Cultivate The Ennead Of Friendship

Ennead. Archival pen and ink on 9"x12" Bristol Board. Click to enlarge, perhaps you may see the ants!

This took forever to finish! I started this on my vacation and I thought I'd finish in a day or two. Instead, I slept, overslept and took naps.

I also wanted to make this drawing interesting since it was starting to bore me. Everything in this drawing is a pattern of 9. I hope you find the 9 ladybugs and 18 leaf-cutting ants!

An ennead is a group of nine. Get this, 9 is one of my lucky numbers! Nine is my dearest friend's favorite number, and actually I just got interested in it because of her, but now I like it.

Anyway, I have been thinking a lot about my friendships especially that some old friends have contacted me lately. These old friendships ran through my mind like newsreels and as they kept running, I kept smiling. I realized that I have so many friends with whom I have lost contact and when we reconnected it was as if we just left each other yesterday. A lot of them were my college classmates and my fellow staff nurses when I was in New Jersey. A few of them were my childhood friends.

I started thinking what made these friendships endure the long absence and separation, only to resume as if we have been together for years. I thought about the characteristics of these relationships and there were two or three traits that always stood out.

The first one certainly is Love. I loved my friends and they loved me. Just because.

Secondly, we admired and respected each other. As a matter of fact, I think this was how we attracted each other's attention, whether it was admiration for knowledge, talents, skills and traits. There was enormous respect for one another.

Thirdly, we celebrated our similarities but accepted each other's differences. I remember very well how my friends and I did together a lot of things that we liked but we discussed, argued, debated everything under the sun. There were varying opinions and sometimes we never agreed.

But we were honest and we were not fawning or sycophantic. In fact if one tried to fawn, we detected it and immediately would be turned off by the gesture. We did not agree to do anything that compromised our virtues just because we were friends. It was important that we remained honest to ourselves and with one another.

We were always kind towards each other. We loved to laugh at ourselves but never at one another.

The caring in our friendship extended to our other friends and families even if there was no direct contact with other friends. There was no competition for attention and no one ever told me not to be friends with someone they did not like. Of course, that was not necessary. Chances were, if they did not like a person, I felt the same way. Even until now, my old friends ask about my family and my other friends. We brought out the best in each other and we encouraged one another to grow and cultivate other friendships. We never took each other away from our families.

We protected one another. Even in their absence we protected each other. We did not tolerate bad things to be said about friends in our presence. We were loyal to one another. We looked out for one another and thought about each other in our absence.

We were generous and giving but not taking. Ever noticed how some "friends" only like you when you have something to offer or when they need something? I remember insisting on my friends to accept my offer and they in turn did the same thing.

We did not use each other.

That's probably why we are still friends after all these years.

I go back to work tomorrow after my vacation. I will be on call!!! Oh my.


Farewell Professor Ernesto Adorio

Farewell Professor Ernesto P. Adorio. Pen and Ink Drawing on 22"x19" Bristol Board.

Three days after I published my last post, my brother Ernesto passed away on February 29th, 2016. He died on the Leap Day of the Leap Year. It's been a sad spring since he left. My brother was an electrical engineer, mathematician, code developer, a much beloved mathematics professor, who loved photography, plants and trees. His Python programs and recipes are used in research and several university curricula in the US, South Korea, Sweden and Australia as well as his works in Physics. His thesis in crystallography have been cited by NASA, MIT and Stanford University. He loved to travel to record the many species of plants, flowers and trees of the Philippines. He was a gentleman, good and kind, a loyal friend and most loving brother. He was my childhood playmate. I miss him terribly. I think of him every day.

I started this drawing a week before he passed away. We visited each other's Facebook pages and exchanged comments while I drew this picture. It took me a long time to finish this drawing, perhaps because I did not want to let go. I finally illustrated him doing his favorite pastime - photographing plants and then waving goodbye. Rest in peace Toto Ernesto. I love you.


On To Bigger Things

The Lost Ladybug, Coccinella Novemnotata. Pen and ink on 19"x22" Bristol Board
Read more about the sad story of New York state's threatened and endangered insect and how you can help its resurgence.

I am posting today because I promised my dearest sisterfriend Bella Sinclair that I would post if she did. Remember when blogging was popular? However, one had to have something interesting or worthwhile to blog about. These days everyone is on Facebook where people post photos of their breakfast or dinner and sometimes a selfie in a bathroom. Have you ever taken a photo of yourself in a bathroom? I don't see a virtue in that act. In fact, I find it rather sad and forlorn that one has to take of photo of oneself because nobody else cares or bothers to take the photo for that person. Some Facebook users are extreme sharers. What they share and how often they share provide an interesting human study. I have a Facebook profile. My friends are mostly family and relatives, childhood friends and classmates from elementary, high school and university and several blog friends. These days I post my art mostly on Instagram and Behance.

As you can see I don't have much to say except sharing another drawing. On to bigger things, I have decided that I will use up all the 19"x22" Bristol Board pads I have in my possession. With the number of pads and the rate at which I am drawing, I would probably be drawing for the rest of my life. I hope my wrist and eyes could hold up to the task. Afterwards, I still have oil paints and canvases to use. That is why I seem to be everywhere but hardly there.


Diggers, Borers, Suckers, Biters and Parasites

The Empire Eukaryota: Diggers, Borers, Suckers, Biters and Parasites. Pigment and India ink on 19" x 22" Bristol Board.


Varanus komodoensis

Varanus komodoensis. Pigment and India ink drawing on 19"x22" Bristol Board. It took me a year to complete this drawing. I started it last summer at my husband's request. I wanted to give it to him as a birthday present. His birthday came and went, I decided to finish it for Christmas. That too came and went. A few months ago I decided to dust off the drawing and complete it. It was a struggle to draw and enhance each scale. Finally it is done, just in time for his birthday. Happy Birthday to my Viking.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Varanidae
Genus: Varanus
Subgenus: Varanus
Species: Varanus komodoensis
Binomial Name: Varanus komodoensis

Drawing Materials: Pigment, India ink, Bristol Board and extreme patience.