Maestro Rafael Maniago opens painting classes for Kapampangans-A A +A
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
PROLIFIC master portrait artist Rafael Maniago has started painting classes here in a bid to share the secrets of his art to enthusiasts and aspiring painters, in intimate tutorial classes in his homely studio in downtown City of San Fernando.
The United States-based artist is back in Pampanga for a month-long vacation with fellow artists. Maniago said it is now high time to go into teaching to propagate his style and teach his art secrets to the next generation of Kapampangan artists.
Most of Maniago's current students are rich art patrons from Guagua, City of San Fernando and Angeles City. But Maniago reiterates that anyone is welcome to learn under him, regardless of educational background or financial status in life.
"Art is for everyone. I am not in a position to deprive anyone of the chance to learn," Maniago said.
Rafael, who is also a poet, has been drawing since childhood. He attended the University of the East in Manila, where he studied Fine Arts and Commercial Advertisement. For 20 years he operated his own gallery in the Philippines and in 1989 he decided to come to the United States. His passion for learning continued as he studied at the Pasadena Art Center.
He has painted over 1,000 portraits, of which many were of the Philippine leaders of Commerce, Industry and Politics. For years he has been conducting workshops throughout Southern California.
He is a patient man with a keen eye for perfection and color. His elegant style can be seen in his works of art and the way his students capture his directions. There is a feeling of passion, and intense dedication in the vivid colors of his paintings. True to his style, he captures the inner life and physical likeness of the characters he portraits.
True to his love of paintings, he continues to teach and paint outdoors day after day. He is a member of the Portrait Society of America, American Society of Portrait Artists, California Art Club, and Laguna Plain Air Painter Association.
"It is time to inspire others and teach them the art," Maniago said.
Maniago, now in his 60s, became a teacher to Victor Ramos -- the painter of the Betis Ceiling during the 1970s. This same ceiling painting is one of the many art attractions inside the Betis Church in Guagua.
Victor Ramos was 20 years older than him at that time. He adds that no one is too old or too young to teach.
"We can learn things from the old and the young, all we need is a keen eye," Maniago said.
Maniago was also the painter of the 15 portrait paintings of the past governors of Pampanga, which can be seen at the Provincial Capitol and is the painter of majority of the portraits of most number of presidents of the Holy Angel University.
Maniago said that teaching is his way of giving back to the community that nurtured and patronized his art.
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Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 28, 2013.