I am not the nude model. I am the artist.
I didn’t anticipate that Nemiranda would ask me if I wanted to paint also “O ikaw rin?” Without any hesitation I said “sige”. Ang lakas ng loob ko, hindi naman ako marunong mag-paint. Sige lang ng sige, Gooo, if others can do it why can’t I?
All the veteran artists were positioned around the stage where the nude model was seated except the back area. That’s where I stayed, behind the model. My view was her right side, her face was turned to the left side, against me.
I thought, this is easy. No face and dede to copy. Aba mahirap yun.
Nemi gave me a small sketchpad and a tray of pastel crayons.
I immediately started working, imagining myself to be a veteran artist. I was totally oblivious to the fact that I have no talent whatsoever. Basta nga go lang. Go go go.
It was cool at first. Then the model started moving. Ay I haven’t finished copying her arms, foot, and right hand. She got tired posing. She stood up and disappeared. I continued my sketch. Kaya ko ito without the model.
I haven’t figured out how to make my sketch look like a real woman, when another nude model appeared. This time she is slimmer, no bilbil, with some abs. My problem began when they made her sit on a bar stool facing me! Oh my God, how can I concentrate painting when two dedes are pointing at me?
I had to stop doing the first drawing. I got another sketch pad and started sketching the figure of the second model. Nay ko po, this is serious work. This is so very very difficult. I don’t know how to draw a face with eyes, eyebrow, nose, lips, and worst, how can I copy her two dedes? I am in serious trouble. Eto na, this separates the veterans from the girl na dumayo lang dito para makikain sa fiesta. Eto nagtangkang maging artist. Eto na, halata na wala naman palang talent.
I started sweating, nahilo na ako. I strained my eyes looking at the model’s body, then at my sketch pad, back at her body. Ay na-strain talaga mata ko. I see my dede every day on the mirror but to stare at someone else’s dede, to copy, to paint, to give life and depth? Parang life and death situation kasi ang hirap.
It’s a million times more difficult because I have no talent. I pushed myself to the limit but there’s no limit. Kasi nga no talent to begin with.
I looked at the artist to my right. Nahiya naman akong mangopya. Hindi nga ako magaling mangopya kaya nga pasang awa ako sa school. I realized why I am just an art buyer and not the painter. Because It’s easier to buy than to paint. Pwede ba customer na lang ako, ayaw kong maging painter.
Veteran painter Bing Siochi could finish several sketches in a few minutes. Ang galing nya.
Wala rin, give up na ako, inabala ko na rin yung seatmate ko, another fine artist, Badz Magsumbol. I showed my sketch, kailangan daw guhitan ko yung sa may hita para may barrier kasi daw yung drawing ko tuluy-tuloy yung hita sa tyan. Dyos ko ano ba yan. Hay hirap naman.
Dyarang-dyarang, the finished product….
Omb—–“Parang drawing ng grade one”.
Nemi—-“Mag maganda pa yan ke Picasso”.
Look at Nemiranda’s reaction, parang naawa yata sa akin.
Ngayon lang kinukwento ko what happened to me last Sunday afternoon parang nahihingal na ako. Plastado nga ako pag-uwi ko. Hilung-hilo talaga ako kasi burp ako ng burp sa van. Buti na lang walang traffic. pag dating namin sa bahay, diretso ako sa toilet at wharrrrk! Ang sarap-sarap pa naman nung halayang ube at buko pandan na kinain namin sa Angono fiesta. Sayang. Tila wala pang nine pm tulog na ako sa hapo. Nagising ako alsas dyes ng umaga!
Kayo, yung mga gustong maghubad sa harap ko para magpa-nude portrait, lambingin nyo muna ako para ako pumayag, Kailangan suhulan nyo muna ako. You have to pay me. Advance payment. At saka ayoko nung mga mapapayat, mas madaling kopyahin yung mga may bilbil. Guhit-guhitan ko lang mukhang bilbil na.
I don’t know if I will agree to paint nude guys. I think it’s going to be doubly hard so my fee would be double too. I have no practice. Although matagal ko ng nakikita ang birdie ni Mister Yee, it has never crossed my mind to sketch it. And he’s conservative, he would never agree to become my nude model na ipa kopya ang pinakakatago nyang kapangyarihan. Siguro mas madali lang pagnaka-talikod, easy lang ang pwet. Guhitan ko lang sa gitna okay na. It’s going to be super challenging to draw a bird and eggloks. Baka magmukhang okra na may itlog na maalat. Walang sisihan.