Category: art



It’s been over a year now and while the lockdown has restricted us to our sacred bubbles and sanctuaries, I am particularly entertained by how productive my Nieta has been with her art. Since the pandemic changed our new normals, Nieta has had 3 solo exhibits and a spattering of group exhibits. Of her artworks, some evoke more Covid memories in my book. I’m sure the ones who purchased these art pieces would look back to these times whenever they view and hopefully appreciate the meanings behind these expressions.

Art By Anna Bautista

Her models revolved around our household staff and condominium’s maintenance and security crew. In her 3rd solo exhibit, her recurring theme of consumerism marked her artistic interpretations of the fruits, plants and flowers mostly found in the gardens. Some expressions even found its way on silk scarves. And resin trays.

Anna Bauti’s 3rd Solo Exhibit
Anna Bautista’s 3rd Solo Exhibit at MODEKA Art Gallery
Exhibited at Pintô Art Museum July 12-25, 2021

In between her 2nd and 3rd Solo Exhibits, she painted for charity projects and group exhibitions. Here, she drew inspiration from the “new normal” permeating our daily lives as well as current social issues. It was even interesting to discern that very rare but relevant political concerns in her artworks.

“Sapin-Sapin”, inspired by the ABS-CBN Shutdown

Her 4th solo exhibit dwelled on everyday chores —- seemingly “gray matters” or dull moments which are now punctuated by interpretations of how life can be made more exciting with pockets of colour to cheer us on. Truly, pandemic fatigue and lockdown depression can set in, but one’s attitude (and I say, gratitude) is what it takes to brighten our moods. Just like how many of us found joy in growing plants, herbs and flowers. Or in enhancing our kitchen skills like baking and cooking. The new norm may stick for a few more months, even years. And with such, new skills are deployed to strike a new balance in our lives.

It may be a while before the next solo exhibit next year. After all, she was on a roll since 2020. Now a college graduate and gainfully employed, Nieta has to mindfully manage her time. Good luck, apo.

Art on Scarves by Anna Bautista

The pandemic seriously restricted our social life and daily routines. Online shopping, dining in, Netflix-bingeing and virtual meet-ups have become the norm. But I’m happy to note that the art world is still very much vibrant and many artists — forced to stay home and finding more time to indulge in their art — have drawn inspiration from everyday life otherwise taken for granted.

While we stayed home much of the time, we haven’t given up on the stuff we enjoy doing. Thank God our neighbourhood is lined with deli shops, restos, bar joints, art galleries, furniture shops and not too far away, specialty home decor shops where one can spend entire afternoons. Our white walls are now adorned with newly-framed artworks which made trips to our favorite framer so very pleasurable. The art galleries are such a delight to visit and the adjacent coffee and snack bars provide interesting breaks. The alley we frequent even boast of resident cats who’ve since become attractions of the place. Now, here’s one area where feline and human creatures seem to live in true harmony amidst all the beautiful artworks. Swell.

Eating out is restricted to only a few establishments which we found to be safely observing health protocols. But eating in is no less satisfying. We even sourced some of our dinners from our favourite restos as food deliveries have become our new normal. One lovely discovery is the joy of enjoying good meals without worrying about finding a parking slot nor of having to drive home. The convenience beats worries of prepping for meals and washing the dishes. Over time, we’ve grown accustomed to serving the food in their delivered state” to do away with stuff filling our kitchen sink. No big deal, really.

While we have since started brewing our coffee and creating our cocktails at home, we didn’t miss out on sitting in outdoor cafes and bars if only to immerse ourselves in the ambiance of shooting the breeze, so to speak. Besides, it’s really nice to sit it out for some beverages after being on one’s feet in the many neighbouring art galleries. The pandemic may have reduced the visiting crowd but certainly not the interest and enthusiasm of the few who come. Online shopping for art may be the new norm but a serious collector would still want to view such creations up close and personal. There comes also this newfound respect for young artists as one observes how their art evolved through this rough period.


Life under quarantine. The new normal. Covid times. Social Distancing. These describe our present situation. No one was prepared for it. As the situation unfolded, acceptance of such reality took time. Unless and until lockdowns were put in place, flights may have gone on, dine-outs and parties pursued, get-togethers and meet-ups going non-stop. After 9 months, people have adapted to the more restrictive lifestyle. Zoom meetings replaced physical meet-ups. Online masses rather than actual trips to the church. Even weddings are via zoom. It’s a chore to go to the salon for haircuts and beauty treatments. Online shopping is doing brisk business. Same goes with food deliveries. So, how are we surviving?

We’re saving a lot of money making our own coffee. And it’s an adventure to try different beans and pods. Three coffee machines occupy space in my tiny studio and the first decision for the day is which machine to run. Our “Manang” regularly checks YouTube for baking lessons and her repertoire now includes bread, cakes and pies. More savings! The fragrant aroma wafting from the kitchen may have inspired the resident artist to paint for her 2 solo exhibits last April and October, and a couple more group exhibits she joined. Though few and far between, the light traffic encouraged me to drive again — just short trips to the tiny, boutique art galleries in the neighbourhood before or after meals in some outdoor cafe. At home, we have also grown experimental with our cocktails. And Netflix has become a way of life for us.

