Tammy Ellis Sorolla Course

Tammy Ellis’ Sorolla Course

The Life and Works of Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923)

Sorolla was a Spanish painter, much revered in his native country and admired in Europe and America but little known here. That may have changed this year when The National Gallery held the first exhibition of his work in London since 1908. The Institute was fortunate to have a Sorolla course run by the much respected tutor Tammy Ellis which coincided with the National Gallery show. Those of us who attended gained a real insight into the artist’s background, techniques and the context of his paintings.

We learned that Sorolla was born in Valencia and was orphaned at the age of two when his parents died in a cholera epidemic. He was brought up by an aunt and uncle who recognised his artistic talents and bought him art materials. They later arranged for him to work as a lighting assistant for a local photographer where he was also employed in colour tinting photos. This early work can be seen as an influence on his paintings. During this period he met Clothilde, the photographer’s daughter whom he later married. She was a big influence on his later career, featuring in many of his paintings and, as Tammy explained, more or less becoming his manager, when he later became very successful. Sorolla trained in fine art and by his late teens was exhibiting at the annual Exposicion Nacional de Bellas Artes in Madrid. He appears to have been a “regular guy”, who was devoted to his wife and three children, and did not have the chaotic lifestyle of some of his contemporaries.

Sorolla enjoyed painting outside and many of his works feature the seaside and gardens, including the one at his home which he designed. Sometimes thought of as an Impressionist, Tammy explained that his techniques differed from those used by the likes of Monet and Pisarro and also showed classical influences of artists such as Verlasquez.

The most striking aspect of Sorolla’s paintings was the way he captured the effect of the fantastic sunlight on the Spanish coast. Hence his description as “the master of light”. At the exhibition, the effect of seeing his works en masse was almost overwhelming, with radiant paintings such as “Strolling Along the Seashore” 1909 and “The Gardens at the Sorolla Family Home” 1920 being highlights. There is also a series of more gritty paintings, dealing with social issues of the time such as the hard conditions in the fishing industry (And They Still Say Fish Is Expensive! 1894).

Sorolla painted constantly even when he was on holiday with his family. Following a stroke in 1920, he was never able to paint again. He died three years later. The recent exhibition appears to have been a great success and will ensure that Sorolla is now better known in this country. I imagine that a visit to the Sorolla Museum, housed in his former home and garden in Madrid, would not disappoint!

Tammy Ellis runs a number of Art History courses, as well as the Sorolla course, at The Guildford Institute. You can browse our full range of Art History courses here.

Joaquín Sorolla: Instantané/Snapshot. Biarritz. 1906. Oil on Canvas. 62 x 93.5 cm. Museo Sorolla, Madrid.

Vegetable Fritters

Vegetable Fritters Recipe

V Café at the Institute is run by Nick Humble and Ian Loffel, who aim to carry on the long legacy of producing freshly-cooked vegetarian and vegan food in The Guildford Institute’s historic Assembly room. They would like to share one of their recipes with you from their daily-changing menu – see below for instructions on how to make Nick and Ian’s delicious vegetable fritters…

Vegetable Fritters

INGREDIENTS

  • Carrots x2
  • Sweet Potato x 1
  • ½ Onion
  • Peas 100g
  • Small Celeriac x1
  • Parsnip (seasonal)
  • 200ml Vegetable oil for frying

BATTER

  • Eggs x 4
  • Gram flour 120g
  • Half teaspoon of each: baking powder, turmeric, ground cumin, coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • Half teaspoon dried chopped chilli
  • Good pinch of salt and pepper

METHOD

  1. GRATE ALL THE VEGETABLE, FINELY DICE THE ONION
  2. TO MAKE A BATTER: – BEAT THE EGGS AND MIX WITH THE GRAM FLOUR AND REST OF THE INGREDIENTS
  3. FOLD IN THE GRATED VEGATABLES
  4. HEAT THE VEGETABLE OIL INTO A LARGE FRYING PAN, WHEN HOT ADD BURGER SIZE DROPS OF THE MIXTURE, PUSH DOWN AND ALLOW THE MIXTURE TO COLOUR, CAREFULLY TURN OVER AND COLOUR ON THE OTHER SIDE
  5. PLACE ONTO A BAKING TRAY AND COOK IN THE OVEN FOR 15-20MINS 160˚C TO COOK THROUGH
  6. REPEAT THE PROCESS FOR THE REST OF THE MIXTURE
  7. THESE CAN BE SERVED EITHER HOT OR COLD AND ENJOYED WITH A YOGHURT AND CUCUMBER, MINT DIP

Enjoy your vegetable fritters!

