Sometimes the confluence of ideas, images, feelings, and past and present events is fascinating and mysterious, especially in the way they influence or emerge in paintings or poems. So, for example, the following events and thoughts had some bearing on the two collages I created below:

  • a revived interest in small paintings (their ability to evoke intimacy, to draw the viewer in;
  • hearing about the revival via documentary film about the 1932 murder of a young pinay (about whom I once wrote a long poem — “Marcelina,” published in Babaylan: an Anthology of Filipina and Filipina American Writers);
  • the poem, “Edge,” by Elsa Valmidiano about Izabel Laxamana;
  • a sense of “hauntedness” among Filipinas–by many stories like the two mentioned above;
  • coming home from a lab test with gauze, dotted with blood, wrapped around my arm;
  • an aged dress-pattern piece used by my mother for sewing, and how I would accompany her to fabric stores to help her choose materials for sewing projects;
  • gauze, its loose weave and texture, used to help in healing wounds, also: “1560s: from French “gaze”. . .conjectured to be from Arabic “gazz” (raw silk), or from Gaza, Palestinian city associated with production of this fabric” (Online Etymology). And, frankly, I love working with gauze, its texture both before and after applying adhesive, as well as its history, and the way the threads form lines, suggestive of writing and movement.
  • veins running through a red onion skin, sliced onions producing tears;
  • smoky, sfumato effects.
Patternmaker 5
“Patternmaker 5,” collage on wood panel. Paper, gauze, onion skin, acrylics. 12 x 12.” By Jean Vengua 6/2/2018


“Redstream,” collage on wood panel. Acrylics, gauze, pencil marks. 5 x 5.” By Jean Vengua. 6/2/2018





Comments are closed.