Alain Lutz was born in May 1953 in Mulhouse, France. Recognizing his artistic talent, his parents gave him his first oil paints at the age of thirteen. For awhile he was interested in attending the Boulle Design School in Paris but he eventually ended up studying to be an industrial designer and graduated as a senior technician. Before his military service, he organized a Hoggar Expedition in the south Sahara and came back with a 16mm film. Alain loves to travel and visited North Africa several times, always starting from Strasbourg and driving through Spain to reach the North African desert.
After a few years of designing for an industrial manufacturing company, Alain took his first trip to the United States and spent a year backpacking. He eventually reached Mexico City, and then returned to the U.S. and visited New Orleans. He fell in love with New Orleans and decided to bring home a collection of color pencil drawings of the cityscape. He also recreated an Irish bar in the French Quarter, coming back every day for two weeks to master every detail. That was in 1979. Returning to France and to his job, he decided to pursue pencil drawing, especially cityscapes, and started a series of drawings of old-town Strasbourg. He made his first limited print editions. At the same time, he practiced oil painting in his studio.
In 1987, Alain returned to the United States for a second trip. He stayed in Boston and started drawing scenes from historic downtown Boston. He had his first show at The Ainsworth Gallery and joined The Copley Society of Boston as a member artist. Here for the first time he had a work of art selected by an art committee.
Two years later, Alain participated in an artist exchange program between Strasbourg and Boston, and he spent a month in an artist studio and worked on drawing cityscapes. He exhibited at the French Library of Boston, as well as the City Hall of the Boston Human Rights Commission. He is still a member of The Copley Society of Boston, and in one of the Society's member artist shows, one of his pencil drawings was exhibited alongside a Joseph McGurl painting. He also had a painting published by the Paris art publisher Pierre Hautot and later by The New York Society. While he was experimenting in the United States, he discovered The Hudson River School, which he found to be an amazing school of art. He took the time to copy some of Albert Bierstadt's paintings, which he always likes to have in his studio. He would have loved to paint in the romantic and luminist style, but finds there is little room for them in the contemporary French art market.
Alain eventually abandoned studio painting for open-air painting. In 1989, assisted by the presence of an artist friend from Boston, he experimented with outdoor painting, starting in the public gardens of Boston. Before long he decided to permanently adopt this technique and since then he has made many painting trips. More than once he has been to America to paint the great southwestern landscapes around Santa Fe, which became a second home to him in terms of atmosphere and emotion.
Now Alain is the happy father of two little boys, and still works as industrial designer and an engineer. He will never stop painting.
Photo: Alain Lutz, Nouveau Mexique,1992
Pencils: Irish pub in the French Quarter, 1979