PART II: Boogers, Bob and the Bible
Updated: Jul 8, 2022
Tracing way back my roots as a creative from a doodle on a wall.
My farthest memory goes back to when I was alone in a room when I was still barely crawling. I heard people’s voices from the other side of the door. I was locked up in the bedroom and my uncle, they told me, had to break the door open. The door knobs were left unfixed since then—plural because I believe it happened twice!
I do remember doodling on walls and my mother’s exasperation each time she would discover my cave man’s markings and the boogers that accompanied it (you KNOW kids do the darnedest things, right?). Eventually they had to repaint the walls white, as if that would stop me and my little brother from making our latest frescoes. Although by this time, it was mostly my younger brother messing around as I transitioned into a more demure medium: paper, like coloring books and my mother’s students’ test papers, in which I would draw smiley faces on the zeroes.
I transitioned into a more demure medium: paper, like coloring books and my mother’s students’ test papers...
She probably understood my kindergarten teacher’s unease when she complained to her about my technicolored animals and black roses. They probably agreed at the moment that her only daughter is a bit of a strange being.
After several poster-making competitions I became the designated artist of the school. Teachers took advantage of my artistic talents and I took that to my own advantage by excusing myself from boring classes in order to make other teachers' more "important" educational visual aids and blackboard illustrations for their classrooms. I even skipped a pool party with the whole of my batch mates to finish working on a billboard-sized backdrop for the school’s annual intramurals. I didn’t care much about boisterous girls my age anyway. Splashing paint all over the floor was more fun!
Bob didn’t really teach how to do that but neither did our instructors because we were left to figure out things on our own.
Bob and the Bible
Having watched too much Bob Ross programs, I progressed into using a flour cloth sack stretched onto a frame and painted a landscape using Elmer’s brick-hard pan watercolors. On the last day of school classmates and teachers all signed at the back of the flimsy painting. Who wouldn't feel proud about such an achievement? That painting, I reckon, became a rag cloth that it really was.
At the university, I would learn how to properly stretch canvases and use the right medium. Bob didn’t really teach how to do that but neither did our instructors because we were left to figure out things on our own. An art book from Readers’ Digest however became my Bible. That was enough to get me through art school because I didn’t plan making a career out of art anyway. It was just something I knew and enjoyed doing. (To be continued... )