Monday, August 30, 2010


Sitting around the hotel pool on a Friday late afternoon into early evening, I looked around and thought...

Fake. Fake. Fake. Real. Fake. Real. Fake. Fake. Real. Real. Fake. Fake. Fake...

I'm home from vacation. While most of it was good, the part with my family was a challenge. Currently (again) not on speaking terms with my sister. I'll tell you about that sometime. Sigh.

Monday, August 09, 2010


On Friday night, in an effort to cheer me up (the sage continues but can't and don't want to talk about it right now), we went into town for open studios at an artist's building downtown. On the first Friday of every month, (most of) the artists stay late and open up for the public to see and/or purchase. We saw some really cool stuff.

Down one hall on the 3rd floor, there weren't many open studios, but we did wander into one that was pretty quiet. Sitting on the couch, with oils surrounding him on every level on every wall, was a gentleman sitting in for his wife, the artist. Most of the work was fine - not striking in an "oh my goodness this woman is amazing" kind of way - but solid and skilled.

There were two paintings that stood out to me. One had probably more energy than any other painting in the room: it was a painting of a woman struggling with a broken umbrella in high wind. The other was of three female figures on a beach, and I instantly thought of this artist, Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida and the series of paintings at the beach and more specifically, the painting of the Two Sisters.

(The backstory: When I was very young, my mother took my to the J Paul Getty Museum in California. The Sorolla painting The Wounded Foot is there, and I was instantly drawn to it. I was allowed to purchase a postcard of the painting and kept it for many years. I even took it to college with me and, during my sophomore color studio class used that painting as the basis for a final project, a collage using ColorAid paper. Unfortunately, my professor lost my entire portfolio from that class and the postcard was lost with it.)

I hesitated in the studio. We were making small talk with the gentleman. Dare I mention the association I was making? Would I sound pretentious? But I kept looking at it, and the gentleman noticed. He asked me if I liked it.

I told him it reminded me of some of the beach paintings of a Spanish post-Impressionist, Sorolla, and he was silent for a moment. He then told me that the painting was created as part of an exercise in a class. The exercise was to try to generate similar energy and feeling as a specific artist. And in this case, the painting was based on - you guessed it - Sorolla.

Then he told me I was only the second person in three years to make the connection.


Every once in a while that Art History degree emerges to fun effect.