“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing,” ---Camille Pissarro
One of the few people blessed to seeing beauty in rocks and anything in nature is Erlenie C. Dawson, called Lynn by her friends.
Born and raised in Dagami, Leyte province Lynn, the daughter of Oscar and Virgilia Compit, graduated at the Dagami Elementary School in barangay Rizal, Dagami and finished high school at St. Joseph High School also in Dagami, Leyte.
Lynn recently suffered a tragedy when her mother died of a heart attack apparently from seeing the destruction and deaths wrought by supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Leyte.
Lynn remembers her mother in her art works. She also recalled about her days as a working student in high school and college. She went to the Visayas State University at nearby Baybay, Leyte and graduated with a forestry degree in 2000.
While she memorized the names of trees and its corresponding scientific names, her love of art and nature deepened. Lynn found it fun to climb up mountains and collect bugs, appreciating the beauty around her.
“It was very interesting to engage more on outdoor activities.” Lynn said her forestry studies enhanced both her appreciation and her art works on nature. “It was my dream to study arts but because of poverty it wasn't realized,” she said.
Personally I can relate because I also dreamed about taking courses but paucity was the hindrance. I always loved arts since I was in elementary school.
After graduating from college, Lynn headed to Manila and worked on different jobs. “My last job before I came to the US was in an engineering company called Philkoei Inc in Makati City,” Lynn said.
She worked for four years in the company and there she met David, the father of her two daughters. "We got married and I migrated to the US," Lynn said.
Lyn is friends with my friends here in North Carolina. I heard about her during my search for Fil-Americans in the Carolinas who have families in typhoon-stricken areas in the Philippines last year.
I saw some of her artworks on her Facebook page and liked it for its simplicity and practicality. It may not be original but Lynn uses rocks and items that are fit for disposal and convert it into simple works of arts.
“I love painting rocks the most,” Lynn said and she also paints glass pieces, wine glasses and bottles. “I paint on canvass. I do some sewing too, make tote bags. I never did go to any school of art, I just learned by myself getting ideas from other artist,” Lynn said.
It doesn't matter really because her works can be compared to other works of trained artists.
“I sold lots of painted rocks. I won a contest in Michigan for painted rocks. I love painting because it gives me peace of mind, gives me comfort especially when I lost my mom and what happened to all my relatives in Leyte,” Lynn said.
Lynn said she loved a quote from Twyla Tharp who said “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home” as well as a quote from Pablo Picasso who said “every child is an artist and the problem is how they remain an artist once they grow up.”
“My kids love arts. I wish every mother will encourage their kids to do arts because everyone can be an artist in a different way. You don’t need to go to school to be an artist,” Lynn said. As a frustrated artist myself, I can only agree wholeheartedly.
(Susan Palmes-Dennis is a veteran journalist from Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, Northern Mindanao in the Philippines who works as a nanny in North Carolina. This page will serve as a venue for news and discussion on Filipino communities in the Carolinas. Visit and read her website at www.susanpalmes-dennis.simplesite.com. Read her blogs on susanpalmesstraightfrom the Carolinas.com. These and other articles also appear at http://www.sunstar.com.ph/author/2582/susan-palmes-dennis.
Susan also has her website at susanpalmes-dennis.simplesite.com You can also connect with her through her Pinterest account at http://www.pinterest.com/pin/41025046580074350/) and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Straight-from-the-Carolinas-/49415695067…)