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



Sunday, July 10, 2016

Mixing Greens part 5


By
Armand Cabrera

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.





Whenever you have areas of light and shadow in a painting you have an opportunity to introduce color shifts relative to the surrounding area by paying attention to all of the aspects of color, hue, value, chroma and relative temperature. It is possible to tease out more interest from a subtle painting, heightening its impact. Bright sunny days will give you a greater range of value for your contrast overcast or cloudy days will give you more chance for subtle shifts.


Shape and pattern help add interest in monochromatic paintings when the colors are subtle and similar. When you are using patterns, think about using small shapes against big shapes varying your brushwork accordingly. Large marks against smaller tighter marks and hard edges and against softer ones.



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.

Monday, June 27, 2016

New York Botanical Gardens Paint Out

by
Armand Cabrera

Last weekend I participated in the first New York Botanical Gardens Paint Out. 25 invited artists were given the opportunity to paint for a day in one of 28 formal garden settings on the 250 acre property. The paintout was the idea of James Gurney and the staff at the New York Botanical Gardens- Miriam Flores,Gayle Schmidt and Sarah Henkind.





We all gathered in the morning for an orientation meeting where we went over the rules for painting and received our swag bags and prepared lunches followed by a photo op. We then were shuttled by golf cart to our respective sites.

At the end of the day we got together again at one of the onsite restaurants for a light meal and beverages and socialized a bit before we all headed home.





Our badges gave us access to the Impressionist show of 22 paintings in the Library building and the impressionist flower gardens planted in the conservatory. The paintings were top notch with work by Sargent, Chase, Hassam, Lawson, Twachtman and a few others. The flowers gardens were beautifully arranged with plants that were popular in the 19th century like Holly Hocks, Fox Glove and Lillies.



I was in the Home Garden center where they had some smaller gardens like a rose garden with arbor and flowering herb garden.




Garden and formal outdoor botanical arrangements can be a little harder to capture than a natural setting. The reason for this usually is the smaller area of the arrangement allows more details to be observed. There are usually formal perspective problems or architectural additions associated with the layout too which adds a level of complexity to the scene. 




flower beds 8 x 10 oil

When painting these kinds of subjects I focus on the differences of shape, color, pattern and edges within the setting.  Organizing things in a way that lets me paint in a broad manner without getting bogged down into fussy details but still give the overall impression of the scene.

Rose Arbor 12 x 16 oil

Greens are important in these motifs. I mix all my greens so I can control the subtle shifts their color aspects in light and shade.


Roses and Lavender 8 x 10 oil