Primer: Gerrico Blanco

It all began when Gerrico reached the age of 3. He discovered his talent as he drew super heroes, robots, cars and space ships on pieces of pad papers – a proof that his fondness for figures was already seen even at an early stage. More so, his love for art rooted from the influence of his parents, Violeta and Arturo Blanco, both work as a garment designer and designer of guns and bullets, respectively. When he reached his adolescence, Gerrico decided to pursue his dream and cultivate his talent. He took up Fine Arts major in Painting in the University of Santo Tomas for 4 years where he learned about art history, significant art theories and mastered basic painting skills and techniques.

It was also during his college days when he first joined the highly- regarded Shell Student National Art Competition where he first showcased his artwork to the public. He also worked for Magoo Valencia’s (his uncle; a visual artist who specializes in watercolor; a Saturday Group member) advertising agency. And because of the emerging digital art scene in the 90’s, he opted to go through graphic design training under Franklin “Caña” Valencia (his uncle; a visual artist who specializes in cubism; a Saturday Group member).

“My art is a mirror of my emotions. I paint what I feel, see and dream. Before my artworks exude anger, anxiety and society’s problem, now, I realized that it is always best to look at the brighter side….thinking positive, thinking about my blessings despite of all the challenges life brings. I owe my ideas, my works to God.” – Gerrico

He built his career in the corporate world as a Graphic Designer from 1997 – 2010. However, he never disregarded his love for painting. In fact, he joined the most prestigious art group in the Philippines, the Saturday Group of Artists in 2001. During that time, he was still finding ways of developing his style and concept. He started out by drawing landscapes, barong-barongs, still life and some human figures featured social issues. Meeting and working with the great maestros of the Philippine art scene has continued to inspire him to do great in his artworks.

Year 2005 is a breakthrough period for Gerrico. Inspired by his first born child, he showcased positivism in his works – love for God and family, conquering dreams, hope, how simple things can give happiness. Most of his paintings were stimulated by kid’s imagination and dream. Kids are often used as models to inject a lighter, happy and hopeful mood to the artwork. As the time passes by and his concepts mature, his style evolved, and focused theme unfolds.

His latest artworks depict the contrasting display of sepia and full colored images in one art piece. These two divisions of his paintings represent the former as past, struggles and problems while the latter represents happiness, love and hope, respectively. In 2010, he decided to give up his day job and get more serious with his first love, painting.

Gerrico has always been into realism style since he started to paint. His style of doing each piece passes through a process from developing a concept to sketching to photography to actual painting. “It is a thorough yet rewarding process because I can see my imagination come to life and able to communicate the message to my audience” says Gjiec, as friends often call him. He usually uses oil on canvass to achieve a more realistic finish. He also makes use of watercolor and pastel mediums.

Currently, Gerrico is a fulltime Visual Artist. He’s been a member of Saturday Group of Artists since 2002.

What inspired you to become an artist?

Growing up, I used to see my mother draw and do art projects for my cousins. I started drawing super heroes at 3 years old.

What was your first exhibit like?

Origin, my first solo show, is a series of children’s imagination and dreams. I was quite nervous to see and know people’s reaction to my artworks.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on my 4th solo show artworks. It is about dreams, creating dreamscape.

What is your process like?

After conceptualization, I prepare for the photoshoot (scout for models, gather props, etc.). Once photo is ready, I transfer the concept to the canvas through drawing.

What was the most valuable thing you learned doing your art?

Patience is indeed a virtue. With oil as my medium, I learned how to become more patient. As a realist artist there are a lot of procedure to follow – mixing colors, blending.

What is your favorite piece you’ve created?

I call it Ladder of Dreams. The subject of this painting is my first born child climbing up a ladder. This painting conveys a message that one must work hard to achieve life goals.

What is your favorite piece by another artist?

“Salvator Mundi Wrap” by Robin Elley.

Why do you work in the medium that you do?

Oil is my medium. Personally, I find it user friendly. I have more time for blending colors. Thus, I am able to achieve the texture and look that I want.

What is your favorite place to create in?

Currently, I don’t have a studio. I work in the garage. One of my dreams is to have my own studio, where I can concentrate on working on my pieces. 

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