My art is simple and raw and I intend to keep it that way. I draw inspiration from my personal journey.
My work is spontaneous. My muse lives inside my heart and surprises me with visions in the most unexpected moments, mostly while doing mundane things such as running, driving, doing the dishes or while I’m in the shower. When that happens, I have to follow through and create…or my heart will break. It’s been broken many times that way.
I make art with acrylics and other mixed media but coffee is my No. 1 medium of choice because it is easily accessible, practical, non-toxic and natural. I particularly enjoy the challenging and stubborn unpredictability of this medium on the surface much like the randomness of life. It requires and hones proper timing, intuition, patience, letting go, coping and sometimes even forgiveness and undoing. Most of all, coffee can conveniently present many beautiful shades of brown, just like Filipinos, and it gives a painting an overall sepia effect which is the color of nostalgia — something I’m constantly flooded with.
~ KINÁNG‘S PINOISERIE (Filipiniana): Nostalgic Images of Philippines past and present; Ancient/Tribal elements, Baybayin (also known as and mistakenly referred to as Alibata) artwork; Titles: BIAK (Explorations of Filipino Heritage, Identity and Diaspora); Maria Clara Chronicles (Spanish Colonial Past); Pinoyesque (Filipino style paintings).
~ GALLERIA CLARA: Expressive-Intuitive art, Dreamlike, Enchanted Visions, Surreal and Whimsical themes, among other things. WORKS: ARTWELLINGS (Artistic Upwellings – an amalgamation of symbolisms, expression, intuition, apophenia, magical realities and whimsical angst, ); CLARA (abstracts celebrating Clarisse’s passion for colors and instinctive-intuitive spontaneity, viewed as a sieve of moods, memories and emotions from all of life’s random and fleeting moments: from the cheerful and the sublime to sometimes melancholic or edgy, but almost always the soulfully nostalgic).
~ Coffee and other nonconventional/nontraditional stains (wine, tea, annatto/atsuete, soy sauce) on canvas, watercolor paper, wood panels and other surfaces.
~ Acrylics, oil sticks, oil pastels, gold leaf, ink, watercolor, graphite, ephemera, strings and found objects for mixed media paintings and collages
~ Wire, gems, seaglass, beads, rocks, old bottles, fabric scraps, vintage keys and found objects for jewelry, wire-wrapping and sculpture projects
Paintings on canvas and watercolor paper, art posters and glicee prints, canvas prints, stationery, note cards, wearable art and art jewelry; handpainted accessories and apparel; wire sculpture, fabric tapestries and vintage thrifts.
COFFEE PAINTING: HOW IT ALL BEGAN
It was purely instinctive and intuitive, coupled by a burning desire…a habitual urge to conjure and create images.
It started one ordinary day at work, with my morning cup of black coffee resting on a piece of scratch paper…I kept staring at the coffee stains and rings between sips. Then without thinking, dipped my pencil in my cup, and started drawing with it.
There was an instant magical feeling of oneness. My body and soul, finally sharing nourishment from a single cup. It was a special moment where my reality and all my dreams collided, and intersected in a very magical and wonderful way.
The wine and other stains, therefore, followed suit.
There are many artists that inspire me. It might seem very cliché for me to say this but my favorites are really Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. I can stare at their works for hours and my favorites are the raw sketches in their notebooks.
One of my favorites is Vincent Van Gogh although his style does not directly influence mine. I’m always drawn to the affective aspects of things so I am in love with his works and deeply touched with his life story highlighted by his state of mind and unique take on the world. I recognize a little emotional connection of some sort each time I look at his works. The emotional appeal perhaps? A slight feeling of resonation? The troubled soul stares back at me as my eyes linger on his works. Sometimes they even make me cry.
Another favorite artist which perhaps influenced me in some way although it might not be obvious in my still-evolving style is René Magritte, a Belgian surrealist. I adore the simplicity of his paintings and how they can arouse many complex meanings without being too cluttered. He puts ordinary objects in an unusual context thus giving new meanings to familiar things. This paradigm inspires me the most and it is exactly what I try to employ in the context of my art – delivering a punch without being too complex or highfalutin.
