Pacita Abad's constant travels forced her to set up her studio quickly in order to start painting as soon as possible, and her studio space was always the center of household activity. Pacita's studios and homes were always one entity, as her artwork completely dominated her living environment, with her studio seamlessly flowing into every corner of her living space. Paintings that she was working on in her studio would quickly appear on her dining room or living room walls, so that she could see them in a different light and perspective. The next day they would be back in her studio for more work.

 

Pacita filled her home not only with paintings, but with brightly painted walls, colorful rugs, handwoven textiles, tribal sculpture and an abundance of flowers, and all of these worked their way into her paintings. People would enter Pacita's studio-homes and be blown away with sensory overload, as their eyes didn't know where to focus.

 

 


 

 

  • Batanes, Philippines (2002 to 2004) 'Fundacion Pacita' was Pacita's dream studio that she waited years to build on her father's... Batanes, Philippines (2002 to 2004) 'Fundacion Pacita' was Pacita's dream studio that she waited years to build on her father's... Batanes, Philippines (2002 to 2004) 'Fundacion Pacita' was Pacita's dream studio that she waited years to build on her father's... Batanes, Philippines (2002 to 2004) 'Fundacion Pacita' was Pacita's dream studio that she waited years to build on her father's... Batanes, Philippines (2002 to 2004) 'Fundacion Pacita' was Pacita's dream studio that she waited years to build on her father's... Batanes, Philippines (2002 to 2004) 'Fundacion Pacita' was Pacita's dream studio that she waited years to build on her father's... Batanes, Philippines (2002 to 2004) 'Fundacion Pacita' was Pacita's dream studio that she waited years to build on her father's... Batanes, Philippines (2002 to 2004) 'Fundacion Pacita' was Pacita's dream studio that she waited years to build on her father's... Batanes, Philippines (2002 to 2004) 'Fundacion Pacita' was Pacita's dream studio that she waited years to build on her father's... Batanes, Philippines (2002 to 2004) 'Fundacion Pacita' was Pacita's dream studio that she waited years to build on her father's... Batanes, Philippines (2002 to 2004) 'Fundacion Pacita' was Pacita's dream studio that she waited years to build on her father's... Batanes, Philippines (2002 to 2004) 'Fundacion Pacita' was Pacita's dream studio that she waited years to build on her father's... Batanes, Philippines (2002 to 2004) 'Fundacion Pacita' was Pacita's dream studio that she waited years to build on her father's... Batanes, Philippines (2002 to 2004) 'Fundacion Pacita' was Pacita's dream studio that she waited years to build on her father's... Batanes, Philippines (2002 to 2004) 'Fundacion Pacita' was Pacita's dream studio that she waited years to build on her father's... Batanes, Philippines (2002 to 2004) 'Fundacion Pacita' was Pacita's dream studio that she waited years to build on her father's...

    Batanes, Philippines (2002 to 2004)

     

    "Fundacion Pacita" was Pacita's dream studio that she waited years to build on her father's old cow pasture on her native island of Batanes. The studio-home was built high on a hill overlooking the South China Sea on one side and Mount Iraya, the island's volcanic mountain, on the other. Pacita designed and started building her studio in 2001 with the help of her husband, Jack, and her brother, Butch, soon after she found out that she had cancer.

     

    Over the following two years Pacita made more than 10 trips to Batanes as the studio was being built. On one of her later trips she organized a public house blessing, which was attended by hundreds of islanders. Once she realized that her cancer was fatal, she decided that she wanted to die in her Batanes studio overlooking the ocean. After spending two weeks on her last trip to Batanes, she was grudgingly convinced that she had to return to Singapore in order to receive proper medical treatment, that was simply not available on the island. After her death, Pacita's ashes were brought back to Batanes and she was buried right next to her beloved "Fundacion Pacita." 

  • Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded... Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004) Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded...

    Singapore, Temenggong (2000 to 2004)

     

    Pacita's Studio in Singapore was idyllic, nestled away on the side of Mount Faber, surrounded by tropical vegetation and overlooking Sentosa Island and the Singapore Strait. It also happened to be located in one of Singapore's historic "black and white" houses that were built in the 1920's.

     

    The house may have been traditional, but Pacita soon turned it into an exotic palace fit for a Pasha, with her colorful paintings, tribal sculptures, handwoven rugs, cloth and tapestries from far flung places, and walls of lime green, lemon yellow, cobalt blue and deep purple. The house was a feast for the eyes. Pacita's studio officially occupied 20% of the house, but in reality like in all of her studio/homes, her artwork dominated the entire house, even the kitchen and bathrooms.

