Her most recent post displayed the artworks of various talented kids. It is here that I stumbled upon the name of my old art teacher and now chairperson of the School of Fine Arts of the Philippine Women's College of Davao, Mrs. Brenda Barba. It is with deep fondness that I remember this lady, for she belongs to that part of my life when everything was so simple, innocent and uncomplicated.
I remember Mrs. Barba as a tall and willowy woman, her pinkie always pointing delicately upward as she gracefully held the different art media in her long and slender fingers. I remember that as a kid, she used to come over every Saturday afternoon to teach all four of us girls. That time, many years ago, Saturday afternoon would always find me leisurely curled up on our rattan sofa, with my favorite pillow keeping me company as I took my afternoon nap. I would be roused from my siesta by Mrs. Barba knocking at our door.
Our art sessions always took place on our dining table. The entire long table was completely filled with art supplies: canvas boards and papers, charcoal pens, oil pastels, oil paints, watercolor, and mixed pencils. Each and every chair surrounding the table was occupied as well, since her two sons, Popoy and Aztec, would often tag along with her. I am not surprised to learn that both of them have become Davao's premier fashion designers. (I vividly remember Popoy, probably in his late teens then, amusing and entertaining us with stories; it was obvious to my pre-teen perspective then that he was gay and happy. He was not flaunting his homosexuality, but he wasn’t hiding it either. He would sometimes stand in for his mother when she couldn’t make it; and in cases like that, the afternoon would be a blast. Aztec, on the other hand, I recall to be good-looking and relatively patient. He would sit and wait for his mom to finish with us, but there were also times he would get a good run-down from his mom for disturbing the otherwise quiet afternoon with his chatter.)
It's been years since I took out my artist pad to sketch, nor have I painted on an easel recently. Motherhood has simply overtaken most of my life. I occasionally dream of going back to art school to pick up where I have left off. Maybe someday soon...
In the meantime, let me share with you some of my earlier sketches.