Spanish Lunch Break, by Clark Hulings

The Right to Relax

“2011’s Spanish Lunch Break is a late-career piece for Hulings, and study of a well-earned moment of rest.”

We get so few actual holidays where we’re not multitasking, so we hope you’re taking some time to put your feet up over the Fourth of July Weekend! Here’s a drawing of a quiet moment from Spain for your contemplation.

Back to the Drawing Board

Despite the significant skill involved in drawing, for the viewer, it’s a relaxing medium: clean, simple, gestural. Hulings said: “Everything begins with drawing, whether it be the fledgling attempts of an art student or the confident execution of a master painter.” —A Gallery of Paintings, p 46.

Press Pause

2011’s Spanish Lunch Break is a late-career piece for Hulings, and study of a well-earned moment of rest. The horse-drawn wagon—a little reminiscent of the logo Hulings used for many years of a burro pulling a similar covered wagon—has stopped. The saddled horse is tethered to a tree which has all kinds of character, and may also be providing a little shade. The front wheel is a strong visual element, serving as the hub for the rest of the composition. Both men are wearing loose-fitting, rumpled work clothing with textures that come across especially beautifully in a drawing. Their wide-brimmed hats suggest they’re working and relaxing in very hot sun; one man seems to be drinking from a flask, and the other may be getting into his noontime meal under the tree. Mountains are indicated in the distance. Where they are coming from or going to are mysteries, but it’s an instantly-relatable emotional moment to understand these men and their horse, like all of us, deserve respite and comfort.

Pursuit of Happiness

Designated holidays are a relatively recent invention. Although the USA has celebrated Independence Day on July 4th since 1776, it wasn’t a federal holiday until 1870, and became a paid day off for federal employees in 1941. The Declaration of Independence famously considers “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” as inalienable rights for all. To advocate not only for existence and freedom, but also for happiness as a fundamental part of the human experience, was a revolutionary concept for a new nation—and it still seems visionary today.

March & Rhyme

Whether your soundtrack for thinking about the country’s history is a march by John Phillip Sousa or the cast recording of Hamilton, we wish you a very happy few days to enjoy serene moments like this one.

Elizabeth Hulings