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Artists: Jelner Pinchez R.

Jelner Pinchez R.
"I was born in Pucallpa in 1976. When I was 6 years old my father abandoned my mother. My family had humble financial means. When I was 8 years old I went to live with my father and to go to school. Since I am the oldest of four brothers and sisters I am in charge of helping my younger sisters. In September 1990 I heard about the Usko-Ayar Amazonian School of Painting and since I liked drawing from when I was little, I wanted to enter the school. My father refused to let me go and it was not until January 1991 that through my stepmother, at last my father allowed me to go to Usko-Ayar.

"There we learn not only drawing but also we made special exercises to facilitate wrist movements and have better control of the brushes. During the first 9 months I was only drawing. Then later I started to paint with cheap watercolors, until later when Don Pablo gave me good paper, brushes and high quality gouache paints. I gradually discovered, while painting, new things about the plants and animals and that painting is a marvelous thing. My efforts were rewarded when February 10, 1993 I was elected as a teacher. I was very happy because it was a very good way to learn to know people better and to transmit what I had learned. In April that year one of my paintings, called Aya Uma, was exhbited and sold in Miami, which made me very happy.

"I was one of 20 students who went to work at the Sachamana Ethnobotanical Garden near Iquitos. That was a very good experience. We were all very happy to contribute to the beautiful garden. For me, Usko-Ayar is like my second home. There I find happiness and tranquility and learn many things. It is important that we paint the forest because if people continue to fell the trees, with time it is going to disappear."

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