MAY brings forth the blossoms, Flores de Mayo, Mother’s Day, and One Dozen Blooms, a customary number for a bouquet. Imagine the magic 12 flowers can do.

Now, picture 12 local artists - the local art scene’s next best talents and seasoned ones - coming together to offer you their “newly-cut” blooms: Rodney Yap, Dadai Joaquin, Miyen Lim, Mei Afable, Mary Anne Guinoo, Rita Bustamante, Jing Cayacay Rabat, Mark Tolentino, Robin Castillo, Otoy Mercado, Romilo Nadonza, and Lino Velchez, Jr.

For this worthwhile #artistforartist project, twelve artists humbled themselves and took time to paint new obras. For some, it’s on a format way smaller than what they’re into. More admirably, they priced it “unusually low” for their status. They’re nodded to this project to help their fellow artists in need. I salute you!

This is a budding and veteran collectors’ piece of paradise, a virtual flower market like no other. Start picking and let positivity bloom!

Rodney Yap. “Flowers are great storytellers. They keep reminding us that in-between heavens and earth, there’s a realm to blossom love and kindness that is tangible in our hearts.”

Rita Bustamante. “Happiness bloom on trying times, where little things are just enough. ‘Love says it is enough’ (St Marie Eugene of Jesus).”

Miyen Lim. I often begin a painting with a story in mind. I use the story as a medium through which subjects close to my heart can be expressed. Love, human transcendence, communion of all things, death and rebirth are themes I think about a lot. The painting “Sa Gabi ng Kapistahan” was inspired by some lines from a Flores de Mayo song.

Mei Afable. The inspiration would be our current shared experience: being detained at home and experiencing all kinds of changes, whether small and benign or tumultuous and life-changing. Art has always uplifted the human spirit so it’s time for all of us to let our imagination run wild. It’s about staying positive and playful as we roll with the punches that life is delivering to all of us right now.

Mary Anne Guinoo. They say you give happiness. When you bloom we see a lot of beautiful colors. Grateful to the One who made you as you open up to show the beauty of your character.

Otoy Mercado. I have always been fascinated with flowers, specially orchids. It just makes you think that there is a Creator who loves beauty even in the smallest detail of things.

Romilo “Do Dong” Nadonza. “Blooming flowers and the cross” celebrates the Flores de Mayo and the Santacruzan in a surreal landscape. We can’t go out and celebrate these festivities, but we commemorate the meaning of the event inside our hearts, and pray that this pandemic will end soon.

Jing Cayacay Rabat. As an artist, I work hard to develop my painting that speak both to me and to others about beauty that exists. I try with my every work to breathe life.

Dadai Joaquin. In our childhood we would often be found outdoors playing. These would include the family’s plants in the yard, the Bombils, the Gumamelas, the Magic Flower, and of course the Santan. It’s our ‘veggies’ in our ‘balay-balay,’ the hiding places in ‘taguan’ or the object of a contest, like the search for a 5-petal santan flower, where the one who gathered the most won. The prize? Nothing but the bragging right of having the best eye sight. But we all had the best fun. Let’s let the children smell the flowers.

Robin Castillo. Ito yung mga taong nakunan ko ng picture last year. Yung flower vendor sa Bankerohan mukha nsyang content and at peace; yung isa araw-araw ko nakikita sa Ilustre na busy magbenta. Hanga ako sa sipag nya; at yung bata nakita ko Victoria Plaza. Old style ang damit at masaya ngumunguya ng straw.

Lino Velchez, Jr. Flowers make people happy. It can bring out goodness, peace of mind. Through my pieces, I’d like to showcase beauty and foster hopefulness.

Mark Tolentino. Painting the granddaughter of her muse, “Mura sya’g lady in bloom. Kanang headdress pud sa Tasusug gitawag na nga ‘panumping’ o floral. Ang ‘habul tiyahi’an’

(malong of the Tausug) gi-embroider og mga bulak, kaba’kaba’ (butterfly) ug pusukan (bee).”

A Dozen Blooms is Part 3 of a series of online art exhibitions and fundraising projects, a plan conceptualized on the onset of the community quarantine. The intention is to spread good vibes, enjoy art in the comfort of home, perhaps own one or two art pieces.

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