Artist Ruben Baradi: Putting God’s creation on canvas

His artworks are on display at the Philippine Cultural Center in Virginia Beach.

Mixed media artist Ruben Baradi has been creating phenomenal art pieces for almost five decades.

Growing up in San Fernando, La Union in the northern part of the Philippines, he would wake up in the morning to soak in the beautiful landscapes of the Philippines, its variety of mountains, forests, and fields. He thought to himself, “These lovely scenes will never escape my mind, especially when art is running through your blood.”

Art was his way of recreating what he saw in “God’s creation” and putting them on canvas. Thus began his journey in drawing, sculpting, and 3D mixed media canvas art. He began his creative career with stippling, a technique in which areas of light and shadow are created using nothing but dots. Today, Ruben has transitioned into his current favorite medium: 3D art.

A long-time resident of Virginia Beach with his wife Erna and four children — Erbin, Erson, Erman, and Rena — the family home is filled with Ruben’s artworks from over the years. His 3D pieces adorn the Philippine Cultural Center in Virginia Beach, one of the biggest Philippine cultural centers in the United States.

Ruben’s 3D art recreating images of birds and nature.
An acrylic painting of the Virgin Mary

“I first started my art experience with stippling and drawing people I know,” he said. “When I had a family of my own, I drew them, too. Recently, I took up 3D art, where my imagination brings me to gardens and oceans. What you’ll see in a lot of my work is stunning flowers and plants and fish and coral reefs.”

He expressed his fascination for his new medium. He said, “3D art feels like the art is popping out at you in terms of depth. Regular art is done on flat surfaces whereas 3D has dimensions of depth, height, and width. Think of a sculpture! Every angle you look at it, it takes up physical space. Nowadays, I love making 3D art of colorful peacocks, coral fish and undersea geography, and gardens.”

Ruben left the Philippines in 1981 through the petition of his parents. Although he graduated with a degree in B.S. in Architecture from Far Eastern University, he worked for a structural engineering company while doing arts during his spare time.

His family of six, with his wife, Erna and four children — eldest son, Erbin; twin sons, Erson and Erman; and daughter, Rena — all have very creative minds.

Said Ruben: “Erbin knows how to be innovative with everyday objects and can turn them into new things. Take any scrap and he can creatively create something new! My wife’s culinary skills exhibit creativity in how she enjoys experimenting with various ingredients. It doesn’t matter if two ingredients don’t go together typically.

The multi-talented Baradis of Virginia Beach: Ruben and wife Erna, with children Rena, Erman, Erson and Erbin.

“Erson is an artist just like me. He’s great at painting and sculpting, and nowadays he works with digital art including making company logos. He’s working on his own superhero comic book with his siblings. Erman is the writer of the family and writes screenplays. He works in the entertainment industry and is pursuing a career in film and television.

“I played the guitar through the years, so now Rena has the musical gift and can play many instruments and can harmonize with anything. In their teen years our kids played Filipino instruments in a ‘rondalla’ group, which included the octavina and banduria. They also have a background in Philippine cultural dancing.”

Ruben and his millennial children are looking to promote his art on various social media, including TikTok and Instagram reels. 

© The FilAm 2022

One Comment

  1. Benjamin wrote:

    Wonderful art! I’ll check his work out more.

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