I studied Fine Art at Newcastle University in the 60s but then went on to work in a variety of occupations including scientific publishing, teaching and computer programming. Since my student days I have been influenced by naïf painters such as Douanier Rousseau, René Rimbert and Fernando Botero and, like them, use simple and expressive figures against brightly coloured backgrounds. However, the serenity and playfulness which one expects from naïf art is often subverted by more troubling and disturbing themes.
To create my canvasses and project my feelings about the world around me, I start with a jumbled mess of brushstrokes and then gradually work, area by area, resolving these into separate images. The overall theme then starts to emerge, although it takes a lot more working and reworking to get everything right.
I am fascinated by nature and have lived close to the Thames all my life. Its fauna and flora feature prominently in my workincluding my two Lurcher dogs. However, the landscapes and settings are anarchic – there are mouths ready to swallow up unwary oarswomen, snails firing incendiaries into a city and always chimeras – part human and part animal appearing as actors in many stage-crafted scenes.
Poolhaus Exhibition - Germany - November 2021 filmed by Tanja Pfaff
Alan describes his creative process and one of his pieces in detail.