Wakar's Art Blog

Roualt Fever

Posted on: February 12, 2012

I just read a great chapter on art in the book Presence by Rupert Spira. The book is about spiritual awakening and I was thrilled to find an entire chapter on how art relates to the Spiritual. Other books usually have a passing reference at most, but this one really delved into it. I wish I could copy the entire text for you but this quote will have to do for now:

“True art is neither representation nor abstraction. It is revelation-the revelation that love, rather than inert matter, is the substance of all things.”

Roualt was a Frenchman who painted in the first half of the 20th century. I have a couple of books of his work. To be honest I can’t say I am enamored of much of his subject matter, though I do love his landscapes and florals (these are not your grandmother’s florals!). Mostly what I love is the way he puts paint, specifically oil paint, on the surface. His paintings are typically small, in the 9×12 area but he uses 30×40 inches worth of paint! There are no fine lines or delicate edges here. Everything is scruffy, with broken color, broken lines. He worked in a stained glass factory as a youth and apparently fell in love with the look because all of his paintings, even the ones in gouache and watercolor, have bold, powerful line work.

Well, I took one of my Roualt books to the Carole Watanabe class. Carole found a floral she liked and decided to do a Roualt style painting over another painting she was dissatisfied with. We joined in. Mine is strictly made up with just abstract swirls of paint for the flowers. In his florals roualt always painted a border as part of the picture so we did the same. Here’s my version. Not a great photo as I keep forgetting to use my better camera. The border area is much darker than this looks. I actually like this one and feel there was enough of a success to continue on learning this style. 16×20 acrylic on stretched canvas.

a la Roualt

One of the things I’ve been working on is using more paint. Alas with acrylics the surface had almost completely smoothed out by the time it dried. Even though I’d gone back and added more paint on some of the flowers. So for acrylics I’ll either have to use lots of gel medium or an impasto medium if I want the physical texture.

This next painting was a quick study, again with the goal of using more paint. Just a simple composition from an old photo. 10×8 oil on canvas panel.

Moonight Etude

Another quick study. This one is from a monochrome photo. I don’t know who took the picture. This is oil on the 11×15 gessoed paper I’ve used for some of the others.

Afternoon Nap

This next one I did this morning. I had intended to do another floral in Roualt’s style but there just seemed to be a different painting that wanted to come through. So I went with that. I’ve tweaked the contrast a bit to get the image more like the painting. Oil on 10×8 black gessoed canvas panel.

Icon

One thing I know. If I’m going to start painting with this much paint (or more!) I’ll have to start paying attention to that fat over lean thing.

Next weekend is the Janet Moore workshop on Color  & Composition so it may be a couple weeks before I get back to post. For the moment the day is cloudy and chill, the wind is rising. Beautiful. Cats are napping, the wood stove keeps us warm. Laundry is done, wood for the coming week has been hauled to the carport. Groceries are put away. The only thing left is to simply be. . . . And maybe paint.

 

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1 Response to "Roualt Fever"

Oh, Wakar, your Roualt is DIVINE. Truly…….I just love it, the looseness, the richness of the paint, and the overall comp is superb!

Try it in oils!

I wandered thru a very comprehensive Odilon Redon site last nite and his florals were spectacular. There are some silk flower arrangements in the lobby where i am, and I wish i had a little easel or something to set up there and paint all day.

The mileage is paying off hugely for you…love the kitty pic in the post before this one…..I must have missed it. Big hugs, my friend!

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