My earlier paintings displayed on the walls at home in the Philippines
There is no doubt now in my heart that what I’ve been through were essential in shaping me. I feel like a stone in a river molded by its currents, its rushing waters caress me like a passionate sculptor meticulously shaping me as I take form ~
God’s masterful hands leave imprints all over me.
Yes I’m taking form, for God molds me.
I’ve been drawing since I could remember. When I was a kid, I remember it was the most comforting thing for me to do alone. Everytime I visit my earliest memories, I would always see a child with a pencil and a paper drawing. I thought I was born to do arts and I’m naturally born with the gift.
But nobody really took notice of those earliest signs, nobody in the family took my gift seriously. I was left alone to find out for myself the reasons why I draw at such a young age and to understand that there’s such a thing as passion, that there is such a thing as a gift. It is not easy growing up feeling this itch inside you and not knowing how to cure or what to do with it. I feel the craving to feed my passion, I just don’t know how, no body taught me, I don’t have the resources and I didn’t really understood.
I was born left handed, but when my father forced me to become right handed, it was also a subtle way to supress my artistry. And so I grew up the convetional way, a normal kid but inside is an itch, a craving, my soul hungry for something that it took me years to find out.
Pencil on Paper, by Jeques B. Jamora, 1998
I continue to draw, sketch, and progressed to water colors in my own slow pace. I learned them myself as if they’re the most natural thing for me to do. The arts really didn’t leave me completely even if I was in a far away field of nursing ~ it was like being exiled in a territory not your own and your soul painfully longs for something you don’t really understand. The side spaces of my class notebooks are filled with sketches and they were instrumental for the most unexpected person to discover my gift and do something about it. He was not even my friend then, we were already 4th year college in Nursing. My closest friends knew that I draw, but it took years and for this one person that I didn’t even consider my friend to believe in what I do, to prod me to join a painting contest which I did, and to make me realize my potentials and with that, to him I am forever indebted.
I was a first timer in a painting contest, I was not really sure what I was doing but there was one voice in my head telling me I could paint – I could never forget Ronald – and that was enough to inspire me. I was 3rd place, not bad for a first timer, huh?
I thought it was just a beginners luck or something, that achievement wasn’t enough to convince me. I was just a 3rd placer anyway. But I didn’t know that that one-time thing could stir a rivalry that empowered me to fight a silent battle. The first placer from that contest(that’s his 3rd year win – unbeatable!) commented something about my work, and that I was not deserving. I was hurt in silence but I was challenged. And then there was another contest, which Ronald recommended me again to join, and I did. It was different this time, I became more competitive knowing that my rival was in that same contest. I was first place in “on the spot painting contest” category, while he won the “on the spot drawing contest” – I didn’t know we joined different categories but we were side by side during the awarding of prizes. I could sense a silent rivalry. At least now, I have proven my worth.
And then came the final battle, our school sponsored an inter-school poster making contest, with water color as medium and the only category. We both joined and the heat of the rivalry reached its peak. I was determined to win, but I was not sure how to do it. So I just painted my heart out. Our works was on display for 3 days before a decission was made for the winners. I viewed closely all the works, and study each against my piece and my rival’s. Days after, I received my treasured gold medal in a painting contest – I won first place. He got the bronze, a third placer, the spot I humbly took the first time I joined.
I won the silent battle.
My apartment is becoming the showroom for my paintings.
That was many years ago, I was just more than a child then. But that childish rivalry served as catalyst for me to take my gift seriously. If nobody does, then at least I should be and that is my obligation, my way of paying tribute to the true source of the gift: my creator and my God.
I didn’t stop. I continue to enrich myself, I am a self-taught artist. I remember when I arrived here, one of the first places I searched and visited was the Art Institute Of Chicago. I can’t stop my tears, I was crying watching all the artworks – now I understand what my soul is hungry for.
I started painting again, July 2007. And the first person I gave a painting many years after, is the person who unselfishly believe I could win a painting competition back in college – We are grown ups now, away from home. But I always remember that at one point in my life there was Ronald who convinced me I could do wonders with my gift.
“Fish Of Mind” Oil On Canvas 30×38, By: Jeques B. Jamora, Oct. 31, 2007. (The first painting I gave away here in Chicago to payback the first person who believed I can paint and made me join the first painting competition I joined and won).
Little by little, in my own slow pace I am feeding my hunger to cure my itch. Now more than ever, I am thankful I am a nurse, this profession I loathed at first for it took me away from my arts, brought me here and made me afford the materials I need to continue my self study.
Every now and then I visit that child that draw in his loneliness and pat him on his back to reassure him he would be fine. I look back to that childish rivalry, to that contests. I treasure the medal, the achievement of winning that silent battle, but more than all that, I think the experience empowered me more than the prize.
I feel good viewing my paintings as they transform my apartment to the place I was dreaming as a child.
For more of my paintings, please click links to MY PAINTING PAGES
This week the writers island promts us to write about being “Empowered” and “Rivalry” this is my contribution.
Please visit the island, click link below to navigate to the writers island: