I’m a little late with my post for this week. I assure you I was not lollygagging.
|Joaquin Sorolla, Self Portrait, oil|
Call it professional development. Handsome Husband and I ventured to The Meadows Museum in Dallas Texas over the weekend to take in a once in a lifetime exhibit of paintings by one of Spain’s greatest artists, Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida. Sharing this experience with us was my sis and her very own handsome husband, both historians who hold keen insight into Spanish tradition, culture and art. Having them along to share their observations was invaluable. Plus, we like them a lot.
|A selfie at The Meadows, Dallas Tx, 2014, photograph|
Studying original works of art is an intensely valuable experience for an artist. While surfing the web to visit collections from the Hermitage to MOMA is helpful, there’s nothing like being there…
|Ninos A La Orilla Del Mar 1903, oil|
... bare canvas peeking out from under a heavy swath of paint, thin swipes of color crosshatched into apparent texture … the dash of cerulean blue laid over a warm patch of rosy orange, and then that glob of brilliant sunlit … not white but almost so … oh!
|Perhaps the most beautiful thigh ever painted.|
Step back slowly and experience the dizzying coming together of those slashes and dashes into a scene of windblown beaches, brilliant sunshine on wet bodies… cool fabric on a damp thigh…it is almost possible to hear the waves crashing on the shoreline and voices calling to each other, to know damp ocean breeze against sun-warmed skin…
|Joaquin Sorolla, White Boat, 1905, oil|
There were other paintings; it seemed as if speaking at all while in their presence would be an unwelcome intrusion. Handled in dark, somber tones with quiet strokes of liquid paint, they spoke of hopelessness, desolation, loss…
|Joaquin Sorolla, Another Marguerite! 1892, oil|
It seems Sorolla’s hand was never idle. Besides the collection of completed paintings, there were dozens of sketches done on restaurant menus, an array of nearly abstract dashes of gauche depicting the view below his hotel window, as well as several charcoal preparatory drawings for his beach paintings. This exhibit is a master class in dedication to one’s craft.
|Joaquin Sorolla, Grand Army Plaza, 1911 gauche|
I’m still evaluating the experience, as you can tell. I’ve got a million questions. It seems the best way to find the answers will be to go to my work space, squirt out some paint, and get to work.