L. S. Lowry is one of the most revered British artists because of his numerous paintings and pencil drawings that depict the atmosphere of the industrial areas of Manchester and Salford, England after World War II.
Lowry lived and worked in this area and sketched or painted street scenes that he viewed daily. He gained an appreciation for the people whose hardship and suffering was evident as they swarmed the streets of these industrialized towns before and after a hard day's work at one of the local factories.
During his lifetime, Lowry created over 10,000 pieces of art, including oil paintings and pencil drawings that he often gave away to various people mingling around the area in which he was sketching, which means that there are probably more Lowry masterpieces that have yet to be discovered because they are tucked away in storage boxes and attics throughout the area.
Although many artists allow the publication of hundreds of prints of their work which are signed by the artist, Lowry only agreed to publish 54 signed prints of his masterpieces, after which time the original plates used for printing were destroyed. This means that there are very few signed prints of Lowry's work, which makes the originals, as well as the remaining signed prints, much more valuable.
Many of the prints that do exist have been damaged by improper storage, fading of the inks used to print them and/or broken glass from having been framed. After all these years, there are probably very few Lowry prints in circulation that are not damaged in some way.
Because of the historical significance of the time period depicted in his artwork, Lowry's paintings and sketches are appreciated now more than ever, since the industrial age that defined so many areas after World War II has long since vanished.
Much to the dismay of those who pestered Lowry constantly in an attempt to gain his favor in the hope of inheriting pieces of his work, including art galleries, Lowry left his entire collection of artwork to a young lady whose name was Carol Ann Lowry, to whom he was not related, but who sought his artistic advice years before.
L. S. Lowry passed away in 1976 due to pneumonia and major exhibitions of his artwork are displayed at The Tate Gallery and The Centre in Salford, England
L. S. Lowry was a British artist who gained fame by creating images of street scenes in the industrial areas of Manchester and Salford, England after World War II.
His 'stick figures' of people on the streets were simple, but much appreciated by the locals in the area whose lives were so accurately depicted in Lowry's artwork. In fact, his simplistic style of painting created for him the reputation of a great artist and provided an historical legacy that will thrive for years to come.
Lowry considered himself a simple man and used simple materials to create his masterpieces. He always painted on a white background using a small range of colors that only included red, ivory, black, yellow ochre, Prussian blue and white. He used both ends of the paintbrush, as well as his fingers and tools like nails and sticks to manipulate the oil paints on the canvas. He also used his suit sleeves and lapels for cleaning his painting tools and when asked what he does with his old suits, his reply was 'Wear them!'
Unfortunately, Lowry apparently did not appreciate some of his own work because he destroyed some pieces by painting over the canvas again. Close examination and x-raying of his painting entitled Head of a Man (or Man with Red Eyes) reveals an apparent self-portrait and that of a female painted underneath. It's too bad that these three paintings, all of which would have been highly valued, only resulted in one final masterpiece!
Lowry lived a lonely life that included taking care of his ailing mother after the death of his father. This isolated existence and the despair that it brought was reflected in Lowry's artwork and he was greatly disappointed that his success as an artist was not realized until after the death of his mother, who didn't understand or appreciate his artistic abilities.
After his mother's death, Lowry devoted much more time to creating masterful pieces of artwork and finally achieved success as an artist. Over the course of his lifetime, he painted and or sketched over 10,000 pieces, all of which can proudly be identified as a Lowry.
Laurence Stephen Lowry was a British artist who was a very modest and simple man whose observations of the industrial street scenes of Manchester and Salford, England were beautifully transferred to whatever piece of paper was handy.
Lowry was a doodler and known to pencil sketch pictures on pretty much anything, including matchbook covers and napkins. Many of these spontaneous masterpieces were then given away to people in the area, which endeared him to the locals and contributed to his commercial success as an artist. Because of this fact, there are many still undiscovered masterpieces created by L. S. Lowry stored away in boxes and attics in private homes in England.
During his lifetime, Lowry created over 10,000 pieces of artwork that included pencil sketches and oil paintings. Original paintings and sketches are priceless, but so are signed limited edition prints of the artist's work.
