Storyful art

“Canopy Town,” watercolor on paper, 11×14 inches

TREES and tree houses. Teapots and flowers. Lighthouses and picket fences.

Come inside, seek solace, get purposely lost and stay as long as you want.

“Somewhere Only We Know” is an art show of the tree house watercolor paintings of Meream Pacayra, a doodler, solitude seeker, and maker of things.

The mood somewhat takes you back to the years gone by.

It’s a rundown of the silly and the happy, the whimsical and the enchanting, a smell of a fresh morning dew, the artistic proclivities of a craftsman—
in this case, a woman.

“I get all kinds of clients but 95 percent of them are women who love a good trip down memory lane when they see my tree houses and other watercolor pieces,” said Meream Pacayra, the chief maker of the handmade brand, Peregrina, and Bored and Crafty.

Meream runs an exhibit of her paintings at Bintana Coffee House for the whole month of June.

She calls it “Somewhere Only We Know,” a Bored and Crafty Tree House series art show. It’s labeled on her Instagram account #TreehouseSeries.

If the artist was to put it, “it’s a celebration of escape, of the bliss of solitude.”

“Library on Main Street,” watercolor on paper, 11×14 inches

She is also now working on reviving her handmade brand, Peregrina. She will be soon joining bazaars and art fairs again and will hopefully come up with a new line of products in the coming months.

Bored and Crafty was what she called her blog 10 years ago before it became what it is today, a small business of making lovely cards, postcards, and trinkets of some sort.

All of which are handmade, hand-painted pieces.

The essentials? Sewing machine, paints, and whole a lot of good paper.

“I always say that you can maybe get away with choosing cheap brushes or paints but not with cheap paper,” said Meream.

For paper, she recommends Arches and Fabriano Artistico.

For paints, she prefers Daniel Smith and Holbein.

And as for the brushes, she could use just about any synthetic brand she can find.

In an era where everything is mass-produced, here is a stroke of art.

Each craft a piece of the maker’s soul. And sometimes, of blood and tears. “And I’d choose that over anything that’s mass-produced,” she said.

To her, it’s another form of meditation with the added bonus of getting an actual item out of the process.

The time spent for each watercolor painting varies.

It could take between two hours to a week.

But it’s the brewing of the ideas and the sketching before it that takes up the longest.

As for the craft pieces, it depends on their complexities. Meream can typically whip up a dress or a skirt in one afternoon.

Without distraction, that is.

Sometimes there’s pre-planning in her creative process. Other times she makes room for spontaneity.

“My crafts are a mix of functional and dust-gatherers. I sew or make things I can wear or use around the house. But I also make decor and other things that have no use, other than looking cute or pretty,” said Meream.

She basicallydraws out inspiration from nowhere and everywhere. She loves to read books, follow artists on social media, or simply watch people.

She comes from an artistic family where she took after from her sister and cousins, and spent most of her time doodling.

Crating was something she fell in love and hard for.

She was about seven the first time she saw her grandmother’s antique hand-crank sewing machine.

And that was the moment she wanted to make all things by hand.

“It doesn’t matter what era we’re in, just keep creating. Be proud of what your hands can create, whether a traditional painting, a dress, or a doodle on Procreate”, she said.

Now that she has Bored and Crafty, what Meream wanted to do first was to do a treehouse exhibit as a way to tick an item off her bucket list. With no agent nor a gallery to work with, social media led her to Bintana Coffee House. She had to work from the ground up.

“This show was DIY from start to finish.

Luckily, the owners were wonderful and welcomed me and my paintings happily,” said Meream.

Back in the days, Meream used to paint just about anything she could think of, but now the focus on a single theme—the tree houses for example—
helped her produce a body of work that she could be proud of and maybe one day, come up with a collection of tree house fabrics.

She’d love to open an art studio and handmade shop, too.

There’s no stopping to what this fine craft maker could do which is all possible considering her humble business just started out as a blog.

But sometimes, it’s hard to call it a business when every single thing that a maker creates has its own story.

More often than not, Meream loses a chunk of her earnings whenever she joins craft bazaars.

She ends up shopping from other great handmade and art brands.

When asked how she would see her paintings evolve in the future, “I’ll let the paints decide,” she said.

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