FOR a self-taught artist who started painting as a hobby, Maybelle “Abe” Marquez-Yu has come a long way.

The fit and fab mom-of-three recently staged her first solo art show entitled “Spark” at the Azuela Cove Visitor Center with Vice Mayor J. Melchor Quitain, Jr., Honeylet Avancena, Josie Tionko, and Kenneth Montegrande gracing the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“I started painting just before New Year 2021 because my husband and I took interest in acquiring some art pieces for our home. Our walls are literally white and blank. I guess, looking at them awakened my art sense, if there is such a thing,” she intimates.

The well-loved yoga instructor shares that witnessing colors glide on canvas makes her happy. “It is like putting icing on the cake. And finishing an art piece is sheer joy! Knowing that the Lord has equipped us differently and has enabled us to use it is indescribable,” Abe gratefully expresses.


In just two years, Abe has passionately created eighty breathtaking artworks using acrylic with varying themes such as mother and child, father and child, bounty harvest, koi, and floral, among others.

Her one-week solo exhibit impressively showcased twenty-two pieces from 2022. “They are the style and themes I have enjoyed exploring this year and maybe till the next, refined from the previous year,” she explains.

When asked if she has found her signature style, Abe replies that she tries to translate most of her work to become her own style so, in effect, it is not just one style.

The 44-year-old entrepreneur reveals she is still at a point where she is exploring and enjoying abstract, impressionism, and surrealism.

Collaborative work

One of the highlights of her recent exhibit was her collaborative piece with Kenneth Montegrande, a self-taught Filipino abstract painter with the distinction of being the first Southeast Asian artist whose works have been collected by Japanese billionaire and distinguished art collector Yusaku Maezawa. His works are likewise included in the Tokyo-based Contemporary Art Foundation.

In addition, Montegrande is the youngest artist to exhibit at the Malacañan Palace Museum, and his works “Transfigurings of Freshest Blue” and

“Perla del Mar de Oriente” are included in its prestigious collection.

“It started when I casually invited Kenneth to inform him that I am finally having a solo show of my own. Before that, he would usually encourage me to paint and chat about art. Surprisingly, he volunteered to come and on top of it, do collaborative work,” recounts Abe.


It was extremely exciting for Abe as a newbie in the field to work with a celebrated artist. Montegrande asked Abe to do her part first in Davao and then waited for him to arrive from Manila and complete the painting.

The word spark holds a special significance for Abe. “Spark” is the title of her first solo art show while her collaborative mother and child artwork with Montegrande is called “Spark of Love”.

“Because all of this started with a spark, an urge to get a brush and start painting my own artwork. Eventually, when people took notice, I wanted my art to spark joy in their homes. So, usually, you will find my artworks convey joy, memory, and love as well as colors that invoke happiness,” she enthuses.

Special thanks to David Familar for the exhibit photos.