TO keep track of intense emotion, events, and memories, some people would keep a journal or diary. For a painter, they keep a sketchbook.

Painter and art educator Jackie Hontiveros Lozano records personal experiences in her sketchbook. She then proceeds with color studies, before painting on a canvas.

“I felt the need to paint them on large canvases (up to 5 x 4 feet) because the emotions themselves are overwhelming for me, and I want to experience the vision on a large scale to reflect that,” Ms. Lozano wrote in an e-mail to BusinessWorld.

Ms. Lozano’s Awakening series features nine oil landscapes of vivid emotion featuring fragments of faces, forms, and everyday scenes. The abstracts which were originally scheduled for a showcase in April, are now on view at her website.

Ms. Lozano started working on the paintings in 2018 while juggling duties teaching in UP College of Fine Arts and doing portrait commissions.

Unlike commissioned portraits, Ms. Lozano considers these paintings as personal work as introspection is involved in her creative process.

“I paint it for myself. It’s like a diary where I pour out all my thoughts and emotions,” she wrote, differentiating them from a portrait where the likeness and personality of the subject are revealed through colors and strokes.

The titles of each Awakening piece includes a time as a reminder of a distinct emotion in her life such as fear of losing someone (Keep 21:00), feeling confident (Woman 07:00), excitement (Wonder 02:20), and anxiety (Lucky Dragon 12:00).

Lucky Dragon 12:00 depicts a woman and her dragon in the middle of a rough sea. The dragon is her Chinese zodiac sign.

“Every start of the year, my friends and I look through our Chinese horoscopes to know what’s in [store] for us for the coming year. My horoscope is one of the luckiest among all the animals, no matter what year it is. Sometimes when I feel like I’m having the worst times, I forget to realize how good I still have it,” she wrote, noting the detail of the woman’s covered eyes in her painting.

“I painted this to remind me that whatever I go through, even if I feel like my world is ending, it might not be all that bad,” she added.

Woman 07:00 – the final painting Ms. Lozano worked on for the series — shows a woman seated on grass, surrounded by plants.

“I show a woman sitting confidently, spreading her body open and taking up space. Looking directly at the audience, acknowledging the attention,” she explained. “I want to allow myself to take up space. Be myself, not someone who makes sure everyone else is comfortable.”

Ms. Lozano earned a degree in Visual Communication from UP Diliman College of Fine Arts. She worked in advertising, design, and teaching before painting full time in 2013. She returned to teaching at the UP College of Fine Arts in 2019. She continues to receive numerous commissions for portraits done in her “Anonymous style,” a technique that involves lightness and depth through quickly layered palette knife strokes.

“Despite being in a global crisis with COVID-19, this awakening story is about my present,” she wrote. “Since I’m continuously changing, I should push through with it and put this out to the world now as part of my process of moving on.”

The exhibit will be accessible on the website permanently. Ms. Lozano plans to hold a physical exhibit of the paintings once restrictions on gatherings are eased.

For more information and inquiries, visit or Instagram @ikaj_paintings. Michelle Anne P. Soliman