Sunday, October 16, 2016

Alain Voinot

Return to the Summer Garden © Alain Voinot
Name: Alain Voinot
Alain Voinot was born in 1954 and lives in Toulouse, France.
A self-taught pastellist, he studied for several years of classical drawing classes with Catherine Escudié, an engraver and illustrator from Toulouse. He also studied at the Académie de dessin de Luc Peltriaux. He practised classical design with a clear preference for black and white. When he moved to colour he chose pastel as the medium that best fit his style and subject matter.
Then followed a twenty year "apprenticeship" developing his knowledge of pastels, and the realisation that his strength was strong contrast combined with the softness of pastel. Hence his choice of black paper which perfectly highlights the colour and lights.
Alain often works en plein air, in part because passers-by at times make intelligent remarks about his work. He also teaches pastel in the Toulouse area.
I first met Alain when we exhibited side by side in the Salon des Pastels en Périgord at Saint-Aulaye in 2012, where we formed a mutual admiration society! I think the fact that we both use a dark ground and are excited by the possibilities of chiaroscuro was a bonding factor.
Subjects: Landscape
“My favorite theme is the landscape. Of course we can only interpret what we see, and that is what we offer: an interpretation. I think the spirit of the artist always tries to approach the mystery and beauty of the world and interpret it in his vision. My gaze is realistic and poetic at the same time because it seems to me that poetry must combine realism to reveal its depth, and realism without poetry is just cold. It is the search for this synthesis that motivates me.”
Style: Impressionistic.
“I found that this technique is particularly suited to working from nature: it can translate directly what we are feeling.”
"Je travaille également d'après photo, bien sûr ( on a beau être passionné, l'hiver est rude... ), photos réalisés par moi même, durant mes longues ballades de découverte et d'observation de la nature. La photo n'est qu'une aide, et on voit avant tout avec l'esprit quand on est peintre, plus encore qu'avec les yeux probablement. Donc, tout ce qui est " impressions ", je le récolte durant ma ballade d'observation, et c'est cela qui est décisif, c'est cela que je vais restituer ensuite en m'aidant de la photo."
Technique: Alain works chiefly on a black ground, on Canson Mi-teintes and on Pastel Card. He mixes soft and semi-soft pastels and uses no fixative so as to not alter the colours.
“In my view, there are two distinct phases in the development of a pastel: the first is the intuitive phase, where the essence of what we want to express should be understood and grasped as quickly as possible. The second phase is that of bringing the work to completion. We can thus qualify the black paper, shadows, to bring their subtlety. The difficulty is finding the right balance so as to not to entirely lose the paper under the colour, and retain strong but light contrasts.”
Navigation: The website is in French, but easy to negotiate.
Gallery: Galerie; Galerie 2 des lumières particulières (Special Light) ; Les petits formats (Small format)
Image View: Images enlarge on same page as thumbnails. You can scroll through the enlargements or choose from the thumbnails. Title and dimension is supplied, Download is not possible. Return to the Summer Garden is 50 x 65 cm.
Demo: Yes – Pas-a pas  ; and Pas-a-pas 2
Facebook: Yes

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