     

    The outside was almost as lush as the inside, and was covered with more than 150 flowering orchids, flowering frangipani trees, multicolored hibiscus and an abundance of orange-yellow birds of paradise. It was a place that inspired Pacita to paint and was a therapeutic hideaway to deal with her inner distress, as she underwent incessant medical treatments during the last three years of her life. In short, it was just what the doctor ordered, and just what Pacita needed - just to paint, paint, paint while listening to the blues.

  • Jakarta, Pakubuwono (1998 to 2000) Pacita moved to her studio/home on Jalan Pakabuwono in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1998, just after... Jakarta, Pakubuwono (1998 to 2000) Pacita moved to her studio/home on Jalan Pakabuwono in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1998, just after... Jakarta, Pakubuwono (1998 to 2000) Pacita moved to her studio/home on Jalan Pakabuwono in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1998, just after... Jakarta, Pakubuwono (1998 to 2000) Pacita moved to her studio/home on Jalan Pakabuwono in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1998, just after... Jakarta, Pakubuwono (1998 to 2000) Pacita moved to her studio/home on Jalan Pakabuwono in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1998, just after... Jakarta, Pakubuwono (1998 to 2000) Pacita moved to her studio/home on Jalan Pakabuwono in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1998, just after... Jakarta, Pakubuwono (1998 to 2000) Pacita moved to her studio/home on Jalan Pakabuwono in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1998, just after... Jakarta, Pakubuwono (1998 to 2000) Pacita moved to her studio/home on Jalan Pakabuwono in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1998, just after...

    Jakarta, Pakubuwono (1998 to 2000)

     

    Pacita moved to her studio/home on Jalan Pakabuwono in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1998, just after the riots that led to the overthrow of President Suharto. This studio/home was spacious and was surrounded by more greenery than her previous home, and more importantly, her painting studio was double the size.

     

    Pacita quickly settled in to her new environment and worked on a number of painting series including "Door to life" based on her travels in Yemen, and her "Sumba to Sulu" series, inspired by a trip to the island of Sumba. Pacita was so excited by the beautiful textiles in Indonesia that she covered her couches and chairs with ikat cloth, her divan with a Turkish kilim and then glued batik cloth from Yogyakarta to cover her cupboard. When she was finished the house was enveloped with Pacita's colorful textiles, paintings and rugs.

  • Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997) Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home... Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997) Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home... Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997) Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home... Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997) Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home... Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997) Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home... Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997) Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home... Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997) Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home... Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997) Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home... Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997) Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home... Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997) Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home... Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997) Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home... Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997) Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home... Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997) Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home... Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997) Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home... Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997) Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home... Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997) Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home... Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997) Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home... Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997) Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home...

    Jakarta, Sumbing (1994 to 1997)

     

    Pacita arrived in Jakarta from Washington in 1993 and when she first saw her studio/home on Jalan Sumbing her initial reaction was one of disappointment. It was small, with little greenery and had a ski chalet ceiling. Fortunately, Pacita was a painter and was soon filled with ideas about how to transform the house into a bright artist studio.

     

    Pacita's studio/home soon became alive with the help of a lot of bright colors splashed on the walls, plenty of tropical flowers planted and potted outside and inside the house, Indonesian textiles, tribal sculpture and rugs mixed with Pacita's large paintings on the walls.

     

    For her studio, she took over the entire three room second floor for her painting and wide assortment of materials. She was especially pleased that she was able to build special racks to display her beloved collection of Indonesian Wayang puppets. It was these puppets that she painted incessantly while living in this studio/home.

  • Washington, 16th Street (1986 to 1993) Pacita moved to Washington from Manila with very mixed emotions, as once again she... Washington, 16th Street (1986 to 1993) Pacita moved to Washington from Manila with very mixed emotions, as once again she... Washington, 16th Street (1986 to 1993) Pacita moved to Washington from Manila with very mixed emotions, as once again she... Washington, 16th Street (1986 to 1993) Pacita moved to Washington from Manila with very mixed emotions, as once again she... Washington, 16th Street (1986 to 1993) Pacita moved to Washington from Manila with very mixed emotions, as once again she... Washington, 16th Street (1986 to 1993) Pacita moved to Washington from Manila with very mixed emotions, as once again she...

