Sunday, September 18, 2016

Inner Visions: Contemporary Imaginative Realism

by
Armand Cabrera

I am pleased to announce I will have two of my oil paintings in the upcoming Inner Visions show at Abend Gallery in Denver Colorado. 

The following is one of the press releases for the show.

Inner Visions: Contemporary Imaginative Realism
October 8th through November 11th

Opening Reception: Saturday, Oct 8, 6-9 pm
A show curated by Patrick and Jeannie Wilshire, Directors of IX Arts

 Armand Cabrera   'Ice Station' 18 x 24 oil

Imaginative realism, as the cutting edge of contemporary realist painting, combines classical painting technique with postmodern narrative subjects, focusing on the unreal, the unseen, and the impossible, offering visions of humanity’s mythic past, its unexplored future and, in some cases, it’s terrifying present.

Armand Cabrera   'First Light Dragon Hall' 20 x 24 oil

Inner Visions brings together over 70 artists covering the gamut of contemporary imaginative realism, showcasing the remarkable diversity of work being created under its banner. The show includes upcoming young artists side by side with award-winning, world renowned painters with multiple monographs dedicated to their work. Their work hangs everywhere from galleries and museums to major private and corporate collections.

“Imaginative realism satisfies a dual urge in the viewer, “says co-curator Patrick Wilshire. “It meets the viewer’s desire for aesthetic quality and appreciation of technical skill, but also provides the opportunity to experience narrative, character and concept within that technically-skilled framework.”

Participating artists:
Linda Adair, Julie Bell, Steven Belledin, Rick Berry, Laurie Lee Brom, Scott Burdick, Armand Cabrera, Jeremy Caniglia, David Cheifetz, Sam Wolfe Connelly, Jeff Easley, Bob Eggleton, Craig Elliott, Jody Fallon, Fred Fields, Scott Fischer, Marc Fishman, Donato Giancola, Erik Gist, David Gluck, Mark Harrison, Michael C. Hayes, Richard Hescox, Greg Hildebrandt, Luke Hillestad, Kelly Houghton, Bruce Jensen, Steve Hickman, Steven Kenny, Vanessa Lemen, Rebecca Leveille-Guay, Travis Lewis, Martin Llamedo, Travis Louie, Don Maitz, Susannah Martin, Brian Mashburn, Menton Matthews, Gianni Monteleone, Matt Mrowka, Aaron Nagel, Vince Natale, Odd Nerdrum, Billy Norrby, Tammi Otis, Anthony Palumbo, David Palumbo, Ryan Pancoast, Jim Pavelec, Shane Pierce, Marc Potts, Omar Rayyan, Rob Rey, Tooba Rezaei, Larry Schwinger, Dave Seeley, Tenaya Sims, Britt Snyder, Annie Stegg, Christophe Vacher, Boris Vallejo, Dorian Vallejo, Eric Velhagen, Jeffrey Watts, Michael Whelan, Eric Wilkerson, Jeremy Wilson, Martin Wittfooth, Chie Yoshii, and Mark Zug

Monday, September 12, 2016

Teaching Art


By 
Armand Cabrera


Art is a big tent as the saying goes. Under the idea of art there are an infinite number of ways for artistic expression. Everyone who decides to make art chooses their particular means of expression based on their personality. It’s easy when making art to get trapped into another us against them mode. Modernism against traditional art, art for sale against art for art’s sake, the list of reasons to denigrate another type of art is as endless as art itself.

The same applies to teaching art. When I teach, I focus on craft. I teach mechanics of picture making based on my own particular style of painting. I also try and instill a sense of curiosity into my students and give them the tools I think they need to explore art making for them and take it as far as they choose to take it. I don't want my students to paint the way I do. I want them to be the best painters they can be irrespective of the style they choose for themselves.

I constantly hear from students that my teaching style is unique and they learn more from me than any other teacher. I think one of the reasons this is true is I teach how to problem solve. Yes, I teach the mechanics of craft and some ideas about how I solve problems along with demos to back up what I say but I am more concerned with how to approach problem solving than the answers themselves. My approach came about in response to my own experiences as a student.

I am primarily self-taught. When I did start taking workshops and classes I was already making my living as a professional artist. I found most teachers even when they were good painters to be bogged down in narrow dogmatic approaches to process. I call this approach the “my way or the highway” school of teaching.  Since it was their class I would follow the directions I was given completely, after all I was there to learn something new. Working as a professional with my own career, I did not need to adopt everything I was taught. While I respect my teachers and their abilities as artists my style is my own.  I kept what was important to improving my way of painting and discarded the rest.  The outcome of that is I don’t paint like my teachers. I’m proud of the fact that no one has ever thought of my style as a copy of someone else’s work.


I despise authoritarianism and dogma in regards to teaching art. In my opinion it’s the laziest way to teach anything. Second, it doesn’t produce better results than a more nuanced, individual and thoughtful approach does.

Having made my living as a professional artist for many years now I know for a fact there are many paths to success. Teachers who demand a certain style from their students and ignore individual expression fail to realize this and do their students a great disservice.



If you're interested in taking a class with me, I will be teaching a watercolor class next year at the Bascom in Highlands North Carolina August 2-4 2017


Monday, August 22, 2016

New Paintings 8-2016

Just finished up these four paintings for Tirage Gallery in Pasadena, CA. I will be sending them out later this week. All are 12 x 16 oils


 Big Rock Ridge Afternoon 12 x 16 oil



 Fading Light Eaton Canyon 12 x 16 oil



 Loma Alta Evening 12 x 16 oil



Wildflowers 12 x 16 oil

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Book Review: Adolph Menzel: Drawings and Paintings

by

Armand Cabrera



Adolph Menzel: Drawings and Paintings
Edited by James Gurney and Christian Schlierkamp
Dover Publications 8.5 x 11 Softcover
116 pages with 130 images including 32 in color 
$27.95


This book of drawings and color sketches showcases Menzel’s talent to record the world around him. His realism is honest and straightforward and transcends the timeframe it is created in because of Menzel’s prodigious abilities with the media he uses, pencil, ink, etchings, lithographs, pastel, watercolor, and gouache. The book is put together by James Gurney and Christian Schlierkamp and you can tell from the quality it was a labor of love for both of them.




 His personal motto was “Nulla dies sine linea” (“not a day without a line”) and you can well believe he lived by those words. Over his lifetime Menzel Produced some 15,000 drawings which are now part of the Berlin Museum collection.


The book's information is well researched and most of the images are printed full page.The reproductions are crisp and clean allowing the viewer to see Menzel’s virtuosity in detail. If you are a fan of sketching and drawing this book is a must have. 

The book is available from James Gurney's website and Amazon.




Sunday, July 17, 2016

Eugene Laloue 1854 -1941

by
Armand Cabrera


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.



Bibliography


Eugene Galien Laloue
The Triumph of Paris
Alexander Kahan Fine Arts, 1999