A limited edition print is self-explanatory, in that only a certain quantity of prints are created, each of which is numbered and signed in pencil by the artist. The reproduction of limited edition prints from original masterpieces is strictly controlled by the artist, who decides which pieces will be reproduced, how many will be printed and what publishing company will produce them. After reaching the designated number of limited edition prints, the plates used for printing are destroyed, making the limited edition prints more valuable.
Unlike many artists who allowed much more, Lowry only authorized the production of 54 signed, limited edition prints and, because of their scarcity, these pieces are very valuable today, as are all originals. It's unfortunate that many of Lowry's masterpieces have suffered irreparable damage, but they maintain their value anyway.
L. S. Lowry is one of the most respected artists from the United Kingdom and holds the record for the most refused honors, including knighthood. This fact further exemplifies the simplistic nature and modesty of the artist, whose work is unparalleled and continues to gain value as time passes.
His success as an artist came late in life and Lowry worried about whether his artwork would 'last.' He asked repeatedly 'Will I live?' The answer to that question is simply 'Yes, you will, Mr. Lowry!'
BIOGRAPHY OF L.S. LOWRY
The talented British artist is more popularly known as L. S. Lowry and was the only child born to his parents, Robert and Elizabeth Lowry. After his physically difficult birth on November 1, 1887 in Stretford, England, his mother, Elizabeth suffered ongoing complications and resultant poor health that prevented her from returning to her previous occupation as a teacher. Elizabeth was, by all accounts, a very gifted woman with aspirations of becoming a concert pianist, but those dreams were never realized because of continuing health issues. His father, Robert Lowry, worked for a property company as a clerk and was said to be shy, introverted and described as a "cold fish."
Lowry's mother was known to be a rather nervous individual who was easily irritated and very domineering over her husband and her son. She used her ongoing illness as a means of controlling both of them and raised her son in much the same way her father had raised her, in a very strict environment that demanded success and did not tolerate failure of any kind. Lowry indicated that he had an unhappy childhood and that his mother never expressed any interest in or appreciation of his artwork. Lowry would later express regret about the fact that his mother passed away before she could see him succeed as a noted British artist.
Early in his life, the Lowry family lived in a suburb called Victoria Park and was forced to move because of financial problems to an industrialized city called Pendlebury. Lowry did not perform particularly well in school and didn't have many friends. Although he hated it at first, Lowry spent more than 40 years in this treeless area that consisted of factories, textile mills and their smoking chimneys.
Upon completing school, Lowry worked as a rent collector, where he secretly worked until 1952. He kept his employment a secret so he could be taken more seriously as an artist. Continuing to work as a rent collector for the Pall Mall Property Company enabled him to personally interact with locals and he was privately tutored in drawing and later attended the Manchester School of Art. He concluded his studies in 1925 at what is now known as the University of Salford, where he developed his artistic appreciation of the local industrial landscapes after observing the scenes from the window of the Peel Building at the University, which overlooks Peel Park. This local park became the subject of many of his early paintings and the industrial neighborhoods and their residents, with their dark, grimy and dank scenes, became the focus of Lowry's artwork and he is most famous for depicting life in those industrial settings of northwest England.
His father, Robert Lowry, passed away in 1932 and his mother, Elizabeth, became depressed and neurotic afterwards because of his death and the debts he left behind and her son became her caregiver. Many of Lowry's paintings were produced at night, while his mother rested. After her death in 1939, Lowry became more and more depressed and neglected to make the mortgage payments on their home, which was eventually foreclosed upon. Thereafter, he purchased a home called 'The Elms' and, although he indicated that he didn't like it, he lived there for almost 30 years until his death in 1932.
Later in life, Lowry painted beach and port scenes, as well as coalmines that he observed during his holidays at the Seaburn Hotel in Sunderland. Lowry produced artwork on the backs of envelopes, napkins and coatroom tickets, which he then gave away to various people he observed sitting around the area. The unsuspecting recipients of these drawings now possess artwork by L. S. Lowry that is worth thousands of dollars, despite the medium on which they were produced!
