Watercolors that tell multi-hued stories

Watercolor paintings are distinguishable by the brightness and luminosity of their hues. An artist with a deft yet light hand can coax layers of colors by drawing them out, one careful step at a time.

For all their innate breeziness, watercolors can be challenging for beginners to create. However, the unpredictable nature of water and pigments can lead to surprising and beautiful effects.

Established in 2016, the Philippine Guild of Watercolorists (PGW) aims to connect with the larger art community. The guild has over 200 official members, 7.8K Facebook followers, and a 27.6K reach on its page.

Participating artists from the Philippine Guild of Watercolorists

“Our Stories in Color” will feature artworks by PGW premier watercolorists  Erwin Mallari, Richard Romeo, JC Vargas, Dan Macapugay, and Ton Ador. The exihibit will run from April 16 to 30  at ARTablado in Robinsons Galleria.

Mallari has been painting watercolors for just over a decade but already has a catalog of realistic paintings honed by his years as a photographer. In 2012, he was a semi-finalist in the Metrobank Art & Design Excellency competition and was one of five grand prize winners of the Kulay sa Tubig Watercolor Competition 2014. 

GCQ Walks of Life by Erwin Mallari

Architect Richard Romeo’s “A National Treasure” was one of five grand prize winners at Kulay sa Tubig 2020. He duplicated his feat with “A Golden Hour in Basilan” in 2022.

Featured artist Macapugay also won the grand prize at the same competition that year with “Ina,” a painting based on a photo that reminded him of his grandmother.

Vargas works quickly, as one does when working with watercolors. Earlier this year, he was one of the featured artists at a live watercolor painting session held in another mall.

Alay sa Kalikasan by Cher Cabula-Mendoza

Ador bagged the grand prize at the first Sihag Cebu Watercolor competition held four years ago and Metrobank Art and Design Excellence (MADE) in the water media category in 2022.

Their works will be showcased alongside watercolors by 15 PGW members chosen by PGW jurors from 37 entries.

PGW founding members led by Karen Sioson said: “We aim to build awareness, interest, and appreciation for watercolor art and discover, hone, and support local talent through art-related 4Es: education, events, exposure, and experiences.”

Reflections by Kyle Fortu-Legaspi

“One of our promises is to provide the network and platform for artistic exchange and collaboration,” Sioson said.

“Our Stories in Color” also features the works of watercolorists Joseph Balderas, Aileen Barreiro, Aileen Cura, Dinna delos Reyes, Rigie Fernandez, Joanne Cariaso-Gacayan, Alice Atienza-Lee, Kyle Fortu-Legaspi, Judy Liuson, Sarah Liuson-Ongsun, Bids Llorin-Luna, Cher Cabula-Mendoza, Drake Pagulayan, Lorraine Panelo and Eduardo Solana Jr.

The jurors included John Cogley, president of Daniel Smith Artists Materials; Dino Pajao, an honorary member of PGW, a multi-awarded watercolor artist and one of the few Filipino members of the Singapore Watercolor Society; and Iris Babao-Uy, a PGW honorary member and one of the most sought after multi-media workshop instructors in Manila.

PGW President Joanne Cariaso-Gacayan said:  “We partnered with ARTablado for this exhibition because, in addition to their professionalism, we believe that with the gallery’s support, we can make watercolor painting more accessible to beginners and artists of all levels.”

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