LEARNING FROM NATURE’S RESILIENCE 5: NATIVE SURVIVORS

For the fifth of our workshop series on Learning from Nature’s Resilience, we focused on native trees.  After supertyphoon Odette claimed so many of the sacntuary’s mature trees, an assessment was made of the surviving tree species and our suspicion was proven right that those that survived were mostly native trees.  We reached out to the Visayas Native Trees (VNT) Enthusiasts group to help us with properly identifying and learning more about the propagation of these species. So we arranged a special workshop day with the group on Saturday, May 28th.

Welcome and Intro by Eddy Lee, conservation educator and ecotherapist

Warm up activity was laughter yoga led by Joel Lee, Permaculture and Aprotech Solutions educator. 

Then the VNT group went around the nature sanctuary to identify and tag the native trees that survived Odette. VNT members Gala, Tin-Tin, Nonoy, Tess, Sarah, Lito, Bretha and JC examined the leaves of the native trees closely then shared their knowledge of these trees. Gala was the official scribe -writing both local and scientific names of the species on the tags.

When the group had had their lunch, we proceeded with the next part of our workshop which was the expressive arts portion which was led by Paulina Constancia.
The task was: Make your native survivor self-portrait using a leaf or seed from the native tree that you best identify with.

Paulina Constancia during the workshop demo

Each of the participants went around the sanctuary again to source materials for their self-portraits.

VNT enthusiasts and friends with facilitators Paulina Constancia and Eddy Lee (Roundhouse of the J Lee Nature Sanctuary) with the beautiful native survivor self-portraits
Tour of the MONA – VNT enthusiasts and friends

What a wonderful day of sharing love for native trees, art and laughter! So grateful for our learning adventure together, VNT!!!

The Floral Bouquet Self-Portraits

Today we share with you more detail on the expressive arts session on Sunday which was the making of The Floral Bouquet Self-Portraits.
Click here to learn more about this workshop from previous post

Below is the step by step process in pictures…

Below are the individual portraits of our teenage participants:

Very creative use of the fruit stamps and stencils to make these awesome portraits, young ladies! Thank you for sharing your insights and reflections too. We wish you all the best in your learning and development. Till the next time!

LEARNING FROM NATURE’S RESILIENCE 4: FLOWERS & FRUITS

Yesterday, my siblings and I co-taught  part 4 of our Learning from Nature’s Resilience workshop series. This time we took inspiration from the surviving trees and other flowering plants that have recovered and started to bloom, and some are even bearing fruit again!!!

Our participants were homeschooled teenage survivors of difficult situations traveling all the way from Northern Cebu.

My brother Joel Lee, Permaculture and Aprotech Solutions educator, facilitated the warm up laughter yoga and encouraged its regular practice as a way to health and relaxation. 

My sister Eddy Lee, a conservation educator and ecotherapist,  led the tour of the sanctuary’s food forest, higlighting the effect of Typhoon Odette on the fruit trees that were bent, and broken and uprooted. They noticed how the trees are starting to recover because the leaves have sprouted back.  Some of the surviving trees, including a few mango trees, are even flowering. The meditation and vegetable gardens have also recovered and are blooming.

Here are the tools for the expressive arts session: Floral Bouquet Self-Portraits

Before starting the expressive arts segment of our Learning from Nature’s Resilience workshop I distributed the flower quotes below for the participants to discuss within their groups:

“Happiness held is the seed; happiness shared is the flower.” -John Harrigan
Flowers grow back even after they are stepped on, so will I!” – Author Unknown
“Nothing in nature blooms all year. Be patient with yourself!”
“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” – Zen Shin

Paulina Constancia demonstrates how to make the Floral Bouquet Self-Portraits using fruit stamps
(slices of the following fruit were provided: okra, cucumber, eggplant and balimbing aka starfruit or carambola)

The instruction for the expressive art session was :
Your life is God’s gift to you and what you make of it is like a bouquet of flowers that you give back to God, the earth and humanity.  What kind of blossoms will you bear?
 As you create your floral bouquet portrait focus on your pesonal resilient trait and be ready to share this with the group.

