My New Painting

I want to introduce you to my new painting. I acquired this a little before the Holy Week as a gift from my sister Patsy. Isn't it nice?Its theme is a quiet, restful scene somewhere in the mediterranean. Whenever I look at it, I see a faraway land that seems so peaceful, so calm.

At the same time, I remember the artist and others like him who are in a very different situation than the idyllic setting in his painting.

The artist, known by the "Melwyn" signature on the bottom righthand side of the painting is actually one of the talented inmates of the Quezon City jail. His real name is Edwin and "Melwyn" is a combination of his and his wife's names. This is one of the paintings he sold in last month's exhibit held right inside the jail.

The QC jail is something of an oddity if you picture jails with bars, hallways and guards. It has no bars and when you visit, the crowds of prisoners will surround you. A jail that has a capacity for a thousand inmates now hold 8,000. Only a privileged few who can pay have their own cells and they oftentimes sleep standing up like sardines in a can. Food is scarce. One still needed money to survive inside. Those who didn't have any outside help would sometimes go crazy. There is no privacy even for taking showers to prevent suicides.

When we visited the art exhibit, we were "toured" around by the artist inmates themselves. There are always so happy to receive visitors and we were treated like VIPs.

Many of the inmates are innocent of the crimes they are accused of but have been waiting for their day in court for many many years.

In such an inhumane and uncomfortable existence, the inmates held this event to raise funds for better facilities and for those who have not had any visitors for years, those who have been abandoned by their families.

This is actually the 3rd time they've held this event. It was such an amazing feat for them to draw images of nature, life and wholeness, when they were in a place of discouragement, despair and darkness. Still there were themes about violence, addiction and crime, quite a natural thing for them to paint about.

Notable to mention are the exquisitely made portraits of the most hardened and tough inmates made by Jopet Tecson. His rendition of their features were so poignant and riveting, I could hardly tear my eyes from them. These, from a young man who never used a paintbrush in his life!

His journey to prison is also one for the books and I believe there is something wondrous happening to his life and to the life of his family.

Do say a prayer for them, will you? A prayer will help them get through this difficult time in their lives.

If you would like to buy their paintings, do let me know. We are planning to showcase their work in a brand new website! Bless you!

Click here for more on the Prison Ministry

"Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." - Hebrews 13:3

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Calej lives in Japan with her husband. She designs and doodles for a living.


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  2. Dear Lydia,

    Please no ads, this is an ad-free site. Thanks! :)


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