By Nancy T. Lu
Two years ago, Raul Isidro booked the Artist Space Gallery beside the Ayala Museum in Makati for another one-man show. But while preparing for his modern art exhibit titled “Landscapes,” health concerns set in one after another.
The mind, as believed by the Buddhists, controls the body. As his physical being went through healing, Raul Isidro did not allow his mental power to grind to a halt. His artistic voice was not silenced and his painting vision remained focused and clear. His amazing creative impulse continued to surge, finding expression in new and very colorful abstract paintings.
Emotions spiraled up and down as seen in the colors of Raul Isidro’s paintings from the period. The biggest work of art at the exhibit was in fiery orange. Isidro also celebrated life and passion in bold red. Shift in mood saw him opting sometimes for contrasting tapestries of softer shades.
What thoughts crossed Isidro’s mind when he painted an abstract procession scene with shadowy figures against a strong red background? Was he contemplating a spiritual journey with fellow travelers on a planet going through global warming?
Isidro discovered a garden of delight in his abstract art landscape. Beautiful flowers bloomed on his canvasses, warming the hearts of exhibit viewers, including artists and collectors, on opening night.
The sweeping brush strokes, the darting lines, the small and playful images, the evolving shapes and the layers of colors could only be the refined work of a seasoned painter. At age 74, he showed himself as still bursting with creative inspiration and energy.
The painting collection on view included a few precious remembrances of output from earlier periods or his "relics" from the past. More one-man shows can be expected from the driven Isidro who has been upbeat in supervising personally the expansion of his atelier.
Nominated year after year for recognition as Philippine National Artist, the award-winning talent from Calbayog and mentor of many young and upcoming local artists deserves to find his niche of great honor and prestige soon, pointed out a follower of Isidro’s long career during the ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 26.
“Landscapes” will run at the Artist Space Gallery until August 8, 2017.