L. S. Lowry was considered a shy man but he maintained many long-term friendships and developed new ones later in life. His friends were quite amused by his eccentricities, including his collection of clocks, all of which he set to different times of day. Some believed he did this so he wouldn't know or care what time it was and others believed it was to spare him the sound of all of them chiming at the same time!
L. S. Lowry died on February 23, 1976 at the Woods Hospital in Glossop. After his death from pneumonia, he was laid to rest next to his parents in the Southern Cemetery in Manchester, England. His entire estate was left to Carol Ann Lowry, who shared his last name, but was not related. She was an aspiring artist who admired Lowry and received encouragement and advice from him. She later received trademark protection of the signature of L. S. Lowry.
A large collection of Lowry's artwork is exhibited in Salford at a gallery aptly named 'The Lowry' and some of his work depicting uninhabited landscapes, marionettes and various portraits was only discovered after his death.
Elizabeth Lowry would be proud of her son and his artistic skills and the beautiful paintings he created, as well as the fact that he holds the record for the person who rejected the most 'honors' in Great Britain, including knighthood.
There are many mediums artists can utilize to create their masterpieces and they can consist of just about anything. Besides the typical paint, chalk, clay, ink and pencil mediums, creative people have produced art using a plethora of everyday items such as trash (that includes discarded aluminum cans and glass bottles), prescription bottles, records and tapes, chewing gum and dirt on cars and windshields! When supplies are lacking, artists can always find a medium with which to stimulate their creative minds, but most stick to the typical available mediums of acrylic and watercolor paints, pastels and colored pens and pencils.
Acrylic paints are a very popular medium since they are water based, which means the paint can be thinned using water and paintbrushes and other art tools can be cleaned up afterwards using water! Unlike oil paints, which can be very messy, acrylics are non-toxic and odorless and they can be thinned with water to mimic the affects of watercolor paints. Artists can also vary the texture or consistency of acrylic paints by applying it thinly or more thickly, depending on the desired results, and can add sand or glass beads to create varied textures.
Acrylic paint dries very fast and this is advantageous for artists who like to work quickly and also makes it easier for the artist to fix mistakes. The biggest disadvantage to their quick drying time is that it makes acrylic paints difficult to blend together, but this can be remedied with the use of "retarders," which slow the pace of paint drying and "flow release" products that increase its ability to blend different colors. Using "gesso" as a primer foundation, acrylic paints can be applied to just about any surface, but the most popular uses are on paper, wood or canvas surfaces. Another advantage of acrylic paints is that they can be varnished with a satin, gloss or matte finish and, once properly varnished, acrylic artwork does not require framing and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth.
Another popular choice for artists are watercolor paints which consist of finely ground pigments of color that are blended with gum arabic, which is a binding agent designed to keep the bits of color together. Using gum arabic ensures that you can create transparent or translucent effects without jeopardizing the watercolor paint's ability to adhere to the paper or other surface on which it is applied. Many artists are intimidated by the fluidity of watercolor paints, which makes it difficult to work with, but others enjoy the challenge!
Another popular choice for artists is the use of graphite pencils or colored pencils that are generally lightweight and very portable, as are sketchbooks or drawing pads! This makes for a versatile medium that you can use just about anywhere with little preparation and/or clean up! Pencils can be sharpened to a fine point for detail or allowed to become dull, both of which create unique looks when applied to paper. Using pencils to create art provides endless combinations of color blending and the resultant hues, tints and shades can be used to create unique colors and luminosity in your artwork.
Another portable and inexpensive art medium is the use of ink pens to create drawings! There are many types of pens on the market suitable for drawing and they include graphic, drafting and fountain pens. Doodlers can attest to the fact that you can also use ballpoint pens for creating unique art! Pens are available in a variety of ink colors and you may want to purchase at least several of them with varying degrees of sharpness of the point, making them more versatile for creating fine detail or filling in large areas.
One thing to keep in mind about pencil and pen drawing is that you are always working with at least two colors, the color of your ink or pencil and the background color of the paper or other material on which it is applied. In drawings, the background detail is as important as the subject matter in producing pleasing artwork.
