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HomeLifestyleEmotive florals that catch the discerning eye

Emotive florals that catch the discerning eye

The lush, floral paintings currently on exhibit at ARTablado are by two young artists who used what they learned at school and in their line of work to come up with impressive pieces. Interior designer Summer Pasana and graphic designer Rica Cena are now full-time visual artists who have teamed up for their first two-woman show.

The two consider themselves as sisters who have an affinity for flowers and, interestingly, music. “We spend most of our time listening to music when we paint. It can range from musicals to love songs,” they said in a joint statement. 

One album they both listened to and were able to connect with while painting was “Nurture” by Porter Robinson. The album which follows an artist’s struggles to find beauty in daily life and in the natural world struck a chord with both of them. It was thus a natural progression to choose “Nurture” as the title their exhibit which runs from April 1 to 15 at ARTablado, Robinsons Galleria.

 Summer’s pieces range from large-scale paintings to smaller ones that measure 12” x 12”. Her depictions of irises, poppies, dogwood blooms, phalaenopsis and tulips show an attention to detail but always with a romantic touch as seen in the curvy, wavy lines. 

The artist said that when she paints, she pours her heart into each piece. “I paint because it is where I get to express myself wholeheartedly, without any rules,” Summer said.

She started painting a decade ago when she was still at university and recalled how seeing her father paint as a child, inspired her to do the same. “I remember vividly seeing my Dad painting green leaves on a canvas using his palette knife, and mixing oil paints on a glass palette. I found this truly inspiring.”

Summer expressed her desire and was gifted with the materials. Her first painting was a landscape of mountains.

Rica’s interest in the visual arts started when she was only four years old. She was inspired by sketches made by her mother but only tried her hand at painting when she was in high school. 

“My parents bought me my first set of oil paints and a bottle of linseed oil. I painted a landscape with a blue sky and a shining sun, lots of trees and a green meadow in the middle. I only knew how to draw and sketch portraits of women before and I thought I should learn how to put colors on my drawings,” Rica recalled. 

Both artists initially experimented with portraits with Summer drawing inspiration from Elly

Smallwood and Sarah Graham while Rica admires the evocative work of German artist Valerie Lin. 

The Filipino artists Summer looks up to include Lydia Velasco for her studied use of color, and Gerry Joquico because of the way “he portrays distinctive emotions.” 

For “Nurture,” however, flowers reign supreme. “When I decided to become a full-time artist in 2022, I grew fond of flowers or botanicals, and created my own style… using bold colors and undulating lines,” Summer said.

Rica’s style has an almost sculptural quality. Her white florals, layered peonies, and liquid-like fabrics appear to be caught in a moment—crystallized.   

She “adores” flowers and finds their fragility enchanting. “I feel happy inside whenever I create something that is beautiful and meaningful. What I love the most about painting florals is that I get to use different color palettes. I love mixing my own colors as it helps me improve my color matching,” Rica said.

The two learned about ARTablado through social media. “It’s a great opportunity to be able to exhibit our pieces together as they coexist and show a kind of mutual connection,” they said in a joint statement. 

“We hope we are able to connect with every passerby and form a connection with every piece that captures their eye. We want our viewers to stay a while then leave with a part of our emotions that we expressed through our artworks.”

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