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Nadine’s drawing challenge: Skin

There’s a Czech saying I know. It doesn’t translate very well, but reads that, when one isn’t feeling well, one is not in her right skin.

That’s been me all week. A toothache turned into an abscess, turned into 10 days of Amoxil, two dentists appointments, and one scheduled root canal in early October, in my otherwise perfectly healthy mouth.

Apparently it’s one of those things. Go figure!

With this nonsense happening I didn’t get much work done and didn’t figure anything out for our drawing challenge hosted by Nadine (thank you so much woolfie girl).

So I thought I’d cheer myself up, and instead of showing you some of my art, I thought I’d bring you some inspiration. I looked thru my library and found the books I was looking for.

For me, the master of skin portrayed in darkness is Caravaggio.

018 copy copy (The crucifixion of St Andrew)

Although he didn’t leave a “school of” student notes, and although not one sketch, drawing, unfinished piece survives, he most definitely used a grisaille technique and probably only a limited pallet of various earths, vermillion, lead white and Ivory black.

But look at the light! Look at the tone, the expression, the beauty!

020 copy copy (The denial of St Peter)

As Caravaggio is my master of skin in darkness, Joaquin Sorolla is the master of skin in light.

Actually, I think Sorolla is the master of sunshine period.

013 copy copy (Valencian fisherwomen)

You know, the more and the deeper I look into a Sorolla painting, the more colours I see. The mix which reads “skin” seems to be a rainbow of complex brush strokes laid down so very simply and boldly on the canvas.

And the joy! Oh the joy of sunshine!

012 copy copy (The pink robe)

My modern Master of skin is the brilliant photographer Sally Mann.

Her photographs are breathtaking.

008 copy copy (Sorry game)

Unfortunately, I feel I can only show you the more pc photos on my site here, although I’d love to show you the more beautiful, more controversial artistic photos. I encourage you to have a look at the books yourself.

009 copy copy (Jessie bites)

Well there we are. I hope I haven’t let everyone down with my lack of productivity. Things are getting back to normal now and I plan to be back at work next week. Looking forward to popping around everyone’s thru Nadine‘s for a good mooch and some more inspiration. 😀

And a quick link to my books:
Caravaggio The Final Years
The Painter Joaquin Sorolla
Immediate Family Sally Mann

IMG_6985 copy copy

Comments: 12

  • September 19, 2015

    veronica!! i hope you are out of the weather by now and feel thoroughly better… teeth! we need them, but we don’t…! thank you for letting your light shine on skin in such elaborate ways. only yesterday i was pointed out carravaggio by a fellow student in cartoon classes, to find him here again this morning, such wealth. and i don’t know of both other artists, so you are teaching me heaps. the sunshine is warm, in there, in the pink robe…
    do not ever think you lack in productivity, you shine, woman! thank you for playing, back to my guests here. tata, nadine?

  • September 19, 2015

    Oh, teeth, ya…
    Dear Veronica, it is totally clear to me, that you couldn’t paint by yourself, but that you can introduce us such different beautiful art of skin?! Wow, thank you! I didn’t know Joaquin Sorolla and I love looove that painting of ‘the pink robe’! The light, the gestures of the couple, their facial expression… simply wonderful. The palette of Carravaggio.. this powerful sensuality… the two drops of milk. Sally Mann, hm, some photos of her, showing her kids, naked, lot of skin, intime… it’s too close to me. But the photo ‘the bite’ is really great!
    Hope your tooth isn’t torture you and that you come through the root canal.
    Carefully kiss,

  • September 20, 2015

    oh! tooth problems are no fun at all. I hope all goes well each step of the way with that.

    thank you for sharing these beautiful arts. they are each a wonder to consider through you.

  • September 20, 2015

    Oh I don’t envy your root canal treatment – not nice at all.
    And Jessie’s bite is wonderful – reminded me of the time I used to ‘bite’ into the soft arm flesh of my children when they were young…
    (no teeth marks of course, just a game they loved).
    delicious flesh tones in the paintings – I had not know about Sorolla either and love the light in the paintings.
    Get well wishes

  • September 20, 2015

    Hi Veronica,
    Hope you feel better, tooth problems are the worst!
    Thanks for share all those beautiful images!

  • September 20, 2015

    so sorry to hear about your tooth, Veronica – ouch! I did enjoy your take on artists who were expert at painting skin, though. I know what you mean about Sally Mann’s controversial photos, and I still think they’re beautiful.

  • September 21, 2015

    Veronica. Thank you for this post. I have never heard of Sally Mann. All the best to you and your health.

  • Catherine Llewellyn

    September 21, 2015

    skin – such a simple everyday thing that I take for granted – thanks once again for redirecting my attention to a piece of beauty I can so easily forget – and skin, wow all the jobs my skin does for me, a moment of awe and gratitude – I feel refreshed in my perception – as I so often do when I read your posts – which is every day! X

  • daryledelstein

    September 21, 2015

    had my share of root canal issues … hope you are off the antibiotics and on the mend … x

  • September 21, 2015

    Wonderful post. Nice to see the contrast between the paintings and the photos. – eric

  • September 22, 2015

    Hey V .. Great post thank you. Love Sorolla .. And Sally Mann

  • September 22, 2015

    Blast .. I meant to say I hope your mouth is feeling better. Tooth ache is nasty! Get well soon Miss

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