Most artists excel in a singular genre and they can’t shift to another style or another subject even if they have the expertise to do so. But artists are supposed to acquire an uncanny ability to execute every theme that they have been tasked to do, and to be artistically wide-ranging is indeed imperative for the popular artists. So here is Ms. Bernadette Manahan Sta. Maria, taking a break from portraiture, presenting a delightful still life in pastel, and is absolutely remarkable in her execution of colors, perspective and emotive effect although the work seems to appear naïve.
The difference of this artwork from other still life paintings is that it is not figuratively motionless. Bernadette brings sparkle and movement to this piece with her choice of lighting effect, shading and minimalist weight so the whole picture dazzles the eye and gives the mind something to ponder upon; not in thoughts, but in a restful trance. Although it belongs to the traditional tabletop static style, the painting transcends tradition and social distinction, or even mediocrity. It belongs to everyone’s wall. This is one of Bernadette Manahan Sta. Maria’s little- known but effective works of art, but I doubt if it will remain unknown for long.