What painting helped push Mark Fehlman on the path to being an artist?

Lead Image: “The Palm Grove,” by Joaquín Sorolla, 1918, oil, 90 7/8 x 76 1/8 in. Private collection

“I had never seen anything like it,” says Fehlman. “I was just floored by it, and by the whole show. It was a Joaquín Sorolla exhibition at the San Diego Museum of Art. Seeing the work of Sorolla all together, his ability to capture light, and his impression of Spain, was really powerful for me, and that really turned the corner for me.”

Fehlman wasn’t talking about the recent exhibition that toured the country, “Sorolla and America,” but one that came to Southern California about 20 years ago.

“I was an architect at the time,” says Fehlman. “I started painting about four years after that. After that I started taking lessons and it really started getting into me. I started taking workshops. John Asaro became a friend of mine, and Ray Roberts, and I couldn’t get enough. I asked my partner to buy me out so I could go paint. It was quite a jump because we really had a successful firm.”

And the rest is history. Thanks, Sorolla!


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