(a continuation of sorts)
Sky. Dawn. Ocher. Blood. Tears. Rust. Sunlight.
The earth birthed these colors and they are now on my palette. Salima, one of the Talaandig artists facilitating this workshop, showed us how to invoke the numerous hues of the earth, channel them to our brushes, and give life to them in the images we wrought on canvas.
Ad gloriam ex luto
From the mud to glory. Or something like that.
See, we are now painting. But the smell of turpentine and linseed oil is missing. The canvases before us are slowly filling with the images ushered up by our subconscious… a bird of prey there, a tree over there, a road leading to nowhere propped on a makeshift easel of stone, a face, a bowl of rice, an egg. Soil on canvas.
This is Day 3 at the Talaandig Village. The fog has not stopped caressing our cold bodies. The rain even joined in the fray and has never stopped beating down on the tin roof, so intent was it to take part in the day’s activity.
Today’s activity was one of the things I looked forward to before coming here. And as I plunged deeper into painting with soil, I had several epiphanies.
That painting with soil is a primeval art form.
That soil doesn’t consist of a single hue. My makeshift palette of tin cans containing a vast selection of colors, the so-called earth tones, attested to that fact.
That soil is an essential part of our lives; if there’s no soil, there’d be no place where plants could grow. The great circle of life. And I would not deny that the visuals that came to me that day were akin to some scenes right off Disney’s “Lion King”, with the great circle of life montage (creatures of wing and hoof thundering on and on across a great plain) plus the soundtrack itself played in full crescendo in my ears.
I must’ve looked drunk to all the others. But… but… but that afternoon, I must’ve waken up something within me that slept for a very long time. Because, cliche as it may sound, I came out of that activity with an understanding of how each of our lives is connected to everything else in the universe. And, yes, i was cold sober when this realization came.
Let me show you what I painted under Salima’s guidance: