“Judging from the other boats lined up on the shore, this boatman may be the last one in tonight—so hopefully, his friends are waiting for him with a well-earned cerveza.”
Today we’re in Southeast Spain in the village of El Palmar, Murica. El Palmar #3 is a 20 x 30″ oil on canvas, and is one of a series of seven classic Hulings works from the late 1960s set in this small community. All of them show people and animals going about a day’s work; the men who work on El Palmar’s rivers are often seen punting a flat-bottomed boat or mending fishing nets.
The light in this painting is end-of-day amber, and Hulings doesn’t shy away from showcasing the brown of the earth, the wood tones of the boats and cart, and the neutrals of the textiles hung up to air-out for tomorrow. The green leaves of the trees are scrappy-textured, dry, and windblown. The boatman stands out with his orange-red shirt dappled in shadow, and Hulings has him placed so that he’s in complete harmony with the lines of the other boats and trees—framed in a corner triangle of the painting. This is someone who belongs in the world he lives in. Judging from the boats lined up on the shore, he may be the last one in tonight, so hopefully, his friends are waiting for him with a well-earned cerveza.
Strength To Strength
In 1967, Hulings was fresh from winning The Council of American Artists’ Award, was recognized by the Hudson Valley Art Association, and won the gold medal from Allied Artists of America—and all three of these awards were for works set in Spain, just like this one.
A View of The Iberian Peninsula
Every Hulings collector needs a Spanish painting; this one is classic subject matter and set not far from Valencia, where Hulings spent several formative years as a child. Congratulations to the lucky new owner who bought the work at The Scottsdale Art Auction April 9-10th, 2021!