Sunday, October 8, 2017

Spain: Joaquin Sorella, A Painter of Light

"Go to nature with no parti pris ( In French, it means an opinion formed before there is actual evidence). You should not know what your picture is to look like until it is done. Just see the picture that is coming."  --Joaquin Sorella

"I hate darkness. Claude Monet once said that painting in general does not have enough light in it. I agree with him. We painters can never reproduce sunlight as it really is. I can only approach the truth of it."   --Joaquin Sorella

"Le Lumiere c'est la vie. Por lo tanto quanto mas luz en las pictures mas vide, mas truth, and mas belleza." -- Joaquin Sorello  (translation: The light is the life.  Therefore, more light in pictures is more life, more truth, and more beauty. 

The garden and house of the Spanish Impressionism painter, Joaquin Sorella

Once in a while in my wanderings or browsing, I find a new artist, musician, or author that formally has escaped my view. How could I have never known of them? Their works shed new insights that bring tender emotion and understanding to me. Suddenly, the world is different somehow by being exposed to the beauty of their creations. It is like an experience when a new friend or even a person whom you have known for a long time can suddenly teach you things you never supposed. My lesson? One can never estimate or expect that you know the full breadth of anything or anyone. Just around the corner, there is often a chance to be astonished by joy.

This is exactly what happened to me on a recent trip to Madrid, Spain. I had never been to Madrid or even Spain before. Everyone speaks of the Prado and the Reina Sofia to see El Guernica. With the abundance of museums in Madrid, no one had mentioned Joaquin Sorella and his home and studio that was transformed into the Joaquin Sorella Museum (You can watch the youtube on the site about his house and life). I had never heard of him before. Yet, as I researched him more, I realized I had seen his pictures at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. But I had just walked by. But this time in his light-filled studio, with his home and garden surrounding it, I stood at attention. Sorella was a new inspiration.

His pictures of light, the ocean, and people playing on the beach with infused sunlight brought back a sense of wonder and memories for this San Diego, California girl. Also, his attention to transient moments of time captivated me. Some examples are a mother and child in bed, as the mother gazes deep into her new child's eyes. I could relate to that one. I have known that awe. The bonds of friendship and quiet whispers as the waves crash on the ocean, with the summer sunlight warming your shoulders and back. Yes, I too have known that bond in conversation many times as the tide engulfs our feet. Sorella's many pictures of the playfulness of children in the water and sand show moments of time that return to us as adults again and again--whether we are the children or the children we have loved. Are not all our lives a string of moments?

Sorella captures in a dazzling way moments of love, friendship, and the carefree moments of childhood--all arrayed in splendid light. In fact, most of the children he painted were his own, as he stood close by painting the moments he wanted to remember, to etch in him. Discovering a new treasure, like Sorella, I never tire of the finding. Sometimes it is in the most unlikely of places.

Sadly, Sorella is not known much outside of his native Spain. His passion for painting and light permeates me. I want to  remember the quote from him when I paint because it is something that I very much believe: "Just see the picture that is coming." There is no navigable way to paint. It is an ongoing, flowing river. You follow it and see where it leads. The light will lead the way. And finally, to live every day for the moments that enrich our lives. They are the very fiber of a life well lived.

If you are interested in seeing and learning more about Joaquin Sorrela, there is a French artist who also wants to spread the word about him: @SorelloArt

Just a few of the many paintings we saw: