Ex-mobile cop turned watercolor painter

Philip Gloagen hasn’t stopped drawing since he was eight, ever since he hit his first pencil in Audierne or Morlakes where he came from. Never, in thirty years of working in the gendarmerie. Never, even a paratrooper. Even on a law enforcement mission in Lebanon, Africa, Caledonia and Corsica.

Originally from Brittany, Philippe Glowagen, born in 1961, has settled in Mosillac, a stone’s throw from the Gulf of Morbihan. A self-taught artist, he met in 1985 at Burgoyne Galliot a proven local artist, Patrick Channus, and what was once just a hobby becomes a passion, quickly devouring. But the real meeting, which will make his work develop, is when, in 1996, he followed a course directed by Jacques Norrie, watercolor painter on tours: “He gave me a huge boost and freed up my drawings.”

Since leaving the gendarmerie, Philippe Glowagen has devoted himself entirely to his passion, leaving his bed only for a few hours in golf clubs, which is his second activity. Not a day goes by without taking his notebook and watercolor tray, to capture the places, people, and landscapes that change with the seasons. Brittany has always been painted with its ports, lighthouses, and coasts. He was also interested in ships, be they Hermione, the astrolabe, or those of the French Navy.

A book about the mobile gendarmerie mixing watercolors and texts

It’s been years since Philippe Glowagen wanted to produce a book about the military in which he had served for many years. The culmination of this writing project on mobile gendarmerie was made possible by Generals Le Bras and Lamiral, successive commanders of the National Gendarmerie Training Center (CNEFG), who gave the artist the opportunity to go to Saint Astier three times to take pictures of our “moblos”.

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© Capcom Brittany

The book’s original watercolors were also shown on November 11, 2021 at CNEFG to mark the presentation of flags and the national celebration of the centenary of the Mobile Gendarmerie. In his collection of watercolors, Philip Gloagen invites his readers, through 65 illustrations and text, to share the training and operations of soldiers as well as their current lives within their squadrons. This is his twelfth book.

From March 15 to April 15, an exhibition of his original watercolors was organized on the mobile gendarmerie at the RGBRET headquarters and in the mixed department of Rennes. The artist also signed his book “Gendarmerie mobile – Watercolors by Philippe GLOAGUEN”, on March 31, in Caserne Guillaudot. Even this return to the sources allowed him to find some of his comrades and remember his old missions. “One day a traveling cop, always a traveling cop!”

Brooke Vargas

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