There comes a moment in my drawing process when everything falls into place. It does not matter what I feel, whether I am sad, melancholic or happy. It is the perfect emotion. It is perfect because my mind is at peace. It is the moment when the subject ceases to have the sociopolitical, cultural, religious, moral or economic implications that sometimes jar my mind. It is the moment when I pay no homage or consideration for the invader or the subdued; the oppressor or the oppressed; the victors or the victims. Instead I pay tribute to nature.
I am drawing Dorak Mountain, the mountain behind the mountains. For the past few months, my sad treks back to my homeland in the Philippines, sent me via Seoul, South Korea. Like the white background of the flag of South Korea that symbolizes Koreans as a clean people, the airport is a reflection of their nation. Incheon is by far one of the most beautiful airports in the world. It may be difficult to see from within, considering that the most important goal for one is to get through security screening to be able to catch one's connecting flight. But it shows. Incheon is surrounded by hills and farther beyond the airport is a skyline marked by mountain ranges. Inside the airports are gallery sized images of the beautiful country of South Korea. Yes, they are aimed to attract tourists, but they are real places like the beautiful mountains of Korea.
I set to draw a Korean landscape for very selfish reasons. I am trying to understand something happening in my birth homeland that I may not be able to explain fully. In order to avoid causing confusion, let me just say this, I thought I was in Korea when I went home. The storefronts were in Korean and the state university campus which I have always considered my refuge were dotted with students from Korea.
Thinking of the sociocultural and economic impact of the situation, it was rather difficult for me to start drawing this. It is never easy for me to draw when I feel negative forces and so I started thinking of something more pleasant and beautiful associated with Korea. Incidentally, the Wall Street Journal's weekend edition featured Seoul. Oh how opportune.
Something happened while I was drawing this image. I reached a certain level of clarity and peace. Copacetic, may be the right word. It was a moment when all of a sudden I felt the pen glide across the board with ease. It was as if the pen and my hand were one. The pigment ink pen felt like a soft charcoal pencil. The lines were blending smoothly, gently. My hand was light and pressure-free. The sensation clearly stunned me. The delineation of the crags and the cwms came so easily. I drew and drew; lines after lines, circles after circles. I did not want to stop.
Needless to say, I had to cut it short. The clean laundry was starting to become a mountain on the bed, waiting to be folded.