Drawn to Paint
Foreword By Ken Howard OBE RA
Drawing is basically a way of seeing and in his book ‘Drawn to Paint” Alan bears out this definition. It is through his drawings that he makes us see the world around us. A puddle is not just a sheet of water, it is a reflecting surface and it takes an artist to see it and communicate that to others. A car is not just a metal box, it is a surface that reflects the world around it and whatever he paints, Alan makes us see the world in these terms.
I have always believed drawing and painting are about three things – revelation, celebration and communication. By revelation I mean they reveal the world as it truly is and the artist makes us see the world in their terms. Alan always celebrates the world, whether it be Everest or a Scottish loch, it is always about celebration. He communicates his love for what he draws and paints as the popularity of his shows with Messum’s in Cork Street, London proves, for Alan always communicates with those who look at his work.
I am sure Alan could draw before he could write, for drawing for him is the most natural thing in the world. Its mechanics can be taught, but its vision cannot. For instance Sergei Eisenstein’s films are great because they are about the way he sees the world, not because he mastered the camera
I have always believed the artist needs two things. He or she needs a bit of talent and a bit of luck – luck meaning being in the right place at the right time. But as someone pointed out to me recently, an artist also needs dedication and practice. Alan has these qualities, he is naturally dedicated, but as his exhibitions in London prove, he practices hard; how else could he produce fifty or sixty paintings for each exhibition.
As well as being a painter, Alan has always been involved in radio, television and film. If you love a subject you naturally want to communicate about it and Alan certainly does that. He is fortunate that his talent has been recognized during his lifetime and he can enjoy that recognition
Ken Howard OBE RA