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Conchitina Bernardo: From art student to bona fide artist

July 21, 2019

Poignant portraits of endangered species of birds and her “spirit animal, deer; canvasses that bloom with her favorite flower, hydrangea; and her signature graphite, copper, bronze, gold and silver leaf — these are among the 36 artworks that Conchitina Sevilla-Bernardo will showcase in her solo exhibit “Gilded Graphite.”


‘Thumbergia Grandiflora & The Visayan Spotted Fawn (Deer Series)’

Gilded Graphite is opening via a private ceremony on July 27 at Frabelle Corporate Plaza and exhibiting at the Sunshine Place, from July 30 to August 8. Proceeds from the sale of her paintings will be for the benefit of the the San Lorenzo Ruiz Home For the Elderly.


One of the most revered fashion models during her time turned grace and

etiquette guru, Conchitina Bernardo, belately discovered the artist in her at

Sunshine Place.

Conchitina — who has led a charmed life as a model, etiquette and social grace instructress, and diplomat’s wife — discovered her talent and passion for the arts when she started attending workshops at the Sunshine Place under Art Association of the Philippines President Fidel Sarmiento in February 2016.

It was one of her friends in her prayer group who introduced her to the senior recreation center and encouraged her to take up Tai Chi and Painting classes. Notwithstanding an ailment and a traumatic experience with an earlier art teacher in Chinese painting (who turned her down and asked her to look for another hobby), Conchitina amazed everyone with her work.

“Painting is like calisthenics,” the artist shared, adding, “It exercise your mind as you do your strokes and helps in delay aging process. I find it very useful for me because it keeps me alert, helps me focus and most of all, it makes me happy.”

Right now, the artist proudly noted that she can paint her day away, beginning at 10 in the morning and wrapping at 6 in the evening.

“And I thank maestro Fidel Sarmiento for unselfishly teaching me from zero,” shared Bernardo adding that her first ever painting was “The Mare and Her Foal” in graphite, acrylic and bronze leaf.

For this newfound talent, Bernardo credits Sunshine Place, “Here, it’s more than an art class — you become a family. It is the camaraderie that makes me enjoy painting more.”


Bernardo with her painting instructor and Arts Association of the Philippines ‘The Pilgrim’

President Fidel Sarmiento.

The Sunshine Place, a senior recreation center under the Felicidad Tan Sy Foundation, is a venue for adults to live actively, through engaging in recreational classes and age-appropriate physical training programs. It is a venue to be entertained, to socialize and to reflect; a place of happiness and wellness for one’s mind, body and soul.

It offers art classes to seniors, as well as adults, teens and kids. At the core of the workshops, are mentoring sessions in hands-on techniques, application of different brushes and basic strokes, and color rendering. Participants get to explore different styles in creating landscape, seascape, still life and portrait paintings.

Acrylic Painting Classes at Sunshine Place are held every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for beginners and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. for intermediate, advanced and large canvass students, under the main instruction of Fidel Sarmiento.

For more inquiries on paintings, visit the Sunshine Place at #56 Jupiter St., Bel-Air, Makati City; or call 856-4162 and 0917 515-5656.

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