On a Knife Edge by Jenny Pery

On a Knife Edge presents a richly illustrated survey of Alan Cotton's career, from his early years in the industrial Midlands to his present life centred on his home and studio in rural Devon. It tells the story of a 'local boy made good' a boy whose passion for painting came apparently out of the blue, and whose optimistic, buccaneering approach to life enabled him to pursue this passion. It charts his development as a painter from student experiment to mature style, culminating in the use of rich impasto pigments laid onto canvas with a painting knife. It follows him on his travels in France, Italy, Cyprus, Ireland, and Morocco, and explores the painterly challenges that he encountered in each new location. It shows him developing into a gifted teacher, a skilled communicator, and an extremely successful artist. The book offers a wide ranging retrospective overview of Alan Cotton's work, with telling illustrations of seminal paintings to highlight important moments in his career.