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Text and images by KRISTOFER PURNELL

Flowers have been a constant subject for both master painters and budding artists who are drawn to their daintiness and beauty, which they immortalize on a piece of paper, canvas, or whatever medium. Even beyond their artistic value, flowers are present at every memorable occasion, making each moment a little more touching.

As such flowers, orchids in particular because of how endemic they are in the Philippines, are the subject of the Art Gallery by the Manila Hotel’s newest exhibit “Paper in Bloom,” filled with dozens of watercolor paintings of waling-waling and phalaenopsis (or moth orchids). These paintings were all created by the Philippine Chapter of the International Watercolor Society (IWSP) headed by Jinky Rayo.

“When I joined in 2015, we had a dream. We were a band of hobbyists and newbies,” says Rayo, holding back tears as she lamented that the Philippines isn’t friendly with watercolor art. “Now we’re having an exhibit at the Manila Hotel.” She  also thanks her colleagues for preserving and loving their medium, to which renowned watercolor artist Edgar Doctor commented “walang titigil (Don’t stop)!”

WALLFLOWERS Nearly 50 watercolor paintings of orchids fill up the wall of the Art Gallery by the Manila Hotel for ‘Paper in Bloom’

WALLFLOWERS Nearly 50 watercolor paintings of orchids fill up the wall of the Art Gallery by the Manila Hotel for ‘Paper in Bloom’

Artists who contributed to “Paper in Bloom” include Rayo, Bianca Borlagdan-Luztre, Suklin Chang-Pena, Buds Convocar, Romina Dayanghirang, Jerry Dela Rosa, Dinna Delos Reyes, Edna Delos Reyes, Rolly Delos Santos, Hemy Fabay, Kyle Fortu-Legaspi, Jean Govinda, Ella Hipolito, Elizabeth Jarantilla, Judy Liuson, Sarah Luson-Ongsun, Christine Nunez, Tessa Punzalan-Brodeth, Sheila Quisumbing-Bondoc, Melanie Reyes-Tuquet, Thur Toledo, Manny Vailoces, Ralph Villaluz, and Arvino Yanuario.

But the talents don’t stop there as the Manila Hotel is complementing the exhibit with “Paper in Bloom: Watercolor Painting Workshops” so that aspiring artists can try out watercoloring, as well. These will be held on Feb. 16 and 23, and March 15 and 21 at the Manila Hotel’s Roma Salon, to be overseen by the IWSP.

Everyone is encouraged to drop by the Art Gallery by the Manila Hotel and see for themselves how wonderful a medium watercoloring really is—perhaps even purchase a piece or two—as proven by the ever-present blooming of our orchids.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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