Late Summer, Early Fall

Art in PNW

By Gage, Academy of Art


Even though summer started late this year in the Pacific Northwest, a host of museum exhibitions and the upcoming Seattle Art Fair will redress nature’s wrongs! Come see Gage, Academy of Art at their booth at the Seattle Art Fair, presented by AIG. This amazing art event will be held Thursday, August 1 through Sunday, August 4, and Gage would like to offer this amazing art community a discounted ticket link: SeattleArtFair.com/tickets/gage.


If you want to get away but still stay in the Pacific Northwest, we recommend traveling to Portland, Oregon, to see French Baroque painter Georges de La Tour’s “The Magdalene with the Smoking Flame,” ca. 1635-37, at the Portland Art Museum, on loan from Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) until October 13. La Tour is best known for the naturalism of his work, the nocturnal light effects, and the dramatic use of chiaroscuro inspired by the work of Caravaggio and his Dutch followers. His work has unique qualities of silence, tranquility and clarity. Not surprisingly, two versions of this painting exist—the other, completed a few years later in 1640, is in the Louvre Museum in Paris.


In the LACMA painting, she is a beautiful young woman who appears entranced and absorbed by her thoughts as her gaze seems to rest on the flame—La Tour gives us a virtuoso rendering of the candle’s smoke. But whether these are thoughts about mortality, as the skull seems to imply, or of remorse for her past sins, as the rope lash resting on a wooden crucifix seems to suggest, is she about to mortify her flesh? Is this the reason why her shoulders and back are exposed? In this ambiguity and tension, we find this work to be a masterpiece of narrative.


With the solidity of the forms, La Tour’s work also offers a clear understanding of how drawing was critical to his painting. This is an unconditional truth about the education that Gage, Academy of Art offers. Drawing, whether from life or from cast or from photograph, is at the foundation of Gage’s commitment to building up critical skills.


Any aspiring artist or student who wants to seriously pursue painting must start with taking drawing to build confidence and understanding of form and composition before delving into the world of wet media and most of all color.


Fall classes are right around the corner at Gage! So if you are still despairing about summer coming late, fall in the PNW is beautiful at Gage offering classes in drawing, painting and sculpting.


For additional information about Gage Academy of Art, visit GageAcademy.org, Facebook.com/GageAcademy, instagram @gageacademy, email info@gageacademy.org or call 206.323.4243.

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