Noel created this tribute over eleven years ago in remembrance of his dearest departed mom for her birthday, "The canvas I used for this repaint of my mom is Ashton Drake's Gene doll because of its subtle yet versatile mold. The doll's original factory paint was completely removed and then precision repainted to replicate my mom's features. Meticulous and careful hair styling completed the doll's look."

At this time repainting was a new form of pop art, wherein the doll's face is treated like a three dimensional canvas, with the added challenge of painting within a very small area. Since dolls are basically miniature pieces, brush strokes and shading have to be very controlled and precise. Acrylic paint and ultra-fine brushes. Since that period of discovery of a new canvas Noel has flourished as a repaint artist and has been very much recognized by the media and in the doll community as a fine artist.

Carmen Antonio Cruz
June 6 1930 ~ February 26 1983

A Tribute To Carmen Cruz
by Steve McKinnis

Her past.

Carmen was born in Masbate city and grew up there until she moved to Manila after World War 2. She worked at the Bureau of Animal Industry and briefly at Warner Barnes where she and Noel's father (Leonardo Cruz, who passed in 1996 at 77 years of age) met. She worked at the Bureau of Lands until she retired in her late 40's.

She had studied nursing in college but did not finish due to economic hardship. Carmen married Noel's father in December 1957 and she conceived six boys; Hubert (deceased in 1995 at the age of 36), Virgilio, Noel, Michael, Reynald and Ramon. Carmen is survived by Virgilio, Michael and Ramon (who reside in the Philippines) and Noel (who resides in the United States).

Noel said, "She was a strong role model for me growing up... I will never forget how she really strived to send us to the best school until hardship came. She would always say that she and Dad may not have any material wealth for us to inherit but her sense of affection is very much in our lives. She was very affectionate and would never hesitated to show it. She instilled a sense of aesthetics in us. With her flair for fashion, appreciation of things beautiful and love of music. She was very giving in the very sense of the word. When were hard up on food she would often times just give us her share. She was my personal defender too... I remember the time she confronted an abusive teacher of mine. She literally took time off time from work to address the issue. I almost felt sorry for the teacher. She was very people oriented and enjoyed the company of friends and family. Always very sociable... she went out of her way to make friends with neighbors. Most of all she really cared about family and the essence of that. She understood the importance of responsible parenting and imparting guidance, knowledge of practical life skills."

Noel, his tribute doll to Carmen and her wedding photograph.