TAG Featured Artist July 2020
I was born in the Philippines during the great flood of 1972. My father had to take mother to the hospital by boat. All around them was devastation, rice fields just days from harvest all destroyed. When the nurse asked mom what to name me, she said Esperanza, because we have hope. Esperanza is hope in Spanish.
As a young child, I liked to draw and paint with watercolor. But with house chores, school work, and outdoor adventures vying for attention, that childhood interest was left untended, then forgotten.
I left home to get an Accounting degree, then a CPA license and then started a lifelong career as an accountant in 1994. In 2003, I migrated to the US with my two children to work at a local CPA firm in Chicago, IL. We lived there until we moved to Southern California in 2007.
When my youngest child graduated from university, and I was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief, a spark of interest in painting was kindled in me. Because I worked full time, I couldn't go to art classes offered on weekdays. I signed up for an online art class in 2017 and following along with the videos during my free time, I learned the technique of alla prima oil painting. I continued to study on my own, seeking out books and other online resources to further my art education.
As with any skill, one has to keep practicing. To force myself to paint daily, I joined a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge in February 2018. A few days into it, I was prompted to add a scripture to each painting I finished and shared on social media. I donated most of my earlier works to my church, Hope Chapel, as raffle prizes during women’s events and to raise funds for missions.
In November 2018, Chris asked me to marry him in front of our whole church family at the 9:00 a.m. service. Three months later, February 2019, we exchanged wedding vows.
Then 2020 happened. Along with many people, I was laid off in the middle of March because of the pandemic lockdown. I took that time as an opportunity to focus full-time on art. I set up my studio space in the second bedroom and dove back into painting. When the beach was closed, I was inspired to create a collection of paintings focused on beach life. I started putting out one painting daily in our front yard so that neighbors will have something to look forward to. I shared the paintings with stories and scripture on social media to spread joy and hope to people in other places. I also took an online class to learn the business side of art and worked on my website.
Just as soon as I finished painting my beach life collection and updating the website, I was called back to work. God always has perfect timing, doesn’t he? He gave me two months to get my art business in place, all the while sustaining me with provision and good health. Now, I’m part-time accountant, part-time artist, full-time prayer warrior.
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." ~ Ephesians 2:10
Thank you for reading my story.