The Vibrant and Colorful World of Janine

The artist Janine Barrera Castillo | Photography by Cocoy Ventura

By Cocoy Ventura

On top of being a wife, a mother of two young adult boys, owner of a dental practice, a devoted music student, and her religious daily walks, Janine Barrera Castillo finds no excuse not to pursue her first love, painting. Now that one of her boys is in college and one about to finish high school, the window of opportunity for her to take on what originally brought her to America is now wide open.

A native daughter of Cebu, Janine grew up surrounded by the arts —having a photography aficionado for a father is one example. She then pursued a study of fine arts at the University of the Philippines and thereafter received the prestigious Starr Foundation Award of New York for study in the United States. This scholarship brought her to San Francisco to pursue a Masters in Fine Arts degree at the Academy of Art University of San Francisco. While painting took her into years of self-imposed hibernation, Janine enthusiastically now rejoins the arts community to offer her new, vibrant, masterpieces that speaks with a great amount of gravitas and bravura.

When asked about her inspiration for her pieces, she answered, “Painting is just work. I go in and out of the studio, like any kind of labor—just start working; I don’t wait around for inspirations. It just happens. When you continue working, chances are, the piece you’re working on will eventually provide the inspiration for you.” Janine also explained that some artists work differently, that some have already formed ideas. “That’s not how I work. I’m more organic in process. One decision inspires the next.”

Future plans? “I don’t have any firm ambitions—for example, to become rich. I would like to continue painting as much as I can and I hope that I’ll be able to do more work and share it the world. There’s too much information out there, you’re lucky if you can make a difference. If I make a little difference through my paintings, I will be the happiest person in the world.”

Click on images below to enlarge

Blue Dusk Oil on Linen by Janine Barrera Castillo

Oil on Canvas by Janine Barrera Castillo

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