Summer is here. It’s not just the excessive heat and oppressive humidity and proliferation of insect life that we have to deal with. Once again and many people are dealing with summer greens. I’ve covered this subject quite a bit in earlier posts and while those ideas may overlap with some presented here, I think there is always something to add to these types of discussions.
When I teach, the biggest problem I see with people painting a monochromatic landscape is artists ignore the forms of objects robbing their subject of some of its subtle diversity. Light and shadow are always important but especially in a monochromatic setting.
A limited color setting turns the focus to other painting aspects. It raises the importance of lighting (value) and shape (design). It becomes more about how you organize what you are seeing. This is because we can rarely mimic with any accuracy the visual range presented to us in nature. With less variety the limitations of pigment become exaggerated. Remember careful choices in subjects will lead to better painting outcomes.
The concept should drive your choices for the painting. Design helps to decide on the approach to the subject and composition is your arrangement and editing of the pieces. Together they all allow for something that permits you to capture the unique essence of that time and place on canvas.
Eugene Galien (Gallien is also used as an alternate spelling) Laloue was born in 1854 in the Montmartre area in Paris, France. His father died when he was 16 and Laloue enlisted in the army fighting in the Franco Prussian War. After the end of the conflict Laloue decided to become an artist and in 1874 was hired to work as an illustrator for the French Railway. Little is known about his training. His father was a set designer and it might be that he was given some basic art education from him.
He worked in oil, watercolor, pastel and gouache although he preferred the latter because because the faster drying times allowed him to produce more work to sell.
The period Laloue painted during in Paris is known as La Belle Epoque. It was a time of great optimism. It stretches from the end of the Franco Prussian war in 1871 to the outbreak of World War I in 1914. It was a time of great prosperity and innovation for the region and Laloue captured its growth and success brilliantly with his paintings.
Most of his motifs center around city scenes and architecture but he was also adept at quieter images of the countryside. His figures are lively and immediate and his sense of lighting is superb. Laloue worked under a number of pseudonyms during his lifetime. The reason for this is a bit of the mystery and is not completely explained by his eccentricity and reclusiveness. Records have confirmed he had at least three other names he used and historians think there are probably more.
A very private person Laoue had few interests besides his paintings. He did marry, but he did not seek the company of other artists. He worked outside to establish the basics of his paintings but then would retreat to his studio to finish them in private.
Laloue continued to paint his popular city scenes until 1940 when he had to stop after breaking his arm. He died in 1941 at the beginning of the second World War.
Eugene Galien Laloue
The Triumph of Paris
Alexander Kahan Fine Arts, 1999
by Armand Cabrera
The time for the Garden Tour is almost here. Saturday, April 29th I will be painting at the Inn at Little Washington from 10 AM to 3 PM as part of the Town of Washington Historic Garden Club Tour Events. There will be a silent auction starting at 5 PM that evening. You must purchase tickets to attend the auction.
Wine Tasting at Tula’s Off Main from
3:30 to 5:30 PM followed by local
Plein Air Artists’ Silent Auction at 5:30 PM
I will be set up and be painting by 10 AM somewhere near the Inn itself either looking at the entrance or in the back in the herb garden. Depending on the weather and light I should be able to finish two paintings in the allotted time frame. If you can’t make the morning painting you will still have a chance to see me painting in the afternoon until 3 PM.
Some past paintings I’ve made on the grounds of the Inn and you can see a number of my paintings of Virginia and the Piedmont at the Shops at the Inn right next to the post Office.