Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Challenge: Joaquin Sorolla



Self Portrait~1909~Joaquin Sorolla


Greetings, toads, toadettes and fellow pond travelers, Hedgewitch coming at you with our weekend challenge. By now we're all well into our second week of April poetry madness here at the Garden, so I'm not going to tie anyone's brain in knots trying to learn a new poetic form. Instead, I'm choosing a simple ekphrasis challenge today, to write to one of the paintings of Spanish Impressionist Joaquin Sorolla.  

If you don't have time to read all my blithering,  you can get to the lowdown on the challenge by scrolling down to the end of the post.

The First Child


As a child growing up in the slums of Chicago, eldest of three daughters of a single mother on welfare, Art was not something  to which I had much exposure. A Superman comic bought with pop bottles I patiently collected and returned for a two penny deposit, or the cheap print of Jesus cut from a magazine above my grandmother's bed were about it for me back then. I am nowhere near an expert or even truly knowledgeable about Art, but I do know that when I met it for the first time, it changed my life.


Another Margarita

This change happened in junior high (middle school to you sprouts) when we took a field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago.  I saw sculpture, I saw art ancient and modern, from medieval religious paintings that seemed like a child's drawings, primitively sketched and colored by a species beginning to feel its way from survival into something larger, to the bewildering abstracts of Picasso. I saw my first Van Gogh, my first Seurat, my first Monet. It was like a door opening into a fantastic palace of unbelievable treasures to me, and I spent many, many days walking its halls when I became old enough to get there on my own. It was there that Impressionism became the first Art love of my life, and where I stared for hours at Renoir's softly blurred, bright women and the ballerinas of Degas.

It's only recently, though, through the equal magic of the blogosphere, that I've discovered a new favorite, the artist I'm sharing with you today, Joaquin Sorolla y Batisda.

Cafe in Paris
To quote wikipedia, "Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (27 February 1863 – 10 August 1923) was a Valencian Spanish painter. Sorolla excelled in the painting of portraits, landscapes, and monumental works of social and historical themes. His most typical works are characterized by a dexterous representation of the people and landscape under the sunlight of his native land."


Beached Boats



Girl with Flowers


His flavor of Impressionism is to me often a warmer, brighter one, reflective of the color and light of Spain, more dazzling than other Impressionists, with their muted blues and greys. He painted everything from formal classical pieces to vibrant landscapes and idiosyncratic portraits and has a wonderful way with children, the seashore, and sunlight, as well as the everyday life of the people of his country.

Mending Nets


You can browse through a collection of his works here at wikipaintings.org, to get a feel for his subject matter and method, and also look for a painting that speaks to you beyond the few I have included here. All of his paintings are in the public domain, so it's fine to reproduce any of them with your poem.


Seville~The Dance




Mother




Skipping Rope at La Granja

The Challenge


Because Sunday is normally the day for our mini-forms challenge, I'd love to challenge people to write from any one of Sorolla's paintings, employing their favorite of the many short forms we've been exposed to here at the Garden over the months: haiku, slijo, senryu, nonet, sevenling, triolet, cinquin, or any of the many others Kerry and others have shared with us. This is purely optional!

For those who prefer to write in free verse, of course please feel free to do so. I'd just ask that in the "mini" spirit of the mini-challenge, you write an original poem inspired by one of Sorolla's paintings  (either in a short form or in free verse) using approximately 100 words or less.

A Rooftop With Flowers


That's it, toads. Have at it and enjoy! And if you've been keeping up with the challenge of Poetry Month, congratulations on writing your fourteenth poem.



All paintings by Joaquin Sorolla, Public Domain


25 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

I shall certainly be putting my mind to this one, Hedge. Thank you for hosting this Sunday.

Opal Zushaquon said...

There were a lot of paintings to choose from, but I did manage to settle on one.

Margaret said...

Much more to my liking than abstract. :). I feel I can melt into each one of these glorious celebrations of life. My inlaws are visiting so my response may be linked to Monday. Loved your back story. I can lose myself in a art museum as well but I usually have a young child in tow and that makes it more of a speed walk

Fireblossom said...

A word limit? Who do you think you are? Mama Zen? ;-)

aprille said...

You've made us a gift by introducing us to this painter.
I'm wondering why he has not been out in the open more. He is indeed different from the usual clique of impressionists. Warmer, as you say. A real treat.

Ella said...

Thank you Joy!
I love his work-it is glorious!
I loved hearing how art gave you new portals to visit~ I am thrilled you shared him with us~
@>-----------

I'm torn between paintings now...so I will see where my words take me!

hedgewitch said...

Thanks all--hope this gets the creative juices flowing. I will be around to see what everyone does. Enjoy!

Mama Zen said...

Did Hedge just give me a word count? Note to self: check for other signs of the Apocalypse . . .

Emma Major said...

the black dog is completely overwhelming today so I picked something white to write about. of course some of my emotions leaked in but it's been good to write. I love his art too, great challenge, I might write some more later to distract the dog

Helen said...

The back story of your love for art and this artist in particular ~~ fascinating!

Ellecee said...

A wonderful story of how you came to art,,and this artist has done some beautiful work. I enjoyed them very much. Thank you so much for sharing your story and this artist with us.

Marian said...

clocking in at 22 words!
i love these paintings, Hedgewitch. thanks for introducing him to us. i'm not sure why i find visual prompts so challenging, but there it is. super-hard for me. whine, whine.

Marian said...

argh, now i'm all jealous of all the gorgeous sevenlings. gonna have to write one... tomorrow's open link, right? okay!

Ella said...

I too love his technique and use of color! He adds so much light to his work-amazing! Thank you again~ :D

Other Mary said...

I love these paintings! Thanks for the prompt, I'll be around later to read what everyone wrote! Happy Sunday all!

Other Mary said...

Sorry, my first link will take you to a NaPoWriMo site. My second one is actually a poem that has to do with this prompt. Ug...long day!

Grace said...

Thank you for the wonderful post Hedge ~ His paintings are so beautiful ~

Lolamouse said...

Thank you for introducing me to this artist! I really enjoyed looking through his work. His paintings of children and mothers reminds me of the work of Mary Cassat. Check it out and see what you think.

Lolamouse said...

Oops! That's Cassatt with 2 Ts!

hedgewitch said...

Thanks everyone--I've really enjoyed seeing the different choices of paintings and forms. So glad everyone came by to play.

Loredana Donovan said...

Thank you, Joy, for introducing us to this wonderful Impressionistic painter. I really enjoyed it. My poem is linked! Thanks for the inspiration :)

Margaret said...

I have one mostly done. In laws are visiting and I will finish and link tomorrow Love this artist.

Susan said...

It's MONDAY--and this is my poem #15--but though I am late i wanted to put this here with all of the amazing paintings you introduced me to, Joy. Thank you very much for this prompt!

Margaret said...

Late to the table, but I tried extra hard and came up with a triolet. I'll swing around later to read and comment. (also linking up with Open Link Monday)

manicddaily said...

Such cool paintings. Really enjoyed. k.