    Washington, 16th Street (1986 to 1993)

     

    Pacita moved to Washington from Manila with very mixed emotions, as once again she was leaving her family and friends in the Philippines. Moreover, she was successfully building an artistic career in the Philippines that she was leaving to begin another new chapter in the U.S. It didn't take Pacita long to settle in and make new friends in the art world, but finding a new studio/home was more difficult, and it took about 6 months before she and Jack bought a house.

     

    Pacita liked it because it was made of stone and was three stories high, which she thought would give her a lot of room to paint. The stone in particular reminded her of the stone houses on Pacita's native island of Batanes. The inside was the antithesis of what Pacita liked, with Laura Ashley wallpaper, pink walls and fluffy curtains. In the end, stone conquered fluffy pink and the studio/home makeover began in earnest once Pacita moved in.

     

    The pink and beige was replaced by wine red, mango and cobalt blue - not your typical Washington decor. Pacita solved her studio problem by taking two rooms in which to paint. Over the next seven years Pacita continued to customize the house and installed hand-painted tiles brought back from Mexico, cushions from Morocco, mirrored cloth from India, tapa bark cloth from the South Pacific and shells from the Philippines. Not surprisingly, the Washington Post showed the house on the cover of its weekly magazine with the title "Hot House, An Artist Turns up the Heat with Vibrant, Paint Box Colors".

  • Manila, Roberts Road (1984 to 198) Pacita moved to her new studio/home on Roberts Road and was delighted with the... Manila, Roberts Road (1984 to 198) Pacita moved to her new studio/home on Roberts Road and was delighted with the...

    Manila, Roberts Road (1984 to 198)

     

    Pacita moved to her new studio/home on Roberts Road and was delighted with the large garden, big veranda and spacious interior, including a large space for her studio. It was also very convenient for Jack, as it was literally located right next to the Asian Development Bank, where he worked. That also meant that many of their friends would just drop by after work and if Pacita was painting she just told them to make themselves at home. However, nobody was ever allowed to enter her studio when she was painting.

     

    This was a home meant for entertaining and Pacita turned it into a gallery coffee shop with her work displayed on all the walls. It was also convenient for her family to drop by, especially her mother, who came by for breakfast every Thursday morning after church.

  • Manila, Lovina Street (1982 to 1984)

     

    Pacita found this small, wooden traditional "Bahay Pilipino", located close to Manila Bay and built up on stilts to protect it from the annual floods. The house was a jewel, but it wasn't for everybody with its capiz shell windows, spanish tiles, rattling window frames, ceiling fans, tin sloped roof and unreliable water and electricity.

     

    Pacita took the whole section of the house underneath the floor and converted what used to be a garage and storage space into her studio. It was charming, but lacked wall space for Pacita to hang her paintings, so visitors had to go below the house to see her latest paintings. Of course when the annual floods came, her studio went under water. Nevertheless, Pacita painted prolifically in that studio and created a number of her big "Mask" trapuntos, as well as her "Underwater" series - inspired by her scuba diving, not the floods.

  • Boston, Charles Street Loft (1979 to 1982) Pacita always wanted to live in a loft with few walls and a... Boston, Charles Street Loft (1979 to 1982) Pacita always wanted to live in a loft with few walls and a... Boston, Charles Street Loft (1979 to 1982) Pacita always wanted to live in a loft with few walls and a... Boston, Charles Street Loft (1979 to 1982) Pacita always wanted to live in a loft with few walls and a... Boston, Charles Street Loft (1979 to 1982) Pacita always wanted to live in a loft with few walls and a...

    Boston, Charles Street Loft   (1979 to 1982)

     

    Pacita always wanted to live in a loft with few walls and a lot of open space to hang her paintings. She finally found it in, of all places, the foot of Boston's traditional Beacon Hill. It was an unusual place, but a great space and a fabulous location, until winter came and the winds started whipping off the Charles River. In her excitement about finding a great loft, Pacita forgot about the heat, and that was a bit of a problem for about seven months of the year. It was so cold that Pacita had to walk around with a space heater next to her and often she would paint with her gloves on, but she loved the space.

     

    Soon her paintings were covering the walls and this was the first studio/home that allowed her to paint big canvases, and this is what she did with the aid of a 12-foot step ladder that she found in a nearby alley. It was in this studio that she got together with other artists, and that she developed her trapunto technique with an idea from her doll-maker friend, Barbara Newman. Pacita's signature trapunto paintings began in this studio/home and they were big because fortunately she had the space to hang them.