Pastels are a medium created by blending pure powdered pigment with a binder and they are available in three forms: hard, soft and pastel pencils. Pastels use the same pigment that is used in all art mediums and the hardness or softness is determined by the amount of binder used to create the pastel sticks that resemble a cross between a crayon and a piece of chalk. Each type of pastel consists of different qualities and creates varying effects. Soft pastels consist of more pigment and less binder and are usually rounded in shape and hard pastels have more binder to keep the colors stuck together and they are usually rectangular. Pastel pencils are encased in wood, like most pencils, which makes them less messy and easier to control. Soft pastels are good for blending and smudging and hard pastels are used to create more precision details. Pastel pencils can easily be blended with soft or hard pastel colors and the use of pastels ensures a rich and velvety texture and luminous color effects when applied to paper. A 'pastel painting' involves covering the entire surface area in pastel and a pastel drawing involves artwork on which the entire area is not covered.
There are many mediums that artists have utilized to create their artwork and they vary as much as the artists themselves and the works they produce.
Laurence Stephen Lowry was an accomplished British who was born on November 1, 1887 in Stretford, England and passed away in Glossop on February 23, 1976.
Lowry was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Lowry and his mother was not thrilled about his birth because it was a difficult delivery for Elizabeth and she had hoped for a daughter instead of a son. Elizabeth was raised in a strict family and her father was very controlling and intolerant of failure and she parented her son the same way. After his birth, illness prevented Elizabeth from resuming her life as a teacher and, by all accounts, she was quite respected and a gifted concert pianist, but illness prevented her from pursuing that aspiration. Like her father, Elizabeth was quite controlling and used her illness as a means of getting attention from and controlling her mild mannered husband, as well as her son.
His father, Robert Lowry, was described as a cold man, but he was affectionate toward his son and preferred to fade into the background and remain unnoticed. Robert worked as a clerk at the Jacob Earnshaw & Son Property Company and did what he had to do just to get through life, which included tending to the needs of his ailing wife.
Lowry described his childhood as "unhappy" and indicated that his home life was comprised of a 'repressive' atmosphere where his parents showed no interest in or appreciation of his artistic abilities.
Lowry was not academically gifted and didn't have many friends during his childhood. Lowry was extremely disappointed because he received very little recognition of his
artwork while his mother was alive and she never realized his great success as an artist.
When Lowry reached the age of about 22, financial problems forced his family to move to an industrial area in Northwest England and he spent over 40 years in that area that included Pendlebury and Salford.
This is where he developed his distinctive painting style of depicting people as 'matchstick men' and paintings of urban landscapes,
as well as paintings of odd, mysterious and unpopulated places that were considered broody artwork, much of which was only discovered after his death in 1976.
Lowry received private instruction in drawing and later attended the Manchester School of Art where he studied under the tutelage of a French impressionist painter named Pierre Adolphe Valette.
Lowry greatly appreciated the talents of this Frenchman and his artwork began to reflect his teachings.
He later attended what is now known as the University of Salford until 1925, which overlooked Peel Park and this area greatly influenced his work in painting industrial-type landscapes.
After leaving school, L. S. Lowry took a job working for the Pall Mall Company and as a rent collector. His interaction with the local people while collecting rents gave him a different perspective of the area
and greatly influenced his artwork. He also spent his lunch hours at Peel Park, which could be seen from the Peel Building where he studied at the Salford Royal Technical College, later renamed the University of Salford.
This park was the subject of many of his paintings, as were the factories in the area that created a sad landscape of smoking chimneys and dimly lit windows against a dark and damp sky. Lowry became obsessed with these kinds of scenes which he professed he had looked at many times, but never appreciated artistically what he was seeing.
Lowry also worked as a volunteer fireman and was an official war artist in 1943.
In 1953, Lowry was named the official artist at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
He holds the record for the most rejected British honors, including knighthood!
Lowry used a very basic range of colors in his artwork, which he mixed on his palette and painted on white backgrounds.
I am a simple man, and I use simple materials: ivory, black, vermilion (red), Prussian blue, yellow ochre, flake white and no medium (e.g. linseed oil).
That's all I've ever used in my paintings. I like oils, I like a medium you can work into over a period of time.