How to Make Your Floral Bouquet Self-Portrait

  1. Use fruit slices provided: (okra, cucumber, eggplant and balimbing aka starfruit, carambola,) and watercolor to make prints on paper of flowers.
  2. Practice with your stamps and layout on scrap paper provided before doing your final layout on the artboard provided
  3. Allow work to dry completely before adding design details with ballpen and pencil crayons. Feel free to do freehand drawing or use some of the stencils available to add details to your work.
  4. Prepare to share your work and personal resilient trait with the group.
Floral Bouquet Self-Portraits in the making
Quick sample floral portrait made by Paulina Constancia
Tools used: carambola (balimbing), cucumber (pepino), bird stencil, water-colour, brush, ballpen

MONA -Museum visit

Our teenage participants gather at the meditation garden at the Justice German Lee Nature Sanctuary

Thank you for joining us for a fun learning adventure at the Sanctuary. We hope you will apply the things you learned here today – Care for the earth, care for each other, care for the future and care to laugh, lots! And believe that you are resilient, you have the capacity to bounce back from the adversities life may throw your direction.

The ME TREE Self Portraits

Today we share with you more detail on the expressive arts session on Saturday which was the making of the Me Tree Self-Portraits.
Click here to learn more about this workshop from previous post

Here you will find the individual creations of our teenage workshop participants from the St Alfonso Maria Fusco Home, Compostela.

The portraits with their corresponding hand carved camote stamps

Awesome camote carving and leaf pattern prints, young men! Thank you for sharing your insights and reflections too. We wish you all the best in your learning and development. Care for the earth, care for each other, care for the future and care to laugh, lots!

LEARNING FROM NATURE’S RESILIENCE 3: TREES

On Saturday, my siblings and I co-taught  part 3 of our Learning from Nature’s Resilience workshop series. This time we took inspiration from the surviving trees and the regrowth of their leaves and worked with a group of teenage scholars from the St Alfonso Maria Fusco Home, Compostela.

My brother Joel Lee, Permaculture and Aprotech Solutions educator, facilitated the warmup laughter yoga and encouraged its regular practice as a way to health and relaxation. 

My sister Eddy Lee, a conservation educator and ecotherapist, led the nature walk, inviting our teen participants to pay attention to the various species of the trees that survived Super-Typhoon Odette and their leaf patterns. They were able to identify most of our fruit trees and surprisingly some of the native trees. When asked why they had some familiarity with the native trees, most of them said that they still had these trees in their mountain villages.

The ME Tree Self-Portrait
(the camote stamps)

We were recently gifted with some camote (sweet potato) and I thought of using this as a medium for the day’s expressive arts session which is the making of The Me Tree Self Portrait.  

I used two medium camote and cut them into thick slices and distributed them among the participants.  They were each provided a dull knife as a simple carving tool to make their leaf stamps.

Paulina Constancia demonstrates how to make the camote stamp and design The ME TREE Self-Portrait

P.Constancia sample ME TREE

The instruction for the activity was :
If you were a tree, what kind would you be, what leaves would you bear and as you createyour portrait focus on your pesonal resilient trait and be ready to share this with the group.

How to Make Your Stamped ME TREE Self Portrait using a camote slice:

  1. Choose leaf design (shape, veins,etc)
  2. Cut the camote slice to shape/margin of your leaf of choice
  3. Using the dull knife provided start carving out the pattern, bearing in mind that the part you remove from the camote is what won’t print or register on your paper.
  4. Practice stamping on scrap paper before doing your prints and composition on the artboard.
  5. Use watercolor or stamp pad for the color and allow to dry before adding design details with ballpen and pencil crayons
  6. Prepare to share your work and personal resilient trait with the group.
Our camote carvers…
Stampin’ away…
Museum visit after the workshop (inside the MONA)
Our teenage participants in front of the museum
Teenage scholars from the St Alfonso Maria Fusco Home at the
Justice Lee Nature Sanctuary. With them are Paulina Constancia, Sr. Vicenta “Inday” Yap, Sr. Salve Narvaja, Eddy Lee and the goldens- Gabby and Sunny

Thank you Sr. Inday, Sr Salve and our teenage workshop participants for the learning adventure that we shared at the sanctuary. Till the next time!

