When I saw these two pears at the market I loved the way they looked with their beautiful colors and dark purplish leaves. And I thought they'd be perfect for a still life. So I carefully carried them home, hoping and praying that the leaves wouldn't break off. And somehow they made it, leaves intact. But then, just as I was setting up the still life, there went one of them, snap! Oy, what to do? After careful analysis I decided to glue it back on. Who would know? Shhhhh, don't tell.
One recent morning I took a trip up to Washington Heights to meet Sam Adoquei and some of his other students at the Hispanic Society of America. Chances are you've never heard of the place. Most tourists and even native New Yorkers don't know about this secret treasure in uptown Manhattan. If you decide to go there, and I highly recommend that you do, you just might be the only one there besides the guards.
From the name of the museum you might expect it to be a community center for the numerous Dominicans that live in the neighborhood. But actually it is filled with art, books and historical objects from Spain, Portugal and Latin America--including a few paintings by master artists El Greco and Velazquez.
On this visit our mission was to take a look at the highlight of the museum: their collection of exquisite light-filled paintings by Joaquín Sorolla (Spanish, 1863-1923). Here is my interpretation of a few of the fascinating things Sam told us as he led us through the galleries.
If you've never seen the paintings of Sam Adoquei you are in for a special treat. Aside from being a fabulous and formidable artist he is also an excellent teacher, and this summer I decided to hone my skills by signing up for his Central Park landscape workshop. In his classes Sam generously shares not only his incredible knowledge of the "how to" of painting, but also the "whys and wherefores," with many examples from art history and his own work. He gives his students a solid foundation with plenty of food for thought.
One morning he gave an inspiring talk about how landscape artists use color from three different perspectives: expressionism, impressionism and realism. Here is my summary of what he told us, as best I can remember.
I'm a representational painter enchanted by the unique qualities of watercolor. Sometimes oils, gouache, colored pencils and other media call to me too. I started this blog to share my work and ideas about making art. Sometimes I toss other things into the mix. Such as painters I love, and art books and exhibits that inspire me. Your comments are welcome. I'd love to hear from you!