Ally by the Lake

Alley by the Lake

I always thought that art was not a “thing” of mine that I’d be interested in. I knew of its contents, and I just didn’t quite value it as much as others have. Until, last semester I had taken an Introduction to Humanities class and we brushed upon popular artists and art pieces.
Within, that class I was amazed at how a painting could capture a soul, tell a story and inspire not just an audience but an artist as well. I chose this painting by Leonid Afremov because I absolutely love this piece! I feel like I am able to relate to this romance and the colors, definition and creativeness that Leonid uses. I believe it brings a sense of reality and comfort in this piece. The usage of reflections is what brought my attention to enjoy this painting, because of the transparent colors he uses. I feel as though I am walking right behind the couple, enjoying the breeze and calmness of the evening.
Paintings done by Leonid Afremov have been described as some of the most colorful paintings in history. As with most of Leonid’s paintings, he is best known for his techniques using a palette knife and oil paints to craft his intense scenes. First coated in 2007, “Ally by the Lake” is an acrylic painting and was made from natural oil paints onto a cotton canvas.
This piece illustrates a male and female joined together under an umbrella taking a walk near a lake. The leaves on the trees such as yellow, orange and red are used to indicate that it is fall weather and the lake next to the couple appears to be a lighter baby blue to display that the atmosphere is calm as the two couples appear to be moving gracefully. The curved lines of the human bodies represent movement because they are in motion as this painting was drawn. This is meant to give a realistic view of how humans walk. I think that this is what captures me the most, the way that Afremov tried to create a representation of a realistic event. I enjoyed how Afremov used every inch of the canvas because it makes the piece seem positive and open. I noticed that the artist used what is known as the vanishing point perspective, near the end of the ally to show that the couple are meant to be distantly walking. Overall, I was startled by the earthly heights of the light poles and trees because what I found in this piece, was a way that I could sync with my emotions freely and feel as if this painting takes me there.

Additional information:

1. Is there significance to the colors the artist used? Does each color serve a purpose to create this piece?
2. What does this painting portray to you? Why would the artist show this scene to an audience?
3. Is there an emotional attachment to this piece?

Cynthia Guzman


15 thoughts on “Ally by the Lake

  1. I like how there are cool colors on the right and warm colors on the left. The colors all came together to make a wonderful piece of art.

  2. I like the colors that are used in this picture and the tree leaves. It reminds me of the fall because of the changing of the leaves. The lines and color in this picture are simply amazing. I like this picture so much. In addition, I feel that the colors that are used do serve a purpose and make us relate to this picture. Like I mentioned earlier it reminds me of the fall and how the leaves change colors. I also like the water that is on the right side of the picture. I found this piece of artwork to be extremely interesting there is just so much going on. When you first look at the picture it doesn’t look like that much but the artist uses so many colors and details. It is complicated once you look at this picture in detail.

  3. When I was in Dublin, Ireland a couple years ago, that brought a while new dimension to history for me.

    Seeing the history history, the struggles, the strife and it’s lasting affects all these years, decades and centuries later had a huge impact.

    This work you picked out has the visceral affect on me. Though, I’m familiar with this artist, I’m not so with this piece.

    There is so much depth and character here. I can nearly feel it, taste the emotion pouring out of this. The
    piece definitely depends on emotional attachments, as much as it depends on it’s audience to have a soul.

    flames fanned by this breathe life into … something greater that itself, nearly creating a life of it’s own. The colors bleed a true lifeblood like no other. The piece does depend on

    • Sorry, this cut off before I knew it, but to continue … a soulful experience from the audience for the piece to live on. There definitely seems to be a confluence of spirit, intellect and that ethereal thing … beauty. The only affluence one needs is in having lived at all to enjoy this piece, and you have certainly touched on a few topics in your blog to help us enjoy this art with a bit more joy. Thank you for your exposition on this piece.

  4. I like this painting. I like the bright and intense contrast created by the use of the complementary colors orange and blue. The sky is not completely dark, so I would guess it could be dusk. It is autumn–cool and damp from the rain. This piece looks like Paris alongside the River Seine, and I am curious to know the artist’s inspiration. I like Afremov’s use of light and reflection. The light from the lamp posts reflected in the water and particularly on the pavement, which I feel is very dynamic, is what appeals to me the most. I was not familiar with Afremov’s work, so thank you for sharing!