The Floral Assemblage Self Portraits

We are proud to share with you the creations of our recent Learning from Nature’s Resilience 2 workshop. Taking inspiration from the resilience of flowering plants and trees, the teenage participants were invited to create a floral assemblage self-portrait. They were also asked to focus on personal traits that make them resilient. Some of the traits mentioned were STRONG, UNIQUE, CONFIDENT, PRO-ACTIVE, …
(Click on this link to see workshop process and instructions.)

Here is a gallery of the group’s works. Left image is the actual floral assemblage, right image is the water-colour recreation of the assemblage portrait.

We thank the teenage participants for joining us for a fun learning experience at the Nature Sanctuary.

LEARNING FROM NATURE’S RESILIENCE 2: FLOWERS

Yesterday my sister and I co-taught  part 2 of our Learning from Nature’s Resilience workshop series. This time we took inspiration from flowers, and worked with a younger group – teenage survivors of difficult situtations.

My sister Eddy Lee, a conservation educator and ecotherapist, led the nature walk and discussion on nature’s resilience while I facilitated the art session on the making of floral assemblage self portraits.

The group with Eddy Lee, conservation educator and ecotherapist.

I went on an early morning walk at the Sanctuary to gather the variety of flowers to be used for the art session. I was expecting a group of 17, so it was quite a challenge since this is post-typhoon times and there’s not many kinds of flowering plants left. Despite that I am proud to say that i managed to gather more than enough variety for the participants.

Since this was an exercise on resilience, the participants were not allowed to choose from the floral selection and had to make the most out of the flower assigned to them. However,  they were free to choose the other natural add-ons (stones, twigs, leaves, cowrie shells,etc) to complete their assemblage piece.

Creating the Assemblage Portrait

It was fun watching the girls so focused on creating the assemblage then recreating it on another sheet of paper using watercolor as a medium. Later when each of them had the chance to share their process and their reflections, some said they enjoyed making the assemblage better than painting.  Others said the two versions of the portrait were equally fun to create and complete.

Recreating the portraits using water-color

My thoughts on this is that the medium of flowers and other natural elements was a more relaxing medium for the teens, once they drew and painted they started becoming critical of their work (and themselves). Suddenly, i could hear some saying, ‘I’m not good at drawing!’
My reflection on this is that the closer we work with nature and what’s natural, the more we are free and spontaneous, the more we can be our true selves, and without a doubt creativity is at the core of our human nature.

The artists with their assemblage art at the Roundhouse of the Nature Sanctuary
Museum visit after the workshop to see Paulina’s FLORAL CHORUS collection and other works

The teenage participants with the workshop facilitators – Far left expressive arts educator Paulina Constancia and conservation educator and ecotherapist Eddy Lee. Photo also shows a golden retriever named GABBY, the Nature Sanctuary ambassador.

The Resilient Leaf Self-Portrait Art Workshop

Today I thought I’d show more photos of the art making component of our “Learning from Nature’s Resilience” training the trainors workshop which was participated by head teachers and principals of Cluster 7- Carcar City DepEd.

It was a fun and inspiring day learning about resilience through nature’s example.   From a previous post, I shared the enormous damage caused by Odette to the Justice Lee Nature Sanctuary here in Carcar. Below is a photo of our beloved Acacia tree right after Odette.

It appears that the super-typhoon basically “claimed its life”, but picture below shows what our beloved acacia tree looks like now…fresh new branches and leaves have emerged.

It is a living example of resilience. It may have been hurt and broken by Odette, but it has evidently bounced back and is now thriving!

About the WORKSHOP

Inspired by the re-emergence of leaves amongst the trees that were originally thought to have been completely damaged by the super-typhoon, we initiated a resilience art workshop using leaves as base material.

We had a tray of various pre-cut leaves and distributed them among the participating head teachers and principals. They were not allowed to choose because this is a workshop on resilience. You have to find a way to make good use of your “givens”. I was amazed by what the teachers came up with.

The instruction was: Using the leaf provided make a leaf self-portrait that shows this..”I am resilient because I am _________” (participants choose their key personal resilient trait)

This teacher painted a background of rainbow colours before making the leaf imprint.

