meet the artist

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discovering a vocation

Pierre Vallon was born in Touraine (Loire Valley - France) on November 18, 1922. He was the second of three children. Although he grew up in an intellectual environment (his father was a school principal), he did not follow in his father’s footsteps professionally.

Pierre Vallon painting outdoors, as he always took great delight in doing so. Here, the Hotel-Restaurant "Château d'Artigny" in Montbazon in the Loire Valley region..

His father and grandfather did paint in their spare time, which influenced Vallon to create drawings from a very young age. His precocious art talents were recognized, but his enrollment in the École des Beaux-Arts was prevented by the onset of World War II.
Instead, he became a member of the French Resistance, igniting his youthful fire to recovering a liberty that he would never cease to defend and cherish through personal and political commitments.
During the war, he met often in the nearby forest with members of the French Resistance and American soldiers, where they shared food and camaraderie. Pierre Vallon had a special place in his heart for his American friends and appreciation for liberation from Nazi tyranny.
After the war, he apprenticed to an art furniture manufacturer, working up to being a full-time employee. There, he had a hand in making numerous pieces of cabinetwork and marquetry, which confirmed his flair for artistic work and decoration.

At 25, he became a freelance shop fitter and decorator, which allowed him to combine a professional career with his creative passion for art. He spent his rare leisure moments painting, which was not merely a way of relaxing, but also something in which he took great delight.

painting Nature, Nature

When Pierre Vallon was 55, he chose to go back to school to take painting classes, where he was fortunate to meet Master Artist Pierre Petit, who would teach him pastel techniques. M. Petit, not only became a close friend, he taught to the techniques of painting and pastel, thus creating a real link between drawing and painting for the artist.

As an admirer of Impressionism, as well as a great lover of nature, he immediately seized upon the possibilities of perpetuating the instantaneity of a moment through pastel.
In this way, he discovered painting en plein air (in the open air), a technique so cherished by Claude Monet, of whom he was particularly fond.
“En plein air”, became the only way of painting for Pierre Vallon. He often said that “painting from photographs or postcards isn’t really painting”.

Rivers, lakes and ponds would play a major role in many of his works of art.

As an Impressionist painter of Nature in Nature, he was often photographed while he painted, his easel set up in the countryside facing the “motif” or scene he was painting.
He did paint in his studio, however, but only to reproduce some of his pastel work in oil, a technique in which he was also skilled. He also drew still life in his studio, such as the study of numerous bouquets to which he would devote a large number of his pastel drawings.
The beauty of each pastel drawing was enhanced with vibrant colors.

A painter deeply rooted in nature, Vallon had a perfect grasp of the Impressionist technique, working methodically and brilliantly.
He traveled throughout France, each time bringing back paintings that he had, once again, accomplished right on the spot.
For him, the natural landscapes were synonymous with peace, happiness, delight, and a wonderful excuse for perfecting his pastel technique. His sense of the atmosphere and ephemeral light made him a great Impressionist.
He abandoned the linear forms of a drawing’s traditional construction in favor of a search for colors and effects of light.

Carrying on the precepts of his illustrious Masters, Vallon excelled in accurately translating the natural atmosphere by endeavoring to capture the varied effects of light, depending on the time of day and season. His work was not just descriptive, but emotional.


Through frenzied work, Pierre Vallon developed a jealously guarded personal technique: the application of the pastel using a knife, in the same way as in oil painting.

This was his revolutionary technique. He manipulated shades and warm harmonies with rare but very clear tonalities, lighting up each of his works of art.
At once a tireless worker and cheerful person, his creations multiplied, and light dominated his work. He excluded black from his palette, and his very personal use of color, along with his pastel-palette-knife technique, became his style.
His paintings are rich in bluish tones that light up the shadows harboring wildly colored vibrations with a splash of warm colors that spiral up from the ground to the tree tops and the turquoise and mauve shades of the sky.

the man and the painter

Pierre Vallon was an honorable and humble man, as well as an artist. Away from schools, societies and other cliques, he naturally followed the line that he had always fixed himself: there was no stereotyped language with him, nor did he feel he belonged to a superior spot occupied by artists.

On countless occasions, he received awards at regional exhibitions, and his paintings were quick to be noticed in France and abroad. As he liked to say, he never painted anything other than what he saw; he did it simply in the way that he saw it. Painting became his way of breathing, seeing, hearing and living.
He kept most of his canvases. To the question, “Does painting bring anything in?” he answered: “Yes, it brings me friends.” As he explained to those who marvel at them, each painting was a new lesson for him, a new study of colors or a technique which enabled him to experiment, correct his mistakes and to challenge himself.
Pierre Vallon was a chronicler of nature. He excelled in accurately translating the atmosphere of a season as well as the effect of light on a river. “I have the largest studio in the world: Nature”, he often said to those who were fortunate enough to share a few moments with him while he painted.

autumn set in... and the winter

A sensitive painter and lover of beautiful things, Pierre Vallon, died on May 6, 2005, from colon cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, an illness that lasted for more than 7 years.

Pierre Vallon’s widow, Jeannine, want to share the joy of Vallon’s paintings and celebrate his life by exhibiting his work in America.
Today, it is up to us to feel this light, this sincerity which comes through his paintings.

Through this website, an honest tribute to a simple, talented and sensitive man, you are invited to discover this light that illuminates and is the source of strength behind each of his works, as well as his life, and to share his vision of true happiness: "HAPPINESS LIES IN PASTEL COLORS !.