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The Soul of Art
by May T. Mediano
May 10, 2010

Art speaks from the soul.  It revolutionizes the conscience of both artist and viewer either in concurrence or from different perspectives, primarily subjective by definition.
Janine Barrera-Castillo, a Cebuana beauty defines her art as “habits of mind that loves something fixed, posted, or finding comfort only when secure…”  She could be complicated, perhaps a “chaologist” as she describes herself, but in essence, an artist to reckon with.   Her grassroots brings us to her education in Saint Theresa’s College already defining her intrinsic passion for painting and arts.  Aside from lessons with Mario Vidal of Cebu City and Martino Abellana in Carcar, Cebu, she finished her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and further Graduate Studies at the College of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines, proceeded to complete her Masters in Fine Arts Painting at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, California.
BisayaBulletin is proud to introduce a talented beauty, Janine Barrera-Castillo.  Thus in her own words, “accomplished”, “established”, “stable”, or “successful” —– I don’t know what they mean except that they are habits of mind that loves something fixed, posted, or finding comfort only when secure. "Well, I tell you this, my art is born of insecurity and struggles. Through the chaos of my mind an idea materializes and yet, in a split second, it is challenged and refuted by another idea. I am not really eccentric, perhaps more like a “chaologist”. I don’t think my recent work are a behavior of organization; they are simply operating between the lines. They are continuously caught in a state of opposition and interaction, adaptations and adjustments, constant, constant change…."
"Behind the façades of these paintings and all my other work, past and present, is an imprisoned spirit; it is the source, the motive power which animates my art. My works are merely vehicles for this spirit. And although my work can somehow prove inadequate , being only echoes, reflections and derivations, still this spirit exists, continuous, no beginning, no end, timeless . It is embodied in the journey of my creation. I never know how my paintings will end just as I never know how this life’s journey will end. Every gesture on that canvas is an adventure, an unknown. And yet it is the only thing that is real to me, the touch of the brush on the surface, the sensuousness of paint on my hand, the shock of color to my eye, the odor of oil and pigment in my nostrils…"
For Janine, her search is the only truth, not the “truth” we have been searching. Sometimes she is strong, sometimes too humanly weak; sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly; at times victorious, other times, a loser; sometimes excited, sometimes lifeless and hopeless; all these contradictions flow through her as she draws and paints – it can be very tiring. Perhaps it could just be her regular job and be a regular Jane.
Part of the beauty of her artworks is the purity of the art itself and subjective by definition.  Her art speaks from her soul, it has the ability to revolutionize the conscience of both the artist and external viewer, AND in completely differently ways.
Her various artworks in charcoal, oil, and watercolor have been commissioned by the Philippine Congress and have won various awards.  All her artworks can be located at

Janine at the 2010 Fairfield Juried Art ShowArtist at work"Scenes of a walk" --oil 48"x24""Controlled burn" -- oil 48"x24""Scenes of a Walk 2" --oil 48"x 20""Into the Woods"-- oil 60"x30""Tree Trunks" -- oil 78"x 48"
Janine Barrerra Castillo at the 2007 Vallejo Artist Guild Show
Recent Works
"Dumbell" -- oil on plaster on pressed wood"Spheres" -- oil on plaster on pressed wood
Past Works
Female nude -- charcoalMale nude with stick -- charcoalMale nude sitting -- charcoalReclining male nude -- charcoalnude study for painting -- penciloil on pressed woodoil paint on pressed woodoil on pressed woodnude study in chalk pastelnude study in chalk pastelnude study in chalk pastel
Senator Amang Rodriguez -- oilSpeaker Yniguez --oilMrs. Charito Climaco -- oil
pen and ink head studychalk pastel on paperchalk pastel on paper