Looking closely at the surface of Lowry's paintings reveals the variety of ways he worked the paint with brushes (using both ends), with his fingers and with tools such as sticks and nails.
Lowry painted over the canvasses of some of his artwork, including the 1938 painting that he called the "Head of a Man"(Man with Red Eyes) which, when x-rayed revealed the painting of a female, as well as an apparent self-portrait underneath.
An art gallery in Salford Quays houses a large collection of the artwork of L.S. Lowry and is appropriately named The Lowry. The archive includes not only his artwork, but also audio and video materials that feature interviews with the artist himself, as well as people with whom he was acquainte,, photographs, auction catalogs, books about the artist and some of the actual paint brushes and palette knives that he used to create his masterpieces.
The artwork of L.S. Lowry is housed in many private and public collections, the largest of which is at The Lowry, which is an art gallery opened for the purpose of displaying his life's work in Salford, England. The Tate Gallery in London also displays a lot of his paintings.
This talented artist produced over 8,000 drawings and around 1,000 paintings and the following is a list of his most valuable artwork, in chronological order:
Head from the Antique 1908
Seated Male Nude 1914
Robert Lowry (his father) 1919
Elizabeth Lowry (his mother) 1920
Pendlebury, England Scene 1931
Dewars Lane 1936
A Bit of Wenlock Edge 1942
Berwick Pier and Lighthouse 1956
Woman with a Beard 1957
The Elms (his home) 1958
Colliery, Sunderland 1961
The Front 1969
Palace Street in Berwick undated
The Match undated
Still Life 1906
Clifton Junction Morning 1910
Portrait of Elizabeth Lowry (his mother) 1912
Coming from the Mill 1917 (an early example of his unique style)
Frank Jopling Fletcher 1919
A Manufacturing Town 1922
Regent Street in Lytham 1922
Self Portrait of the artist 1925
An Accident 1926
Peel Park in Salford 1927 (this gallery housed his works until the opening of The Lowry art gallery)
View From the Bridge 1927
Coming Out of School 1927 (first painting bought by the Tate Gallery)
A Street Scene 1928 (first painting bought by the Salford City Art Gallery)
Going to the Match 1928
Coming from the Mill 1930
The Empty House 1934
A Fight 1935
The Fever Van 1935
Laying a Foundation Stone 1936 (the laying of a foundation stone by the Mayor of Swinton and Pendlebury)
The Lake 1937
A Head of a Man 1938
The Bedroom, Pendlebury 1940
Houses on a Hill 1941
The Sea (painting of the Berwick coastline) 1942
Blitzed Site 1942
Britain at Play 1943 (urban scene in Manchester, England)
Going to Work 1943 (painted when he was a war artist and housed in the Imperial War Museum)
V. E. Day 1945
The Park 1946
Good Friday, Daisy Nook 1946 (holds the record for the most money received for selling a Lowry painting)
A River Bank 1947 (purchased by the Bury Council and later controversially sold to relieve a budget deficit)
Iron Works 1947
Cranes and Ships at the Glasgow Docks 1947
The Canal Bridge 1949
The Football Match 1949
The Pond 1950 (used as a Christmas card by Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1964)
Football Ground 1953 (later renamed Going to the Match)
A Young Man 1955
Industrial Landscape 1955
The Floating Bridge 1956
Factory at Widnes 1956 (housed at Christchurch Art Gallery in New Zealand)
Man Lying on a Wall 1957 (the briefcase in this painting shows the initials of the artist LSL)
Portrait of Ann 1957
On the Sands 1959
Gentleman Looking at Something 1960
River Wear at Sunderland — 1961
Two People 1962
The Sea 1963
Industrial Scene 1967
Tanker Entering the Tyne 1967
The above paintings by no means represents a full catalog of the artwork of L. S. Lowry, but is some of his most popular and significant work.
More L.S. Lowry Art Work
Beach at Roker
LS Lowry painting ‘Berwick’
Country road near Lytham
Fun at the Fair, Daisynook
four unknown paintings sold Dec. 2011
Girl with Red Shoes
LS Lowry “Home from the Pub” £600,000
The Lodging House
Man walking his Dog
Outside a Mill
Regent Street, Lytham