Known for his serene yet saturated landscapes, as well as paintings of empty rooms and solitary figures absorbed in viewing vast distances, Louis Blondiau’s latest monochromatic landscape series is yet another step forward in his exploration of space, silence, and contemplation.
I typically crave more color in paintings, but on the other end of the spectrum, there’s always something deeply intriguing about paintings with a very limited color palette.
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These landscapes by Louis are created by first painting a layer of black (or dark) paint over a white ground, and then immediately removing that paint in certain areas to visually build three-dimensional shapes in white and black.
Louis refines his landscapes by using various tools to scratch and draw extra texture and detail, building volume as he goes. Here are three excellent examples:
In Memory of Asia, Louis has sculpted blankets of thick, white clouds covering 70% of the composition. In the foreground, a craggy, weathered tree rises above the landscape, its branches full of dark foliage despite the constant wind.
There’s a “woodcut-esque” quality to many of Louis’s monochromatic paintings, but I think this one is the most spectacular in that regard. Note the contrasting layers of light and dark as you scan this landscape from top to bottom—besides being visually lovely, it’s also how Louis creates distance and space within this composition.
In Mountain and River, below, Louis paints an idyllic river valley framed by tall, dark cliffs and filled with incredible detail.
Subtle tints of blue-green add a hint of color to this ochre landscape, but the lightest areas of white still draw the eye, pulling you in through the winding river to the massive clouds drifting slowly across the composition.
Lastly, The Cotswolds features a dark ring of trees standing sentry, rolling farmland, and a glowing sky that goes on forever.
The earth is majestic, awe-inspiring, and full of life, and Louis Blondiau’s paintings capture that in the most fascinating way possible—without color.
If you’d like to see more of his monochromatic landscapes, and perhaps catch a glimpse of his other work as well, please make sure to visit artblondiau.com.