To find out more about V Café or to book a table click here.

Froth Blowers

From the Library Archives: The Ancient Order of Froth Blowers

Written by Jo Patrick

Volunteers are working on digitising the Scrapbooks – a vast local history resource in the Library’s archive.  There are twenty-nine scrapbooks, full of newspaper articles ranging in date from the late 1880s to the early 1930s.  Institute members selected items they thought would be of interest and carefully pasted them into the large books.  For volunteers this work shines a light on Guildford and its inhabitants, reminding us of a way of life long gone.  One volunteer uncovered this story about The Ancient Order of Froth Blowers. 

My curiosity was piqued by an article in which appeared the Guildford Froth Blowers.  I thought it was some sort of spoof – it had to be hadn’t it? Not at all; Ye Ancient Order of Froth-Blowers was indeed a very active charity dedicated ’to fostering the noble Art and gentle and healthy Pastime of froth blowing amongst Gentlemen of-leisure and ex-Soldiers’. Running from 1924 to 1931, it was founded by Bert Temple, an ex-soldier and silk-merchant, initially to raise £100 (equal to £5,602 today) for the children’s charities of the surgeon Sir Alfred Fripp.  The men were known as ‘blowers’ and women, ‘fairy-belles’.  Froth blowing captured the public’s imagination so that by 1928, there were over 700,000 members who raised £100,000. 

Froth Blowers

Ye Ancient Society had branches all over the country, including Guildford, which seems to have been very successful.  A cutting from the Surrey Weekly Press of the time, informs us that the local branch had 2000 members.  In the accompanying photograph (seen on this page), you can see the ‘top table’ at the corresponding dinner. Now, was the highly successful recruiter, the Second Fairy also known as ‘Fairy Tornado’ having a particularly good time or was she just blinded by the flash?!

It would seem that local branches, also known as Vats, could raise the funds for local causes and The Guildford Vat of Froth Blowers appear again later in the same scrapbook.  This time with a fund-raising effort to organise an outing to the seaside for the poorer children of the town.  A second newspaper report informs the reader that enough money was raised to take 300 children to Bognor for the day.  It was a splendid occasion by all accounts, and on their return to Guildford, each child was given an apple, a banana and an orange, as well as a shilling and a piece of Bognor rock. A newspaper cutting in the Archive features a breakdown of all the costs of the day. I wonder what happened to the £4 1s balance? Perhaps the adults had some fruit as well?


Click here to view our Library & Archive pages.

Power of the mind

Power of The Mind

Hayet Shahrezaey is an advanced Rapid Transformational Therapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist. She is based on the second floor of The Guildford Institute, alongside several other therapy-based and environmental organisations. Hayet has produced the blog content below in order to highlight some of the key work that she does.

“I had a job offer that pays 75K”, said one of my clients after two days of listening to her transformational recording that I tailor-made for her following a 90-minute Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) session. “I am now able to identify quickly when I’m about to go into a self-pity mode, pull myself out and look at the bigger picture in a matter of seconds” said another client during her weekly support call.

Our mind is amazing, and we have all the answers within, we just need to learn how to stop that critical voice that keeps telling us we are not good enough, or not worthy.

By finding out the root cause and beliefs that were blocking these clients’ advancement and changing the understanding around it, they are now able to continue to move forward and step into their power.

The mind is very powerful and has several rules it follows:

  • Its number one job is to keep you alive on the planet.
  • The mind does want it thinks you want it to.
  • It drives you towards what it is familiar and away from what is unfamiliar.
  • The mind cannot hold conflicting beliefs, so if you want money but think, it’s not available to you or you are not worth it, this will be stored in your subconscious mind and will create conflict between your mind and your vibration. If you keep pleasing people and find yourself in a hamster wheel not finding a way out, your self-esteem and confidence will be affected.
  • By telling your mind clearly what it is you want it to do for you, it will do it for you. That is the power of RTT, it can talk directly to the subconscious mind and free you from all limiting beliefs.

For more information about Hayet’s work and to visit her website, click here.

In order to view more information about the organisations based on The Guildford Institute’s second floor, please click here

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