Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Friday Art and Artists : LS Lowry

LS Lowry Self portrait 1925

LS Lowry
Self portrait 1925

At the start of January while I was back in my home town of Manchester in The UK, I spent sometime with family members in visiting the Lowry Gallery in Salford, Manchester, UK.

The Lowry Gallery Salford Manchester, UK

The Lowry Gallery
Salford
Manchester, UK

Lowry is a much loved English artist, particularly in the North west of the UK, being born in Stretford, Manchester.

Here are some basic details about him,

Laurence Stephen Lowry was born 1 November 1887 in Barrett Street, Stretford. His father, Robert, worked as a clerk in an estate agent’s office. His mother, Elizabeth, was a talented pianist. By 1898 the family were living in Victoria Park, a leafy suburb in south Manchester, but in 1909 financial difficulties necessitated a move to Pendlebury, an industrial area between Manchester and Bolton. Lowry’s mother hated it, and so did Lowry, but, ‘After a year I got used to it. Within a few years I began to be interested and at length I became obsessed by it.’

After leaving school Lowry took a job as a clerk with a Manchester firm of chartered accountants, Thomas Aldred and Son. In 1910, after being made redundant from a second job, he became rent collector and clerk for the Pall Mall Property Company and stayed there until his retirement in 1952.

As a child he had enjoyed drawing, and he used part of his income to pay for private painting lessons with the artists William Fitz and Reginald Barber. In 1905 he began attending evening classes at Manchester Municipal College of Art. His tutor in the life drawing class there was the Frenchman Adolphe Valette, who brought first-hand knowledge of the Impressionists, such as Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro to his classes. ‘I cannot over-estimate the effect on me at that time of the coming into this drab city of Adolphe Valette… He had a freshness and a breadth of experience that exhilarated his students.’

By 1915 Lowry had begun attending evening classes at Salford School of Art, based in the Royal Technical College on the edges of Peel Park. One of his tutors there, Bernard Taylor (art critic for the Manchester Guardian) advised Lowry that his paintings were too dark. In response, Lowry tried painting on a pure white background, a technique he was to retain for the rest of his career.

Peel Park LS Lowry

Peel Park
LS Lowry

Peel Park, and the views across it from the Technical College windows, appear regularly in Lowry’s work. He had begun to see the possibilities of painting what he saw on his doorstep, rather than more conventional landscapes based on the countryside nearby. The best known story Lowry told of how he became interested in the industrial scene described how, after missing a train at Pendlebury station, he saw the Acme Spinning Company’s mill turning out, ‘I watched this scene – which I’d looked at many times without seeing – with rapture.’

A closer study of Lowry

Over the next few days and weeks I want to take a much closer look at the paintings and drawings that Laurence produced, looking at the subjects that he worked with and the technique’s he used to record his world.

As an artist he has been labeled and stereotyped as a naïve “Sunday painter”, based on the way he painted his landscapes and drew people along with animals.

During this visit to the Lowry Gallery however and with the help of the guided tour, it became very clear just what a complete artist Lowry was. Having a chance to see a collection of his work from his very early days at night school, until the final works of art he produce has helped to show me just how diverse and skilled an artist he was.

The areas of his work I want to study can be seen in his work I have selected below, including (Life drawing, pencil sketches, oil paints, landscape and city scape work), I will enjoy very much looking at his art work and I hope to learn a great deal from him, for my own efforts at drawing and painting.

Art works by LS Lowry

Life drawing LS Lowry

Life drawing
LS Lowry

City-scapes  A Northern Town 1969-70 L.S. Lowry 1887-1976 Presented by Ganymed Press 1979 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/P03274

City-scapes
A Northern Town 1969-70 L.S. Lowry 1887-1976

LS Lowry  Landscapes in Oil

LS Lowry
Landscapes in Oil

LS Lowry  The Lake Oil on canvas Industrial Landscape of Manchester

LS Lowry
The Lake
Oil on canvas
Industrial Landscape of Manchester

3 responses

  1. Time I went there again.

    January 20, 2017 at 8:56 pm

  2. Thanks for the introduction! I’ll be looking for more about him.

    January 21, 2017 at 1:08 pm

  3. Yes, thanks for the introduction. Love the diversity in terms of subject and colour.

    January 21, 2017 at 9:37 pm

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