  5. I too feel the depth of emotion through the use of brilliant colors. The warmth of the yellows, oranges, and reds exquisitely balanced with the serene blues evokes the intoxication of two people in love. You can feel the bond of the couple, arm in arm, enjoying the tranquility of a pleasant autumn evening as they slowly stroll down a long path; you might say a long path of being together bathed in warmth and joy.

  6. When I first saw this painting I was drawn to the bright streetlights and the beautiful trees that seem to have leaves on them and the couple in the painting. As I kept staring at the painting a sense of calmness came over me. I’m not sure if it is the fact that this is one of those capture the moment photos but it seems like it is and it makes you start thinking about those special moments in your life. This moment maybe very special for this couple walking along the lake. I can relate to you a lot I never thought I was good at art I suck at drawing and not very good at painting either. But so far this class and my English class that I took last semester has opened me up and art isn’t about getting it right the first time of perfecting a portrait you don’t have to be Da Vinci for your art to be considered art. Whatever you draw or paint there will always be a story behind why you drew it like that or chose the colors that you chose. For example, Leonid Afremov must have a story or a moment in his mind that must have led him to draw this. Another thing that also caught my eye is that I had no idea that they were at the lake until I read your response the picture looks like they are by the street and looks like it is raining. If I could sum this painting up in two words I would say fall and romance are the best words to portray this image. I think the artist would show this scene to an audience because of how powerful this painting is and it makes you think about the special moments in your life it almost gives you a breath of fresh air but also a sense of calmness.

  7. I love the color scheme, especially on the sidewalk and the trees. My eyes were drawn to the two people walking down the street then my eyes moved towards the light fixtures. Then I noticed the detail and the cool and calm colors to the right. The warm and cool colors compliment each other very well and come together to really make a breathtaking painting. Very good choice with the selection of artwork.

  8. My favorite thing about this painting is the color scheme used within. At first glance it looks as if fire and water are coming together because of the cool mixtures of blues and purples meet the blazing oranges, reds, and yellows in the middle of the painting. But, then when the whole picture comes into view it a couple taking a simple stroll under the street lights. I also love the reflections used in this piece it indicate that it is wet outside and the woman’s reason for holding an umbrella. I love the use of intense bold colors that are entwined with the calm and serene setting.

  9. Man I really like this painting it reminds me of an intimate night with my wife just walking and talking. The colors some how make the whole thing just come alive. I think that the way its presented is very peaceful and the way the light shines off the water is amazing. This is the best peace of art I have seen yet on this blog. Great detail and very nice. Just looking at it relaxes you.

  10. Love this piece, the complimenting colors from left to right are so beautiful. It almost looks like the lightposts are projecting out a color liquid under the couple. Glad to hear you’ve become openminded to the arts!

  11. This piece is awesome! I haven’t heard of Leonids before but that’s probably because I never really thought of art much either until I started this class. I’ve came to relalize that art in corporated in to so many things.
    The colors in this piece stands out and really draws your attention. After seeing this painting I had to see more of his pieces. leonid does a amazing job at using such deep color and still able to show reflections ion the street. Also the fact that the left side is so bright with yellow, oranges and reds and then you look to the right and its all dark colors blues, purples and blacks yet the piece flows smoothly.I feel that this piece portrays a light and dark side to life. Great choice in a piece really caught my interest.

  12. At first glance, I was drawn right to the cool and warm colors that are separated and still together. I definitely think there is a purpose the trees and walking area are warm while the body of water is cool and gets darker in color as it fades away from the couple, that could represent how the couple feels warm and keeps things bright with the lights as well. I really like this piece, good choice!

  13. Hey Cynthia,

    To answer your 3rd question, there is absolutely an emotional attachment to this piece, as it was the reason you started getting into art! I think for everyone, they have that one work that made them think “wow, this is really beautiful! I wonder what else this person has done”. For me, it was when I first saw Botticelli’s work in my 8th grade history class. His work made me start to really see value in art as a medium, at a time which all I really cared about was video games.

  14. Hey Cynthia,

    Well worded post!

    Personally, my favorite aspect of this specific piece is the attention to color the artist used. For instance how the reds and blues flow together to create a visual harmony, yet you can still absolutely see this in real life. To answer your third question, I think every piece of art tells a story, and therefore carries weight emotionally. I know my favorite works of art tend to bring up an emotional response, whether sad or happy to me.

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