This teacher made a few two-colour imprint of her leaf and then drew her portrait using a pen once the water-colour imprint had completely dried

This teacher made several leaf imprints using three different colours and turned it into hair for her self-portrait.
Tri-colored leaf hair for her self-portrait.
Head teachers and principals of Cluster 7- Carcar City DepEd busy creating their Leaf Self-Portraits
Here is an image summary of the works of all the participants from Cluster 7 of Carcar City DepEd
Our tall acacia tree may have fallen but it is definitely not dead. Now lowered closer to the pond, its bent trunk is more accessible and serves as an awesome rest and recreation spot for our farm felines. Once again –All’s well (actually “better” according to our cats’ meows.)😹

World naive art under COVID-19 influence

This unique project is part of an ad hoc partnership between two cultural organizations from the Americas, dedicated to the recognition and the appreciation of the naive art sector, MUSÉE INTERNATIONAL D’ART NAÏF DE MAGOG (MIANM) in Canada and FIAN in Brazil.

Paulina Constancia’s art entitled “Celebration in Isolation” from her Covid Times series was part of this special virtual exhibition. Please click on this BRAZIL link or CANADA link to view complete virtual collection.

Celebration in Isolation
Covid Times series 2020 by Paulina Constancia

PC at the Art Naïf Festiwal 2018

It is with great joy that we share with you the news that Paulina Constancia’s art is once again part of the celebration of art and culture at this year’s Art Naïf Festiwal at The Wilson Shaft Gallery in Katowice, Poland.

The festival, which is now on its 11th year/edition, runs from June 8 to August 10. So if any one of you happens to be traveling in that area, please do come and be part of this international celebration.

Below are some photos from the opening of the festival.

festiwal aerial

Colourful, lively, inspiring art +great venue + amazing organizing team = Unforgettable Festival

The works Paulina Constancia is showing at the XI Naïf Art Festiwal are from her “Love in the Key of Frank” collection, a series of work inspired by  the songs of the great crooner Frank Sinatra…“Love and Marriage” and “Cheek to Cheek”  (yes, three can dance cheek to cheek!).

low res PC works

(L) “Love and Marriage” and (R) Cheek to Cheek, art by Paulina Constancia, now showing at the XI Naïf Art Festiwal, Poland

PC art shown

Try to spot Paulina Constancia’s art in this photo

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Lots of lovely art + lots of art lovers=lots of fun

band on stage

Every year, naïve artists from a particular country would be the lead or focus of the festival. This year, AUSTRALIA is the lead country. Read more 

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Australian naïve artists (front row) and other participating artists in attendance were honoured and applauded at opening night

prints and cards

Art prints, cards and catalogues

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Spot Paulina Constancia’s prints on the table…

We’d like to express our heartfelt congratulations to the wonderful team at The Eko-Art Silesia Foundation / The Wilson Shaft Gallery for another successful edition of Art Naif Festiwal.  Special thanks goes to Monika Paca-Bros, Chair of the Eko-Art Silesia Foundation -Director of the Art Naif Festiwal and to Małgorzata Walczak, Coordinator of the 11th Art Naif Festiwal.

For more photos visit Art Naif Festiwal on Facebook

 

The Meeting in Trebnje-Day 2-Studio Work Begins

In the afternoon of Day 2 (June 12) the participating artists started creating in their assigned mini studio spaces within Trebnje Gallery. Here are some photos of the artists at work:

From left in clockwise direction: Mia Bergqvist (Finland), Jelena Marković (Serbia/Germany), Ivana Stanisavljević Negić (Serbia), Paulina Constrancia (Philippines/Canada) and Marga Fabbri (Argentina)

Not in photo mosaic are:
Rok Mohar (Slovenia)
Igor Simonović (Serbia)
Denis Toth (Croatia)

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There was free flowing coffee and lots of fruit and pastry for the artists to enjoy during studio hours. Plus, there was always somebody assigned by the gallery to be present to brew coffee and attend to the needs of the artists. Mornings it was Vesna and afternoons it was Ana. Warm and wonderful hospitality indeed!