The Feminine Art of ‘Ola’-A A +A
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
MARIA Mila Mabanta dela Fuente had never been a fulltime artist to start with. She was foremost a businesswoman and jeweler, but the call and the lure of the paint brush and the novelty of art was hard to resist. So after so many years and now at 54, she has become a painter whose distinct feminine art is much to be anticipated in the local art scene.
Ola’s art is a flourish of feminine lines accented by wide palate of colors. Her themes range from still life to rural scenes. But her distinct mark is a unique impressionist and abstract styles in most of her works. Her bright and vivid colors and sometimes an obvious homage to sepia themes from old masters are evident in her painting styles. You could see her heart and devotion towards portraits of people.
There is a feminine mark in her art that make it both refreshing and interesting.
Ola, as friends call her, finished a law degree at the Ateneo de Manila University in 1983 and Bachelor of Science in Management from the University of Santo Tomas in 1979. Even then Ola’s only encounter with art is her penchant for drawing sketches and funny caricatures of her teachers. But she never took art seriously then and was more of a jeweler-seller, which was her family’s business. She recalled selling college rings. This entrepreneurship bravado led to the establishment of her jewelry shop later on.
She married a Kapampangan from a prolific business clan and settled in Guagua town. Her husband did not think twice of supporting her when she decided to concentrate on her painting. Her jewelry business is still open to valued clients.
“I had so much time. The kids are already grown up and I found myself yearning for something creative and fulfilling to do and I found that emotional outlet in painting,” Ola said.
Ola’s number one critic is her sister Myrna Magallanes, a graduate of the University of Santo Tomas, who was into painting and advertising.
Ola recalls consulting her sister often, having started late in the art. Ola however believes that it is not too late to start in an interest in art.
In June 2010, she was invited by a group of friends to a painting class by University of the Philippines professor Nestor Villanueva at Conchitas Garden in the City of San Fernando. It was a large class of 15 to 20 people. Ola remembers that she was so engrossed that they started small group classes in her home in Guagua with other women painters here. Their teachers included Master portrait Artist Rafael Maniago, Lee Adriano, and Aurelio Lobo.
Ola said that painting enables the artist to touch and be one with his art. “When you paint, you do not just apply paint on a canvass, you are actually given the privilege to feel and breathe life into that subject through your art,” Ola added.
Ola’s master works include surreal to realist renditions of figures and rural settings. Her fascination with old masters and Filipino masters like Maniago and Amorsol are very evident in her painting style. Currently, Ola is doing small class instructions to youngsters on painting and will soon embark on a group exhibit with fellow women artists. Ola is surely an artist worth waiting for.
For comments, suggestions, violent reactions, invites, indignant rebuttals and what-have-you email: firstname.lastname@example.org(09173435197).
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 18, 2013.