  • Bangkok, Soy Suan Phlu (1978 to 1979) When Pacita moved to Bangkok, she immediately started looking for a studio/home, but... Bangkok, Soy Suan Phlu (1978 to 1979) When Pacita moved to Bangkok, she immediately started looking for a studio/home, but... Bangkok, Soy Suan Phlu (1978 to 1979) When Pacita moved to Bangkok, she immediately started looking for a studio/home, but... Bangkok, Soy Suan Phlu (1978 to 1979) When Pacita moved to Bangkok, she immediately started looking for a studio/home, but...

    Bangkok, Soy Suan Phlu (1978 to 1979)

     

    When Pacita moved to Bangkok, she immediately started looking for a studio/home, but had little hope on their limited budget. Fortunately, she had a stroke of luck when she found a nice, artistically decorated, traditional Thai wooden house in the center of Bangkok. Even more fortunate was the fact that it was owned by a Thai woman, who had been her college classmate at the University of the Philippines.

     

    Pacita found her new studio/home and it was a joy to live in and it even had a nice studio for her to paint. It was here that Pacita painted Thai scenes and her socio-political realistic series "Portraits Of Cambodia", as the result of her frequent trips to the refugee camps on the Thai-Cambodian border.

  • Dhaka, Dhanmondi (1977 to 1978) Pacita didn't know what to expect when she moved to Bangladesh, but she knew that... Dhaka, Dhanmondi (1977 to 1978) Pacita didn't know what to expect when she moved to Bangladesh, but she knew that... Dhaka, Dhanmondi (1977 to 1978) Pacita didn't know what to expect when she moved to Bangladesh, but she knew that... Dhaka, Dhanmondi (1977 to 1978) Pacita didn't know what to expect when she moved to Bangladesh, but she knew that...

    Dhaka, Dhanmondi (1977 to 1978)

     

    Pacita didn't know what to expect when she moved to Bangladesh, but she knew that she needed a good place to paint, because she expected to do a lot of work. She found a great place by happenstance, when she met a Bengali woman on the train in New York. Pacita mentioned that she would be moving to Dhaka and the woman suggested that she look at her house to rent. It was as simple as that, and three days after Pacita arrived in Dhaka she moved into her new studio/home.

     

    The house was fully furnished which was good because she didn't have any household effects. Slowly, however, she began to buy local textiles and as she finished her paintings, she put them on the walls. Before long the studio/home began to look like a gallery, so it was easy for Pacita to organize her second painting exhibition at her gallery.

     

    The exhibition received some publicity in the local newspaper and even more after the show, as Pacita had included eight nude sketches of her friends. The Bangladeshi crowd had never seen anything like this and crowded around these paintings. However, the husbands and boyfriends of the women depicted were not at all amused, and they quickly purchased the paintings and then symbolically burned them. Needless to say, this created quite an uproar with Pacita and her women friends, but the men just left in a huff.

  • New York, 23rd Street Chelsea (1977 to 1978)

     

    Pacita moved to New York for what was supposed to be a short stay on her way to Bangladesh. However, the trip got delayed and Pacita found a six month studio sublet on the bulletin board at the Arts Students League. It was tiny and basically had room for a table and a mattress on the floor, but it did have a wall on which to staple her canvas.

     

    The beauty of the studio was its location right next to the infamous Chelsea Hotel and a subway station, which made for a convenient commute to school. However, Pacita found the return home with her wet canvases a bit of a challenge during rush hours, and more than one Wall Street banker inadvertently received a splash of color.

  • Washington, 15th Street (1975 to 1977)

     

    Pacita moved to Washington after living in Paris for the previous six months. Needless to say, it was a bit of an adjustment. D.C. was still recovering from the racial riots triggered by Martin Luther King's assassination a few years earlier, and most of 14th Street was still burned out. Pacita's studio/home on 15th Street wasn't large enough for her to have a studio, so she just took over the dining room and when guests came she just moved her easel and paints to the side.

     

    While she was taking classes at the Corcoran School of Art, she was also painting at home. The first canvas that she did was a big painting her native island of Batanes. One of the next paintings was a view out her front window, and she transformed a gray February day into a bright beach scene in southern France. Such is the benefit of being an artist.

     

    Pacita's landlord, Carl Hundley, introduced her to his old art teacher, the noted painter Alma Thomas, who lived two blocks down the street. Alma invited Pacita to visit her a number of times and encouraged her to keep painting. When money was difficult Carl sympathetically accepted a few of Pacita's paintings to pay for the rent. It was also in this studio/home where Pacita launched her painting career with her first one-woman exhibition that was well-supported by her friends.