Filipino artist paints images of volcanic devastation using ash

January 24, 2020 - 7:02 PM
Filipina artist Janina Sanico paints an image of Taal volcano
Filipina artist Janina Sanico paints an image of Taal Volcano spewing ash clouds using ash that accumulated in her yard in Tanauan, Batangas Province, Philippines, January 24,2020. (Reuters/Joseph Campbell)

TANAUAN — Ash from a rumbling volcano has inspired an artist and instructor to paint watercolors using the grey powder that had covered the plants in her backyard.

Janina Sanico, who lives in a town near the Taal Volcano, collected the ash, mixed it with water and binder, and started painting images, some of them depicting the devastation caused by the small but dangerous volcano.

“So that was the pain that I felt. So when I saw the animals, that’s where I got my inspiration for my paintings”, said the 24-year old Sanico.

More than 140,000 people have been evacuated after Taal, one of the Philippines’ most active volcanoes, erupted more than a week ago, blanketing homes, schools and farms with ash.

Artist Janina Sanico
Filipina artist Janina Sanico uses volcanic ash she found in her yard to paint images of Taal Volcano inside her home in Tanauan, Batangas Province, Philippines, January 24, 2020. (Reuters/Joseph Campbell)

Sanico, a promoter of natural pigment watercolors, said she has been selling her paintings and donating the profits to help thousands of people who had been displaced.

“Since this ash came from the earth, I experimented and I studied. Then when I posted my artwork on social media, I found that it was widely received by people,” said Sanico.

Sanico has used different mediums such as coffee for painting, but ash, she said surprisingly worked well enough as long as it had enough water.

Volcanologists have kept the danger level of Taal at 4 out of a possible 5, meaning that a “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.”

Just 311 meters (1,020 feet) high, Taal is one of the world’s smallest active volcanoes. It killed more than 1,300 people in an eruption in 1911.

Reporting by Joseph Campbell and Oscar Abunyawan; Writing by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Toby Chopra