Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Beastmaster

When MJ saw the whimsical portraits I did for Charli and Crissy, she asked me if I could do another quick commission for her father's birthday. She felt guilty that she gave her godfather the "National Scientist" artwork and had not even considered if her father would also like art as a present. I only had two days to finish this artwork and it must have been the quickest I drew. Of course, I couldn’t have done it that fast without MJ’s wonderful description of her father below.

The Beastmaster
9 x 12", pen and ink

"I know it’s difficult to reconcile for some how someone can claim to be a nature lover and still get a thrill out of fishing and shooting down a mature cape buffalo with a single bullet. But the Doctor knows how deer, wild boars and other game can be considered pests by farmers because he grew up during a time when they were still abundant. And "culling them" was just part of the natural process or else they’ll overrun their farms.

In the late 60's, he was with Aetas in Pinatubo, working with them on how to improve their farming techniques. During this time he was also tapped by the government to fix an erosion problem at Cogeo, which was a village carved out of a mountain. When he saw the problem he immediately remembered how the Aetas could plant trees in this kind of environment. With their help, they were able to fix the problem. Now Cogeo is so green and the trees so tall, but then it was practically barren.

He constantly thought of ways of how to bring livelihood to the rural communities so he pioneered the industry of butterfly cultivation in the Philippines. He taught the people how to protect and take care of their natural habitat without over-harvesting them to secure a continuous supply of butterflies. Filipino cartoonist, Nonoy Marcelo even did several cartoon strips of him as an explorer with a mustache and a fisherman's hat and a butterfly net.

In the 80's he got into bonsai, and he has several wonderful specimens, a balete tree and a tamarind tree which even had amazingly sweet fruit. He also got into big game fishing and even had a world record for catching the largest blue marlin on a particular line class. I should not forget, he also made a lot of wine from local fruits: from cashew, santol and duhat. The labuyo sauce and pinapaitan mix (from my previous blog post) was also his pet project...."


I finished the artwork in time for Doc’s birthday. Unfortunately, the local courier service doesn’t ship on weekends.


  1. OH! Wha--! OH! WOW!

    Exceptional and amazing and incredible! Endlessly whimsical and SO chock full of personal meaning and sentiment. Oh goodness, I'm sure her father was completely blown away by your detailed work. I cannot believe you accomplished this in a mere two days! The Doctor sounds like an extremely intelligent and wonderful man. How breathtaking to have all his life's passions and accomplishments so beautifully displayed!

  2. This time I will make a serious comment, for a change...

    I think woul be amazing if you prepare your works to be presented in layers, to give the sensation of 3 dimensions. Dont know if explaining it right, but hope you understand the idea :D

  3. @Bella: Thank you dear! I realized I missed some of his important hobbies particularly the wine making and growing duhat in their backyard. I just hope he likes it.:)

    @Fran: I get what you mean. Sounds like a good idea, thanks!:) I just need to figure out how to make the paper stand and assemble it in layers.