We’ve adapted reasonably well, but I do miss meeting my friends for lunch or coffee. More than that, I miss my travels and trips to the beauty and massage parlours. I get by with drive-thru bloodworks and medical consultations via Zoom but I do miss my regular visits to my dentist! And because of the restrictions, day-outs are very infrequent but absolutely treasured. My smiles come really cheap whenever I step out of the house with either family or with friends. We’ve also rediscovered the joy in joyrides! Yet again, a new routine has emerged and my daily life is truly nothing to complain about. Our only anxieties are health-related but our paranoia has dwindled down without being reckless. A few more months, maybe. Or perhaps a year or so. We’d all manage. We can overcome this!


This April 11, 2019 is Anna Patricia Bautista’s first solo exhibit. Showcasing eleven of her paintings, the exhibit will run till April 27 at J Studio in La Fuerza Plaza, 2241 Chino Roces Avenue (formerly Pasong Tamo) in Makati City. The overriding theme of her exhibit is “Art and Consumerism” — so relevant in this time and age of rising consumerism where society’s obsession with material possessions threatens to define what we are. In this young artist’s mind, this mentality is leaning towards a subconscious layering of society that trivialises a person’s true worth and substance. Bordering on satire, Anna’s wit cuts across her art, like broad strokes on canvas.

The Invitation. CONSUMED. Solo Exhibition of Anna Bautista. 2019

Influencer. By Anna Bautista. 2019

McBoodle. By Anna Bautista. 2019

Young, petite and profound. “Anna Bauti” juggles her time between art and school. Her passion for art developed only after she quit from her school’s swimming team. Finding much time otherwise spent doing pool laps, her doodles graduated into portraits and shirt designs. After representing her school in athletic meets, she was soon representing the same school in art competitions. By 16, she found art as her self-expression. A voracious reader, she delighted in expressing her new learnings and experiences through her art. She painted on paper, ceramic, canvas, wood, fabric, and leather using pen and ink, acrylic, oil, gouache and watercolour. She never stopped painting since. By 17, she was painting on walls. At that young age, she gave up weekend parties to work on her murals.

Cariñosa by Anna Bautista. 2019

Manong Andy. By Anna Bautista. 2019

Comme De Garcia. By Anna Bautista. 2019

Early on, she painted animals — dogs, cats, horses. Then she tried portraits.Or just “at the moment” paintings like when she painted a crowd scene inside the Louvre in Paris, a monument in Ciutadella Parc in Barcelona, sketched that famous spider in Bilbao and the seascape of San Sebastián-Donostia. She’d linger as long as 4 hours in an art gallery or museum, walk many blocks searching for street art, and spend lots of time reading art books or browsing in bookstores. Whatever she earned from her art projects, she spent on more art materials and books. She paints for hours till midnight and when she needs to rest her mind, she paints something that is completely unrelated to what she’s working on, as if to “rest her mind”. Call it a “break” if you like. As in mindless painting to rest from some serious painting? Perhaps.Except that those breaks are pretty good artworks too.

Karla. By Anna Bautista. 2019

Maldita. By Anna Bautista. 2019

Luisa V. By Anna Bautista. 2019

Looking at her recent artworks for this solo exhibit, she badly needs her own studio now. The entire house cannot accept visitors anymore whenever she’s in “session”. Her art is all over, so to speak. But it’s the kind of chaos and mess that delights and soothes the soul. Anna never had any formal art lessons. Through the years, her art has evolved and continues to evolve. She isn’t sure what to call her painting style. She wouldn’t even call it a technique – those “blotches” that seem to compose a surprising “whole” when viewed from a distance. Her work invites us to fill in the blanks or to dare make an interpretation while her art attempts to be playful behind a serious message. She is more partial to modern, contemporary artists, curious about their techniques and impressed with their art innovations and representations. Who knows where this passion would lead this young lady? Once I asked her what inspires her to paint. Anna nonchalantly said her mood to paint is prompted by a desire to share something she just experienced, discovered or learned. While others would talk about it, this young miss would rather paint about it. 👩‍🎨

Chi Gou. By Anna Bautista. 2019

Flag. By Anna Bautista. 2019

Making Limos. By Anna Bautista. 2019

PS. Many thanks to Derek, Lucky, brothers Ralph & Randell, to her Teachers Ayong and Asid, to her many friends who gamely posed for her, and to everyone else who believed in her. Special thanks to those who encouraged her by buying her artworks long before she knew she could make a career out of this passion. 🥰

My name is Anna Bautista. Call me Anna Bauti.

Update: Here’s a couple of articles about the artist and her April 11 solo exhibit.

https://www.philstar.com/other-sections/newsmakers/2019/05/14/1917462/consumed

http://diskurso.com/2019/2019-04-08-april-2019-diskurso-picks-of-the-month.html#sthash.HDpPJX9z.dpbs