The El Dorado News Times Monday, April 30, 2001
Artist explains unique approach to his work
By JANICE McINTYRE
His pen and ink drawings depicting children helping their father clean up after a devastating snowstorm, buildings including the Union County Courthouse, inspirational Bible verses and famous persons, are amazingly life-like.
Romy Galicia, a native of the Philippines who migrated to the United States with his wife, Sara in 1993, recently gave a demonstration of his unique drawing style for his fellow club members during the weekly meeting of the Kiwanis Club.
His works were displayed throughout the fellowship hall of the First Presbyterian Church - the meeting place of the Kiwanis Club - and after a brief talk, he set up lights, a television, video camera and a model to demonstrate his talent.
As club member Esther Byrd sat rigid in a chair near the podium, Galicia began to draw her likeness - videotaping his progress that was viewed by club members on a large television screen.
As he began to draw, Galicia explained that his unique style of drawing - one direction strokes - gives his works of art a realistic appearance.
"I emphasize light and dark to also give my drawings a realistic look - good versus evil," he said.
"When I draw a person, I always start with an eye. I stop drawing if I don't think the eye is right," he said. If the artist is satisfied that his likeness of the eye is a close resemblance, "I'll draw outside from the eye - one segment at a time."
Galicia said he sometimes draws from a photograph and other times, from memory or images that form in the brain when a passage is read. To pictorially represent Isaiah 41:10 in the Bible, which reads, "Fear not, for I am with you: Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand," he drew a picture of a small child reaching up and grasping the hand of an adult.
His amazing interpretations in pen and ink of local buildings - such as the Union County Courthouse, Medical Center of South Arkansas, First Presbyterian Church and Union Square - are meticulously captured on archival paper.
A drawing entitled, "The Garden," shows a landscape in Little Rock with a continuous flow of running water as the backdrop for swans added by Galicia to create life, vitality and action. While the original work is done in pen and ink, a colored version in oil pastel or watercolor will be available in the near future.
The Galicias, both occupational therapists, moved to El Dorado to work at the Medical Center of South Arkansas in 1994. He finished his first major in agricultural economics from the University of the Philippines at Los Banos. He then worked with the Philippine Business for Social Progress, training and organizing hundreds of service cooperatives. He also served as team leader of the National Irrigation Administration.
Galicia earned his second degree in occupational therapy from the University of Central Arkansas in 1999, and worked with Quality Care and Rehab as occupational therapist for various nursing homes in El Dorado and neighboring towns.
He has also created pen and ink renditions of the Plaza De Cibeles in Madrid, Spain; Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall and the Saifuddin Mosque, in addition to numerous drawings of people including Bill and Hillary Clinton and children at a camp for the blind.
Galicia's works will be displayed during the month of September at the South Arkansas Arts Center. He said proceeds from the sale of his first 20 original artworks and 200 limited edition prints will benefit the local Community Hospice, health care scholarship fund of the SHARE Foundation and the South Arkansas Arts Center.
"God endowed men with different talents and intended those talents to be used for His glory and honor. Ever since I was a child, I knew I had an artistic inclination in visual arts. I liked to draw peoples' faces with a pencil or pen," Galicia said.
"My life goal is to serve humanity in my capacity as both an artist and occupational therapist. I envision to promote the arts in its various expressions and utilize it as a medium for therapy or integrate it with my therapeutic interventions," the artist said.