20th 2006
Multi-awarded Mia O. Herbosa shares her art

Posted under Articles

Philippine Star
By Fina Evangelista

Multi-awarded New York-based artist Mia O. Herbosa conducted a five-session oil painting workshop at the L’ Arc en Ciel Home Gallery in Ayala Alabang recently. Twenty-two participants experienced the French-style atelier system of teaching, an interactive method by immersion, wherein a group of learning artists all work at different levels, whether they be beginner, intermediate or advanced.

“It is good to look at this experience from the perspective that each one’s journey into oil painting is his own,” says Herbosa. “Everyone is different. Painting is not for everyone, though anyone may learn it. The understanding of its basic principles can prove to be enjoyable for anyone who enjoys visual things like drawing, color, and shapes, things that bring you back to the child in you.”

Mia divided the learning artists into three groups who painted from live setups: the portrait group painted a live seated female model; the still life group were given a choice between two setups; and the tower group chose from any object or corner they liked from the gallery’s Upper Room.

The atelier method is used at the renowned Art Students’ League in New York City where Mia studied for more than a decade.

“I was blessed that I found this school in 1992, a school that gave me a lot of freedom and where I found really strong teachers, like Frank Mason, Gregg Kreutz and Ronald Sherr, among others. They constantly discussed, dissected and analyzed the works of the old masters, all for the truth of what they saw, how they explored the visual experience in their lives through painting,” she says.

“The more I work on my art, the more I discover that it is a language, a powerful means of communication. I learn how colors, edges and lines communicate. And the more I paint, the more I learn about myself,” she adds. “And this is what I wanted to impart to the learning artists in my workshop. That what you paint is your creation, and it becomes a part of yourself. It tells a story of what you see and what your mind is thinking and feeling at that particular moment of your life. It’s like a journal. Your painting becomes a part of you. It chronicles your growth, your art, your life.”

The students in her workshop were asked to paint from live setups. Herbosa asked them to develop their eye, what they see, and how they see an object or a person from their unique point of view, then how their hands eventually communicate what their eyes see, and how they see it, and then let their hands move to create it in colors, edges and lines.

“Each student is unique. The atelier method guides, nurtures. It is personalized. There’s no forcing through an instructor’s style. It allows the learning artist to grow, to evolve, to create his or her own art. Painting is a continuous development of one’s eye. Like, I am still developing. My eye is still learning. I think I can see new things in more modern masters now, things I couldn’t understand before. It’s really amazing, this business of developing your eye! ” she explains.

Why does Herbosa want to share her art in a weeklong painting workshop?

“I don’t know what led me to find it in New York, but I do feel compelled to do what I can to pass it on to you here in Manila,” she says.

“I was blessed to have had the overflowing richness of experience and learning from more than 10 years with the Art Student’s League of New York, not to mention the Edward G. McDowell scholarship grant given to me, whereby I traveled to many countries learning art in each one. I believe it is now time to impart, to share my blessings, this life of art,” she adds. * * *

Mia O. Herbosa is holding two art workshops on December 2006 to be held at L’Arc en Ciel Home Gallery in Ayala Alabang and at Alliance Française de Manille in Makati City. Call 0917-8901219 for inquiries.