In my opinion, Joaquin Sorolla was one of the greatest painters of the early twentieth century. While I know many readers are familiar with his formal and finished works I thought it would be interesting to post some of his sketches or apuntes as they were called in Spanish. These were quick small notes used as reference for his larger works. Most were painted on cardboard and were 3×5 to 12×16 inches.
These are in the catalog from the show in Spain at the Sorolla Museum. The catalogue is in Spanish but contains 1283 images, most in color of these sketches as well as his larger finished works.
Catalogo de Pintura
Del Museo Sorolla
By Armand Cabrera
Walter Hunt Everett was born on August 20 1880. He spent his childhood on a farm in Haddonfield, New Jersey. In his teens he attended The Pennsylvania School of Industrial Art. Sometime later he attended the Drexel Institute and studied under Howard Pyle.
Walter Everett Forgotten Master
Step by Step Graphics Volume 4 Number 1
Benjamin and Jane Sperry Eisenstat
200 Years of American Illustration
The Illustrator in America (3 volumes)
Brush strokes carry a message whether you will it or not. The stroke is just like the artist at the time he makes it. All the certainties, all the uncertainties, all the bigness of his spirit and all the littleness are in it. —– Robert Henri
Painting at its best is communication. A successful painting communicates to others on a personal level. The artist, to be effective, must share something of themselves to make that happen. Their art must carry truth in it. Many times people confuse the truth of a thing with its outward appearance but that is just illusion. The truth of a thing is the whole thing. Not just its how it looks to the eye, but also its character, how it makes you feel. The artist in observing the motif decides to express themselves by capturing it in paint.
An artist must be sensitive enough to discern the whole and to infuse his paintings with the most important aspects of the thing. This not only takes the skill to paint but the openness to understand and make decisions about the subject depicted. There is facility and thoughtfulness and insight. It is opinion manifest through their ability as an artist and it is hard work. It shuns the superficiality of affectation and artistic mimesis.
There is a lot of technique being thrown around nowadays. Illustrators and artists are hiding behind technology and routine copying and photographic collage. This slick surface work, lacking any personality except in the most superficial way is completely devoid of the hand of the maker. In my opinion this is artistic cowardice. To remove the artist and their opinion is to remove the art from the craft of painting. Anyone, given enough time and effort can be taught the mechanics of image making but the mechanics alone do not produce a work of art. Art can be anything and take many styles but for it to be meaningful it must always carry the mark of the artist. All great art has an individual point of view.
The great artists and illustrators knew this and poured their thoughts and emotions into their work at every level. They infused their work with beauty, power, passion and care in spite of personal challenges, deadlines or outside influences. These artists left a bit of themselves for all to see and in doing so made their mark on the world of art.
There are ten thousand people in the United States who can paint and draw to beat the band. You have never heard of them and you never will. They have thoroughly mastered their craft and that is all they have—their craft… Merely knowing your craft will never be enough to make a picture… If you ever amount to anything at all, it will be because you are true to that deep desire or ideal which made you seek artistic expression in pictures—Harvey Dunn
Can anything be more tragic than to feel the infinite beauty of your surroundings, to read natures innermost secrets and, conscious of your own helplessness, to be incapable of expressing those powerful emotions? —– Isaac Levitan
Project your mind into your subject till you actually live in it. Throw your heart into the picture and jump in after it….Art is not a transcript or a copy. Art is the expression of those beauties and emotions that stir the human soul. —– Howard Pyle
by Armand Cabrera
Art shows are hitting new lows these days. The worst offenders are front loaded with fees. They take money for a jury fee, a handling fee for stored shipping materials and even a hanging fee in some instances. I would never pay to hang my work, I don’t care what the venue is. These shows make their money off the fees. Many galleries now keep themselves in existence with these kinds of scams.
If you allow the show to recover all its money before the show opens then there is no incentive for the show to be promoted or to bring in collectors. Which brings me to another little scam where galleries ask for the collector lists of their artists. Never relinquish your client list to a venue. A venue that has no clients, charges you for space and doesn’t promote you in anyway is worthless to your livelihood as an artist and your career.
In my opinion there is nothing professional about these venues and you’re better off renting a public space for a night or weekend and advertising and hanging your own show or a show with a group of like-minded artists.
A lot of artists hold the opinion that it is an honor to show alongside other juried artists. Many times a gallery show will pay a nationally known artist to show at a venue from the upfront fees they collect. It’s sort of like an anchor store at a strip mall; they pull in the other stores. Big name artists are given spots or paid to show to get others to pay for the chance of showing with them. If you are juried into a show you’ve earned your spot no need to feel someone is doing you a favor or you’re lucky.
Art is hard enough, don’t let people take your money or take advantage of you. Shows need good artists; good artists don’t need shows. Participate in shows that support the artists and their work and take a percentage of sales; this way the expense and work is shared by the venue and the artists.