BY JADE TAMPEPE
His Majesty Sultan Qaboos and Sultan Haitham are revered figures in Oman so to put both of them on a canvas and capture their essences is quite a daunting task especially if such art is hyperrealist in nature.
But Filipino artist Emmanuel P. Peralta Jr who is based in Adam wanted to showcase his high respect for both figures. He is aware that Sultan Qaboos will always have a special place not only in his heart as a great leader but to everyone in Oman and that His Majesty Sultan Haitham will accomplish great things to honour Sultan Qaboos’ legacy.
After going through a massive challenge with the onslaught of Cyclone Shaheen, Emman is quite aware of the journey that Oman has to go through and thinking of the great Renaissance, he knew that while Oman is having a rough patch between Covid-19 and the aftermath of the cyclone, that the country will rise again.
Looking at the two great figures on his canvas, he believes that the country is in good hands and he is in awe to be able to see the fast action of the government and the supporting authorities to aid its people to get back to their feet.
His two paintings of the two majesties were his constant reminder that while he is based in a remote village in Adam where he serves as a nurse and although he didn’t suffer as much as other people in the Batinah Governorate, there is no better place and no better country to be in in a time of crisis — because the leaders will always do its part.
Emman was born in Vigan City, Philippines – 1987. He studied Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Northern Philippines and graduated in 2007. After a storied educational journey, he became a licenced Nurse in the Philippines, found a great offer in Oman and presently works under the Ministry of Health in the Sultanate for more than 10 years now.
During his day-offs from working in the hospital, instead of wasting time doing nothing and roaming around, Emman invest his time in a painting. He loves his space where he paints in a solitary environment and the old charm of Adam allow him to conjure vivid images of the art he wants to do next.
Whenever he feels homesick, he turns to his art for comfort and entertainment.
“Art gives meaning to life which is why, despite my work as a nurse, I still find the time to paint. Art gives me a certain freedom to express my thought and through it, I can pour in my emotions,” he said.
“My style is hyperrealism and contemporary abstract influenced by the great American portrait artist John Sargent. As an artist, I’m still on that journey of finding out my signature,” he shared.
“Working on my art pieces including the two majesties, they become truly captivating because I render them with fine and intricate brushstrokes. Through my art pieces, I’d like to be able to touch other people by showcasing the truth and dreams, reality and ideals, and soul on different media available,” he shared.
“To make these pieces come to life, I use acrylic, oil, watercolour and even air dry clay in sculpture. My favourite medium when painting is oil because it is the most forgiving of all the mediums available,” he shared.
He added, “Other than the paintings of the two majesties, one of my other favourites is my parent’s oil portrait painting entitled “Love to Infinity and Beyond” because it is my gift on their 38th wedding anniversary last year.”
A painting might take him about 3 to 5 days with 6 up to 8 hours per day for him to finish.
“All in all, it depends on the complexity of the artwork. From my range of works, it took me a year to finish a 3x4 feet oil painting of Calle Crisologo of Vigan — this is one of Philippines landmark destinations where one can see the Spanish influence in the country,” he said.
Most of his inspirations came from the people around him especially his family, from events and his experiences, through the culture and nature that he encountered as he lives in Oman.
Art-wise, Emman has actively participated in different Philippine and international competitions. He was a semifinalist in the prestigious Metrobank Art and Design Excellence (MADE) Philippine painting competition in 2017. He has also participated in the UAE 1st International Watercolour Festival in 2018.
Additionally, he’s an author of a poetry book, called, “Sam-it and Alsem Ken Apgad (Titik, Tinta, Pinta at Pluma). In this book he shares what it feels like to be in a shoe of an Overseas Filipino Workers and through it, he wanted to inspire his fellow OFW’s by simply putting a picture on reader’s mind about the life, love and heartache, inspiration, dealings, hardship and sacrifices of being an OFW.
“If you have the passion and dedication to learn a skill in drawing and painting, just work hard to develop it. Even if it takes you a long period, yet it will pay off in the end,” he said.
His works, Sultan Qaboos and Sultan Haitham oil portrait paintings on canvases were recently displayed in Fatma’s Gallery in Al Araimi Complex, Qurum, Muscat. He’s also been in a group art show in April Spring Salon 2021 at Matti Sirvio Gallery Al Shati Complex, Muscat, participated by 26 artists of different nationalities. Emman’s art pieces will also be displayed in the upcoming group art exhibition Autumn Salon 2021 with a themed, “I See Music” with 40 different artists from 15 different nationalities on October 9, 2021, at Matti Sirvio Art Gallery at Al Shati Complex, Qurum. He is currently busy with his commissioned works that are still in progress and waiting to be finished.
To know more about Emman and his work, you can follow him on Instagram: @emman_art_oil_painting