Alan now works entirely in watercolour, having been told by the late Vic Ellis RSMA, when he was quite a young man that it would take him about 10 years to reach a professional standard in oils. Having spent 39 years working in London’s Dockland in its prime, the love of sketching and painting the ships, tugs, lighters and Thames barges that were once so commonplace come second nature to Alan and he still retains that love of The Thames, the sea, and all things maritime.
Alan works mostly on Saunders Waterford paper 140lb weight outdoors, but he also uses Fabriano Artistico, Bockingford and heavier papers for studio work. he paints ‘plein air’ much of the time and for this work he paints no larger than quarter imperial. he does not spend much time sketching unless his subject necessitates it. He works quickly in large washes from the sky down through to the water if he is doing a seascape, leaving any pieces of paper untouched if he wants highlights. From this basis the painting begins to tell him what to do, and he continues to work from the far distance to the foreground. He finally strengthens up my focal points. He normally uses no more than 6 or 7 colours for a painting as this limited pallet helps the harmony of the painting. He tries to capture ‘the moment’ in his paintings of light and atmosphere, but feels it is also very important when painting ships to get the line correct, and the rigging in the right place even if it is only suggested.
1941 – Born in South Essex
1957 – 1996 Worked for the Port of London Authority in West India Docks, Millwall Dock and Tilbury Docks.
1979- Founder member of the East Anglian Group of Marine Artists.
1987- Elected member of The Wapping Group of Artists.
1999 – Elected an Associate member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists.
2000- Elected to full membership of the RSMA.
2004 -2008 Treasurer of the RSMA.
St. Cuthberts Water Award, RSMA 2002
Best Watercolour Award, Essex Open exhibition, Beecroft Art Gallery, Southend, 2003 and 2013
Royal Society of Marine Artists since 1978 at the Guildhall Art Gallery and the Mall Galleries, and Forbes Gallery, New York (2001)
The Wapping Group of Artists at The Mall and provincial galleries.
Lincoln Joyce gallery.
The East Anglian Group of Marine Artists at the Mall and East Anglian galleries.
Essex Open Exhibition at the Beecroft Art Gallery, Southend-on-sea.