Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pencils and Postcard

Pencils and Postcard - oil on linen - 12"x9"
Private Collection, Maine ME.

This Still Life painting depicts my jar of my colouring pencils and a postcard reproduction of Sorolla's painting 'Alberca del Alcazar de Sevilla' from the Museo Sorolla in Madrid.  Myself and Boo first visited Madrid in 2009 on our honeymoon and then again a year or so later when I had the chance to visit JoaquĆ­n Sorolla's home which is now a Museum. Sorrolla's painting of an archway and pond struck me as I was made aware that this painting, along with an array of other pieces painted in his home garden were some of the last works the artist created.

For ten years leading up to these pieces Sorrolla had been inundated with a huge mural like commission for the Hispanic Society building in New York City and an array of commissioned portraits. Some say that this grand commission for the Hispanic Society headquarters very nearly killed the artist both physically and artistically. I've seen that mural in Harlem and think it is one of the most incredible accomplishments in the history of representational painting. That being said it is necessarily stylised and staged in it's depiction of the many different regional cultural aspects of Spain but it also shows the breath of Sorrolla's knowledge with regards to composition, brush handling, problem solving and colour etc. It's an incredible feat of accomplishment.

All the same, I really enjoyed spending time with his quieter garden scenes and sketches as they struck me as 'the real Sorolla' and I'm sure provided him with an oasis of sorts at this time in his later years. 

My painting entitled ' Pencils and Postcard' is lite by north light which filters in all diffused through a side window in my kitchen. I hoped this softness would echo that quietness and stillness in those works of Sorolla. 

In this work I applied a harmonic pythagorean grid or the armature of the rectangle to aid me in the placement of the various objects at the outset of the painting, allowing two pencils at far left and right to run in exact correlation with two of the major diagonals.

I hope you like it.

- Richard Hearns

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