Happy My Heart, Merry My Days by Migs Villanueva
Charlie's Art Gallery
GF Paseo Verde Bldg.
Mandalagan Lacson Street
Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
Happy My Heart, Merry My Days
“Pretty My Hair” seems to be what one of the three girls is saying as she admires her locks adorned with flowers. This is something a child, learning a language, would say. This is something that the three-time Palanca Awarded writer, renowned painter, company CEO, and now grandmother, Migs Villanueva, might have heard her children or grandchildren innocently say in a moment of wonder and joy. Migs Villanueva’s “Happy My Heart, Merry My Days” transports us to the world of children, who, with simplicity, see the beauty of the world, and of life without complications.
We look. We see a series of paintings that are predominantly gray or sepia, with hints of lilac. They gradually give way to a full blown collection of pastel colored works. Though her paintings, we are transported as if looking into old sepia or black and white photos, our recollection becomes clear and complete. And once again, we see the vibrant colors of our youth, and we are able to relieve our childhood for that moment. We remember our siblings. We remember our friends, the playmates we’ve lost track of, our own halcyon days…
There we were, playing under a tree. Or perhaps reading books to our younger siblings. Or dressing up for a party, or wearing beautiful clothes, pretending together that we were our parents or aunts and uncles. Villanueva, ever the storyteller, catches us as we play, or as we saunter, or even as we wait in glorious abandon, with no worry or urgency, we while away time, content with just each other, or in our own make believe world.
Migs Villanueva is celebrating her first decade into painting, a career that she has not really planned in having, but which she, in her typical Migs Villanueva way, has excelled in. Tutored by Malang, she has risen the ranks of the Saturday Group to once become its president. Since she started, she has exhibited all over the Philippines, in various artfairs both local and abroad, and in neighboring countries like Singapore, Hongkong, Malaysia and in Japan. Like her mentor, she has mastered the evocative, through the use of color, outline, and diffused brush strokes. Through the use of just three dots, she can express an innocent stare, a joyful laugh, a nervous giggle, longing, or a child’s impetuous sulking after something has been denied to him. Through a style that conjures beauty through an austere simplicity, Villanueva helps us recall how we once valued a leaf, shadows cast as we sit under moonlight, a tiring afternoon of play, or the reassuring presence of a sibling or a friend.
“Happy My Heart, Merry My Days” is a declaration of content, carefree happiness. It is for us who have grown up, as one of her paintings is titled, to rest in “the comfort of our days.”
Happy My Heart, Merry My Days, is Migs Villanueva’s 11th Solo Exhibition. It is presented by Charlie’s Art Gallery at Italia Restaurant.
- Ricky Francisco