I have eclectic preferences. I adore the works of Gustav Klimt and Henri Matisse. I gravitate towards a little Art Brut as well (Jesse Reno, yes, please) and have also found my heart at home in the totality of the art, persona and lifestyle of Jetro Vin Rafael, the man behind Van Gogh is Bipolar restaurant/cuckoo santuary).
I also appreciate Gat Jose Rizal’s few works, albeit not huge masterpieces. He is my “Renaissance Man”. My Idol. My Hero. Enough said.
I also admire the works of Philippine contemporary artist Antonio Leaño. I truly adore (and shall I say, ENVY) his mixed media works kn hi Indio collection incorporating imagery from the Philippine Spanish colonial past amalgamated with archaic elements and texture. Elements from the Spanish colonial past appeal to me with so much intensity because I spent my entire childhood and growing up years in a Bahay na Bato circa 1870’s.
My Number One inspiration is someone who assured me that the realization of my dreams and everything my heart yearns for is just some brushstrokes away… Sunshine Plata. When I first discovered coffee painting, I researched (yes, “googled”) and discovered this Filipina coffee painter whose works are now recognized worldwide even by Ripley’s and Martha Stewart. I sent her an email and that was the start of our friendly correspondence. I don’t just admire her for her creativity and talent. In fact, I appreciate her humility and generosity the most…her willingess to share everything to an amateur like me. She has selflessly shared tips on this medium that we both love and she continues to encourage me to this day. She keeps me going. She motivates me. Her advocacy is: “To make coffee accessible to all, anywhere in the world — regardless of race, religion or political belief, whether rich or poor — as a unique medium in the creative expression of art.” Thank you and ditto, Shinee!
All my works are dedicated to…
first and foremost…my dad who I believe I took from, who shares and understands my passion and fuels it during our long meaningful conversations that I truly treasure,
…my mom who believes so much in me, encourages me with so much unequalled enthusiasm and who is perhaps my biggest supporter and fan,
…all the other artists in my family: my late paternal grandfather who was a doctor and artist; my uncle/godfather who draws and paints between performing surgeries; other creative uncles and aunts; cousins — a big bunch of artists: published writers, photographers, painters, poets, musicians, crafters, designers, craftsmen etc.,
…my sisters who are pursuing their own passions, who I love dearly and am so thankful for (thanks for respecting and tolerating my “weirdness” all the time),
…my bestfriend Ali who I met in the Artists’ Circle in high school circa 1988, and remains to be a great source of unconditional friendship, sanity and strength across the miles after all these years (thanks for letting me pick your brain always always).
…my other bestfriend Flo (BFF!), for always being happy for me and my little triumphs (it surely means a lot to me!), for always supporting my wild dreams and for kicking my b*tt when I procrastinate on my projects.
…Kaye of Squeesome for being a “24/7 Call-a-friend-slash-Lifeline” for all my website needs
…my dog Tank, whose inspiring and unconditional love and loyalty spring eternal,
…..my daughter Aj who gave me a very special gift: the chance of becoming a mommy,
…my son Cody, my little agent in heaven. People only dream of angels, I held one in my hands!
…my husband Aldred who would unconditionally endure store-bought supper each time I am buried deeply in art projects, who supports anything and everything that I want to do in life no matter how crazy it could be (and thank you too for respecting and tolerating my weirdness). Thank you for believing without question that I can do anything even fly or walk on water.
and most especially…to God who is my whole universe, my “Bathala”, our “Maykapal” who created me and bestowed upon me blessings to share to the world.
SOLI DEO GLORIA!
Shared by Sunshine Plata:
“To all who are passionately dedicated
to the search for new “epiphanies” of beauty
so that through their creative work as artists
they may offer these as gifts to the world.
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Gn 1:31)