A PAINTER from Argao town with amputated arms visited Gov. Gwen Garcia at the Capitol and showed her his sample works in oil, charcoal and pastel.
Lino Venzal said he was hoping the governor would avail herself of his services.
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Garcia, who said she was moved by his visit, asked him to make a portrait of her in pastel.
“Mingaw man gud. Wa’y halin. Suway lang ko basin ganahan si Guv. (Times are tough. I have nothing to do. I came here to try if the governor would like it),” he said.
He completed the go-vernor’s portrait in less than a week, but once in a while he would visit the Capitol where he met other clients.
He has been doing portraits for 10 years as a house artist at Kukuk’s Nest.
He said Garcia was the first politician he painted.
Venzal said he studied fine arts for a year at the University of the Philippines Cebu College under Raymund Fernandez.
Rice mill accident
Venzal, 38, married and a father of two, said he lost both arms when he was 12, while playing in a rice mill.
After the incident, he kept to himself, staying mostly indoors. Then a neighbor taught him how to paint; he has been painting sceneries and people ever since.
Despite his condition, he is the breadwinner in his family.
“It’s the only means of livelihood I have to support my family,” he told Sun. Star Cebu during his visit to the governor.
Venzal said he cannot recall any member of his family who had artistic inclinations.
“Maayo ra siguro nadisgrasya ko kay nakamao na ko mo-paint (Maybe the accident was a blessing, because now I know how to paint),” he said.
To paint, Venzal ties a paintbrush or pastel stick to his right elbow with a rubber band. It normally takes a week for him to complete one portrait.
Garcia told Capitol beat reporters that Venzal is proof that life goes on despite challenges.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 16, 2011.
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