Why I’m Choosing to Study Painting

This is the closest I have to an artist’s statement.

It was my college application essay, written in early 2013.  Because I’m a lola and initially missed the essay requirement on the checklist,  I barely had an hour to put my big “WHY” into words.  No fluff.  Work-in-progress. Thankful for the knife of time pressure .

Why I’m Choosing to Study Painting

I am happiest when I am in front of a canvas, using color to bring images to life.

As someone who has been painting, drawing, and doodling since childhood, I have always dreamt of just creating everyday. It is my prayer and my presencing in the world – how I tell stories and communicate what needs and wants to be let out.

A painting for me is an intimate encounter between strangers – the subject, the painter, the audience. There is an exchange that may be fleeting or lasting, but given the proper intent and space, it is an exchange of truths, and can be transforming or healing.

Over the years, I’ve worked in businesses and pursued painting on the side, but especially now that I am in my 30s, I am finding deeper joy in coming back to the canvas. More and more, I wish to paint and create to let others play and quiet their heads, for clarity and understanding, and the courage to pay it forward. It is a renewing activity for myself and also hopefully for those who interact with my works.

Now with equal intent and ferocity, I commit to developing my skills as a painter, within a living, breathing community of teacher-student artists. I hope to learn not only the technical aspect of the arts, but also the dynamics and discipline of what it means and takes to be a professional artist today, in the Philippines and also in the wider global context.

Painting for me is a journeying back, sometimes slowly, at times at full speed, towards my core curiosities: the arts, the Philippines, God, spirit, and people, and inviting others to journey with me.

Johanna Carla B. Pilar

February 6, 2013