Video of the interview and presentation
The exhibition three years ago in the Don Sancho exhibition hall of the Diputación de Palencia gave me the opportunity to make a fine tuning of my artistic interests. There were other exhibitions before and after.
For me this exhibition has been the most motivating because I added my two main activities. The watercolor and the “trope-l’oeils”. In both there is a dialogue at every moment with the motive of my painting. At that time The Santi’s Workshop (L’Atelier de Santi) did not exist as it currently is. Then I was an artist looking inside and out. In this post I review the exhibition, its continuity. Because this was the beginning of The Santi’s Workshop”.
Watercolors in the exhibition
The activity with watercolors has been in my case expansive, out. Like a window that has directed my attention to the outside. Not only that, performing watercolors outdoors makes me move in the direction and search for the motive. As I explain in the video presentation, hiking and mountaineering have been a consequence in many occasions of my search for inspiration.
The dialogue with the motive was and is imperative. And this together with the circumstances of the moment make each session a different adventure. On some occasions I witnessed natural sets. Like when I was painting with my field easel inside the Alberche river. The water did not reach my knees and the weather accompanied.
Then in mid-session a loud noise in a tree caught my attention. I could see stunned as a marten hunted a duck. The branch where the capture had been broken and both fell to the edge of the river. But the duck was caught between the roots of the tree that appear on the slope of the river’s edge. And I could observe, for a long time, like the marten, an animal much smaller than the duck, released its prey from the roots to take it away.
Other times the situation was not as pleasant as when some cows ran in a meadow in Guadarrama. Leaving the field easel I could, running, reach the nearest wall. It seemed very far away.
I also remember that on another occasion I had to take refuge inside a car because of the harassment of bees. It was on the Cerro de San Pedro in Madrid, near Colmenar Viejo (a coincidence of name? “Colmenar” means in spanish “the house where live the bees”)
The “trompe-loeils” in the exhibition
This genre of painting has been discovering myself. The trompe-loeils are the reason of being of The Santi’s Workshop. There is a great relationship of this genre with the art of classical and Baroque masters and the consequent admiration. Therefore the monitoring and learning of his art, turned my case into a trade. From here comes The Santi’s Workshop. It is today a very popular genre as I could see in the exhibition of Palencia and later.
From the allegories and baroque still lifes I have learned a way of expressing the world and my concerns. The representation of objects is also representation of the subjects.
And the admiration for the masters I follow is very great. So much that I keep in some of my faigned shelves and “trompe-l’oeils”, objects copied from some of his works. So far Velázquez, Zurbarán, David and Van Claesz have been objective to approach me and learn from their respective abilities through the copy of details of their works. I have other copies in project “trompe-l’oeil” format of works and admired masters.
The anecdote of the German tower clock
In this process of documentation and copy of the teachers, I have emerged, and it will continue to happen, coincidences and anecdotes, I suppose with your explanation. This is the case, for example, of the German tower clock that appears in the portrait of Queen Mariana of Austria made by Velázquez (1652). In a previous post I explain the meaning of this object in the portrait. But on a recent visit to the National Gallery in London I could see this same clock in the portrait of Justino de Neve what did Murillo do in 1665. Coincidence or wink with intention?
Nearly five years after Velázquez’s death, and thirteen of the portrait of Mariana de Austria. Murillo was the youngest of the colleagues, Alonso Cano, Zurbarán and Velázquez, who the latter met. It was a few months before Velázquez died and he sought the support of his companions so that the Cross of Santiago de Compostela could be granted. That was more than admiration and friendship. Therefore was also complicity.