely! That’s why the art world teems of works of inspiration– portraits, sculptures, poems, stories, songs, etc.– for one’s beloved half! Everyone has a lifetime to find his/her true love. And when one does, the joy brought by such a blessing seems to last beyond his/her lifetime, perhaps even until forever! Whether you finally found someone to love, or someone to love you, the effect is the same: heaven! And even if you didn’t, you need not worry. Because the Lord will find you with His love! And all will be well!
The music video above is from the APO Hiking Society, arguably the Philippines’ greatest musical group ever! The song, entitled “When I Met You,” was released in the early ’80s and was composed by one of its members, the inimitable Jim Paredes! It is a beautiful love song and a personal favorite of mine. It sounds like the sort of a coming-of-age point in one’s life when true love is finally found!
Some say that the best love songs are written with a broken heart! Well, this one resonates to a harmonious tune– one of hope to ease an aching heart! The parts of the chorus, “You gave me a reason for my being…You gave me a meaning to my life. Yes, I’ve gone beyond existing. And it all began when I met you,” are probably some of the most poignant lyrics one can ever hope to hear! It is one of the few songs that can both take and bring me back in time with the same feeling of joy and fondest memories!

i love what i'm feeling, 12"x9", markers on Bienfang 70-lb white paper

i love what i'm feeling, 12"x9", markers on Bienfang 70-lb white paper

Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes

Tree, 11"x9", pen and ink on medium-weight white paper

Tree, 11"x9", pen and ink on medium-weight white paper

I drew this tree with one inspiration in mind: Bill Watterson. To anyone who reads the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, he/she will know what I’m talking about. And of course I’m referring to trees. Bill Watterson’s drawings of trees, for me, are the most simply drawn, yet, the most charming and most beautiful trees I’ve ever seen on a comic strip! And for a certain period in my life, I was drawing nothing but trees, trying to emulate the kind of artistic mastery Watterson had on trees with just a few strokes of ink! Needless to say, I couldn’t hack it! And only years later would I realize that the answer lies in the entire illustration, not just in any individual tree. Watterson’s composition, mastery of facial expression and gestures, use of negative space, choice of colors (in the case of his Sunday strips), and command of the ink medium all worked together to give each drawn figure the charm and beauty it possessed.
Bill Watterson’s strip lasted only ten years (from 1985 to 1995). But in those ten years, the world was mighty fortunate to laugh at the humor on his strips and marvel at the beauty of his art! And the reason why we don’t see any Calvin and Hobbes mugs, t-shirts, TV series, etc., is because Watterson refused to merchandise them, believing commercializing them would cheapen the value of his comic strip characters.
To date, I consider Calvin and Hobbes the funniest English-language comic strip ever published on newspapers (I said “English-language” because there is another comic strip in my mind that I think is also consistently, genuinely funny; and that is the Filipino comic strip Pugad Baboy by Pol Medina, Jr.)!
Calvin and Hobbes has the kind of unadulterated wit you can only get from a kid. Boy, I couldn’t even approximate the number of times I didn’t laugh at his strips– how about…”never”! Yes, it is that unbelievably funny! Reading his strips will not fail to strike a chord in either the parent in you or the child in you, making the comic’s appeal universal in scope. I’m not even sure if another comic strip can surpass, or even equal, the genuine humor of Calvin and Hobbes. To me, Bill Watterson’s combination of ideas and images is beyond brilliance! It is genius!

update: (Here’s a February, 2010 article about Bill Watterson not regretting stopping his strip at the height of its popularity.)

Below are a couple of my attempts at copying Bill Watterson’s drawings of trees.

hic! (hallucination in control)

Eat, 11"x8.5", pen and ink on Roaring Spring 60-lb paper

Eat, 11"x8.5", pen and ink on Roaring Spring 60-lb paper

Drink, 12"x9", pen and ink on Bienfang 70-lb white paper

Drink, 12"x9", pen and ink on Bienfang 70-lb white paper

And be merry!, 11"x9", pen and ink on medium-weight white paper

And be merry!, 11"x9", pen and ink on medium-weight white paper

Ahhh…the “good” times with Ginebra and Tanduay E.S.Q.!
I still remember feeling great while I was eating,
then slowly turning tipsy-topsy-turvy while drinking…
and pretty much far gone by the time I was merry!
(hahahaha…hic!)