Tree of Life

Tree Of Life, 48 x 60in, 2021

“Bahala ka sa buhay mo,” a Tagalog phrase roughly translated means, do whatever you want in your life. This was a phrase my mom told me throughout my life and one that has shaped who I am today. Through my rebellious teen phases, being out late at night, and to  unpleasant friends that shaped who I am and who my mom would shake her head disapprovingly of. As I grew older, the idea of free-will played more prominently in my life and that we are all in charge of our own decisions, actions, and our mental processes. It allowed me to explore the uncharted curiosities of what sprung in my brain about the nature around me.

Although not knowing or understanding this fully in my childhood, I have gone roads unconsciously wandering and the feeling of being lost in life and not having a sense of purpose. Every single minute of my life now feels the opposite. I have this zest for life, a profoundness so impactful to be alive because its very rare to be on this planet experiencing this moment in time (scientists estimated that it is a 1 in 400 trillion chance were on this world!). Sometimes we get stuck in the roots of our consciousness and repetitive behavior that can be self-sabotaging or acting without thinking in our actions. We forget the beauty that is unfolding around us and beyond the stars in the sky. I still have off days but with conscious effort, mindfulness, meditation, and transitioning thoughts to a better state of mind, all produces the effect that we are all in charge of our thoughts and actions.

Back to the phrase that stuck to my brain like glue to paper, I am thankful that my mom gave me the freedom to venture on my own. It helped shape my morals and values, and to figure out who I truly am in this big universe that were in. She did nonetheless stop me from careless decisions as the usual role of the mother plays but understood the importance that is about trusting me enough to make the right decisions. I am not a mother, but I sense that it is not an easy task to do, so for that I am always grateful for her guidance. This idea of family and our decisions shaping who we are made me create this piece, Tree of Life. The roots of the tree are more prominent in the painting to indicate family roots, our subconscious that shapes our upbringing, ancestry, and our roots that we build upon during the childhood years. The tree on the top represents me being shaped from the roots of which I came from.

Final material includes: 3 canvas boards sized 16x 20in each primed with a mixture of water and gesso. Other mediums used: collage (newspaper, burlap sheet, construction paper, bug printouts), palette knife, paint brushes, gold paint, modeling paste, flow aid additive for washes, gloss medium, and acrylic paints. 

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