Posted on October 8, 2014 by rica

Watercolor 42 of 100: Rusty

A blogger messaged me, asking me to do a portrait. A portrait of a boy, who died last August. Her son’s best friend.

He was 17-years-old and was swimming in the river with his friends. He slipped under the water and never resurfaced. My friend showed me a couple of tribute videos and one happened to be the 911 call. It was his father, one of the 911 operators, who received the call that his son was missing. His son’s body was found, almost a week later.


I know I made a wish 3 months ago, to be a really good portrait artist. The kind that people would seek out to have portraits done. Well, I must say I didn’t expect it to happen this fast. :)

Posted on October 7, 2014 by rica

Watercolor Portrait 41 of 100: His Holiness, Pope Francis

Yes he inspires me. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’ve been wanting to paint him for quite some time. I’ve collected pics of him. Then I found a pic of him waving to the crowd. He had that smile – I knew I had to do it. So I took my pencil and watercolor..and painted the Pope during the celebration of Eid al Adha here in the Philippines. Yes, they declared Monday a holiday. :)


“It is true that going out on to the street implies the risk of accidents happening, as they would to any ordinary man or woman. But if the church stays wrapped up in itself, it will age. And if I had to choose between a wounded church that goes out on to the streets and a sick, withdrawn church, I would definitely choose the first one.”
– Pope Francis

Just to see how many “layers” of color goes on in my watercolor paintings, I will show two closeup pics:

This was the ‘teaser’ I posted yesterday after 5 layers of color.

This is a close up of the final painting. I’ve lost count as to how many times I layered the colors just to get that ‘right’ tone.

Posted on October 7, 2014 by rica

Watercolor Portrait 40 of 100: Chef Vicky

I was fortunate to have eaten at her place early this year. Her house is on a hill and from her backyard, this is what you could see:

In fact the view is so beautiful that she decided to put an old bench. This way her friends and guests could enjoy a cup of hot coffee [or tea] while viewing the hills of Baguio – that is one of the few uninhabited areas of baguio.

She told us not to post pics of her house [what it looked from the outside] because she would often receive visitors thinking that it was a restaurant. News of her cooking and her place can be found online. I can’t blame the writers – her food is truly good.

At the end of the 8-course meal, she was able to sit down with us and I was clicking away, trying to get a good picture with the intention of painting it later on.


Yes, she was tired but she did have a soft smile that lingered as we praised her cooking.

Posted on October 1, 2014 by rica

Handling Anger and Teenagers

This is not a how-to. This is a lesson I learned as I grew up.

I lived in a household where 10-year-old mistakes are brought up everytime there’s an argument. It never ends. My mother kept on bringing up the past – why? Because according to her, she may forgive but she never forgets. She also makes sure that you never forget what you did.

I learned that if you don’t forget, it means that you never forgave. You still remember the hurt, the humiliation, loneliness and everything else that situation caused. That’s something I resolved to fix in my life.

Whatever upset me, I write about it and forget about it. Yes, I would write about the situation and the lesson. But I usually forget it. Unless it is a recurring action. Then, instead of being angry about it, I would just change the way I think about it. It makes life better. It also makes the people you live, think more about what they did and both of you get to move forward.

Which is why I always try to resolve issues within 24 hours. If it can’t be done in 24 hours, I’d keep at it until some sort of acceptable arrangement can be made. That makes everything, workable.


My son and I were talking over dinner about parenthood.

“My friend’s mom was acting so immature. She’s showing my friend that she’s still angry – like making dabog (muttering, yelling, slamming things down). When you’re angry and upset, you don’t have to show it all the time,” he said.

“Have they talked?” I asked.

“Yes, they talked yesterday. The mom just wants the daughter to know that she’s still upset about the situation by doing these things,” he said.

“Not everybody handles anger well. Only a few people know how to be angry at a situation, but not at their child. Also, not every body handles their anger well,” I said.

“Well she’s doing a good job of alienating her daughter,” my son said.

I looked at my son squarely, “While people have a lot of opinion on how parenting should be, each child should be treated differently, just as each parent should be treated differently. You weren’t born with a set of manuals – just as kids weren’t given an instruction sheet on how to handle their own parents.”


What my son meant here is that he was hoping that his gf’s mom would be more sensible – like me (yes, I was flattered).

When I am angry at something, it stays there. I keep to the topic. If you switched the subject and talked about something else, my tone changes and I can talk ‘calmly’ about other issues. If the first issue hasn’t been threshed out yet, I’d go back to the topic and talk about it until a resolution is made. No, being ADHD has nothing to do with it. I just want to resolve things as they happen. I also make sure that something can be done about it. If it is beyond our control, then there’s no use being upset about something you can’t control or change [eg: I can't change people, how they think or will react - but I can change how I can react to the situation]. That’s how I deal with situations. I think that’s how my son is learning to deal with things in his life as well.

It’s more like, I learned to deal with feelings the way I deal with problems. If you’re passionate about something, do it, talk about it – until the feeling dissipates. Then move on to the next issue. I learned that it applies to everything. If I can do something about it then do it. If it is beyond your control, then getting angry, upset or worried is just a waste of my time and energy.

Art. Projects. Managing people. Relationships.


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