A depot for art

“Art is everywhere,” expressed Mary Anne Tan-Guinoo, an artist, a painter and a teacher, when asked about the unconventional venue of her “Kids at Art (and Adults, too!)” classes from May 2nd until the 23rd. “If there is one thing I have learned in my craft, it is to keep an open mind and appreciate everything around me. One can never know when and where inspiration may strike. What may be odd to you may be beautiful to others. Like beauty, art is subjective,” she added.

The “Kids at Art (and Adults, too!)” workshop venue in topic will come as a surprise to many. It will be at the newly established TRUST Home Depot along Ecoland Drive in Matina. Yes, in a hardware store, and this artist is very keen with the refreshing concept saying, “It’s a novel idea and I am welcoming it.”

Mary Anne’s passion for art balloons each passing year. “Maybe because more people, kids and adults alike, are as passionate as I am to learn art, wherever it may be,” she said.

Here, the artist shares her thoughts, inspiration and love for her craft.

So, how did you get into painting?

Painting has, is and will always be my passion. It is in my system. Since eight, I spent my summers learning to paint under the tutelage of Mrs. Brenda Barba. She was mentoring me until my second year in college.

And, you took up art in college?

Yes, I took up Bachelor of Arts, Major in Advertising at the College of the Holy Spirit in Manila. It was a requirement to join exhibitions and prestigious national contests, so painting was very much a part of school life. And after college as well, when I came home to Davao, continued painting and participated in art exhibitions regularly.

What’s your style?

I consider myself as a modern artist, influenced with the Fauvist’s colors (Henri Matisse is a Fauvist), combined with the advertising technique to which I majored in college.

What inspires you to paint? And, what is your favorite subject?

Personally, my inspiration is drawn from the daily activities I do as a mom- I take my kids to ballet school, I still do gardening chores, I bond with them during our leisure time, we travel when we can, etc. And since I spend most of my time with my kids, children became one of my favorite subjects. I got inspired painting them and their day-to-day activities. I also love flowers and landscape.

Norway became a big part of my life especially as an artist. In my paintings now, I paint sceneries and children using bright, vivid colors.

When and how did you start teaching art?

When I got married, I moved to Norway. It was there where I found my true calling - to teach art. So, I came home in 1997 and studied the proper way of teaching art to children from my teacher and mentor, Mrs. Barba. In 1999, I set up my home studio and started holding art workshops for kids every summer.

You already knew you wanted to instruct the young?

It was the wisest choice. I was a mom with very young children when I got into this profession. I wanted to do something that will involve them as well. You can say that my children grew up with art, they were students in my classes since day one of my teaching career. 

Do you hold workshops for adults as well?

I kept holding off that part. But when I started receiving an increasing number of inquiries from the adults - parents of my students, relatives, friends, more frequently, I said to myself, maybe its time. So, I decided to hold workshops for them, too. That was just recently, in 2010.

What group is easier to teach or handle, the “young ones” or “young once”?

Teaching adults is no different from teaching kids. It’s still a step-by-step process, starting from drawing and sketching, to shading, then to color rendering, and gradually move to painting. In my workshops, the only difference is the medium. While kids use Cray-pas, poster and acrylic paints, the adults use special pencils, acrylic and oil paints. 

You were not surprised when TRUST Home Depot invited you to hold your “Kids at Art (and Adults, too!)” summer workshop in their new “hardware’?

Not at all. Art has no limitations. Creativity doesn’t stop just because you are about to sleep or watching over your kids, and holding classes in a hardware store shouldn’t stop one’s ability to create either. I’ve seen the area, it is very spacious, cool and filled with things that can tickle an artist.

I find it very appealing that this hardware store has a school supply section, with art supplies, no less. That’s very convenient for the art workshop, and to parents like me who may need to shop for home necessities and children’s school items. It’s a one-stop-shop.

What should the future masters expect from the “Kids at Art (and Adults, too!)” workshop this summer? 

It’s a ten-day course that will run from May 2 to May 23 with classes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Morning classes for kids ages 4-12 is from 10-11:30AM, and afternoon classes for adults 14 and up from 2- 4:30PM.

The kids will learn basic drawing, color rendering in Cray-Pas, watercolor and poster, and handicraft making lessons. The adults will have an intensive art workshop in drawing, color mixing and rendering, and shading and painting using charcoal, pastel and oil paint as the mediums.

After the workshop, TRUST Home Depot will turn into an art gallery. The students will be showcasing their masterpieces on May 26. That’s their time to shine.

How can the interested budding artists join this summer workshop?

They can call these numbers- 298-7878, 295-3588, or check out the Facebook page of the host venue (Trust Home Depot) for details. Better yet, visit the TRUST Home Depot at Ecoland Drive, Quimpo Boulevard in Matina (formerly Task Force Davao).

Published in Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 15, 2012.