Malvarrosa Beach

 Joaquín Sorolla did tiny studies on cardboard cigar box tops and painted massive beach scenes on canvas; a master of light, he used the color lavender as shadows with blues and whites in thick strokes of oil paint; he painted on large canvases in the shade of umbrellas on the beach. Even sand blew into his paintings. He used long-handled brushes and apparently even studied fencing to master the movement in painting. I like that idea- the paintbrush as sword. But I digress…and …My paintings are nothing close. They’ve been small (5x7in) and quick studies in my sketchbook. I paint the same scene several times so I can get more comfortable with it, focusing on mixing color, layering color, I start with sketches at the beach and take photos. Sorolla sometimes used photography, too. He caught his subjects in motion. I’m obsessed with seeing color in shadows, the movement of people, and the way the light hits objects. Where the hell did he see lavender? I keep thinking. I like this small piece because I got close to his color palette in it. This afternoon I awoke from my siesta nap and looked out at the white and sand-colored rooftops of buildings across from my apartment and I finally saw it. Someone’s laundry whipped on a rooftop line. I saw the lavender in the sheet’s shadow against the white building. Pink and lavender spread out on the corner of the  building. It took days of searching for my eyes to adjust to seeing Sorolla’s lavender. And now I’ve added the rooftop to my to-do list of paintings. instagram:#martilay6


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