Mina dela Cruz is a talented Canadian painter (originally from the Philippines) who currently lives and works in Toronto. A full-time artist since 2004, Mina’s paintings are highly realistic, emphasizing skilled draftsmanship, classical technique and a deliberate eye for composition.
Take a moment to study these next few paintings, starting with Meditation, below. Each one is an excellent example of those very important elements—draftsmanship, technique and composition—in action.
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In Meditation, Mina carefully crafted her composition around several objects from a specific theme: tea. And while the star of the painting seems to be that lovely antique teapot, each item in the painting plays an important role in balancing and supporting the overall composition.
In addition, the extreme realism presented in Mina’s work gives a stability rarely found in paintings. . . inviting the viewer’s eyes to linger and soak up every possible detail.
Rojo y Verde is a more casual example of a still life, perhaps, and yet the information is presented in the same calming, stabilizing manner.
Notice the three main sections of this painting—there’s the wood panel in the upper left, the blue square in the upper right, and the white tablecloth forming the base.
Mina has used these background elements to divide her painting into three fairly equal, yet asymmetrical parts which work together to frame her subject matter.
Furthermore, the astute viewer will notice that the paper bag, bowl of apples, and single apple make up a second group of three. . . and the bowl itself contains a third trio of apples as well. By using “three threes,” Mina has created a delightful twist on a classic rule of composition.
Finally, in this last painting, entitled Nest Egg, Mina proves that realism can be beautifully simple as well as highly complex.
It’s always impressive (to me) see an artist take the time to create a painting that appears almost empty at first glance—and yet, due to the subtle details in the cloth and branch, the amount of effort it took to make this painting is probably no less than the the effort required by the two paintings further up.
To see more of Mina dela Cruz’s work, please visit www.minadelacruz.com. Every single one of her paintings is truly inspired, and well-worth a look.
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