Artist's Resume


    Born in Angeles City, then a small town in the heart of Pampanga, Josefina Dizon Henson, or Josie for short, always knew she would spend her life as an artist. She grew up under the guidance of her elder brother Dan, who learned the rudiments of drawing from their father, the late Professor Vicente Alvarez Dizon of the University of the Philippines. Professor Dizon earned his Diploma in Art from the Yale University School of Fine Arts in 1936. In 1939, at the historic International Competition on Contemporary Art of 79 Nations at the Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco, California his painting titled "After the Day's Toil" won First Place by popular vote. The entry of Spain by Salvador Dali won second place, and the entry of the United States by Robert Philipp placed third. The French Impressionist Maurice Utrillo also had an entry but did not win.



                                                After the Day's Toil


    After high school, Josie enrolled at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila for a course in Fine Arts. Among her professors were National Artist Victorio Edades in Art History, Professor Galo B. Ocampo in Design and Color, Professor Antonio Garcia Llamas in Portraiture, Prof. Antonio Celis in Still-Life Painting, etc. After graduating in 1962 with a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree, major in painting, Josie worked initially as Art Editor of "The Grade Teacher", a national magazine for Filipino teachers. In addition, she taught Landscape Painting and Anatomy of the Human Body at the College of Fine Arts of the University of the East (UERM) in Quezon City. During this period Josie also attended German Language lessons at the Goethe Haus in Manila.


    She later moved back to Angeles City in 1967 after she married Dr. Ruben G. Henson, Jr. an EENT specialist. In the years that followed, after the arrival of her children, three boys in a row, and a girl, Josie lay down her brushes in favor of motherhood but her heart always belonged to fine art. Her travels to the United States of America and to Europe served as inspirations to further inspire her to paint again.


    On a trip to the United States in 1975, Josie was exposed to great museums like the New York Metropolitan Museum, Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., and Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. At the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, she saw for the first time the beautiful portraits done by John Singer Sargent, her favorite portrait artist whose works were being shown at the said Museum and also at Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston. 1978, Josie and her husband Ben's travel to India and Kashmir served as an inspiration and she had her first one-man show which depicted many sceneries and colorful flowers of India and Kashmir at "The Gallery" of the Hyatt Hotel in Manila in 1979.


    In 1983, Josie took a Watercolor Workshop with Dong Kingman the great American-born Watercolorist.. Given by the Hewitt brothers, this was held in Hong Kong and Mainland China for three weeks where she toured and painted on-the-spot in Hong Kong, Soochow, Guilin, Wuxi, Beijing, Canton, Shanghai and the Great Wall. One of her memorable moments was painting The Great Wall of China on-the-spot together with Dong Kingman and being critiqued by him afterwards. Josie took another workshop in 1986, this time in Pastel Portrait Painting with famous Portrait Artist Daniel Greene in North Salem, New York.


    A trip to Europe in 1989 gave Josie a chance to view the works of old masters at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam like Rembrandt, Jan Vermeer, Franz Hals, Van Gogh, Picasso, etc. and in other museums in the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany. In Switzerland she visited the Picasso Museum.


    The untimely demise of her second son, Ramsee in 1990, put a damper in Josie's creative urge. But the sudden eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 served to awaken her slumbering art. In 1992, she joined a group of Angeles Artists dubbed as "ARTRUPTION" at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.   


    In 1998, during a trip to the United States and Europe, Josie again had a chance to view the great collection of French impressionist paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago. In Paris, Josie visited the famous Louvre Museum to view Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and also the huge paintings of Napoleon's coronation done by Jacques Louis David. At the Musee d'Orsay, she marveled at the colorful works of Claude Monet and Impressionists. The highlight of her trip was the visit to Giverny at the house and gardens of Claude Monet, her favorite impressionist artist since her college days. While there, Josie did some sketching and painting in the famous garden.




                In front of Claude Monet's house







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