Artist profile - Alan Thompson

PUBLISHED: 00:00 14 May 2019

Ullswater from the Devil's Chimney by Alan Thompson

Ullswater from the Devil's Chimney by Alan Thompson

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With his native Lake District landscape for inspiration, Alan Thompson has been a professional artist for almost 40 years. Barbara Waite reports

Yellow flags and water lillies by Alan ThompsonYellow flags and water lillies by Alan Thompson

Alan Thompson has painted his local landscape for most of his life and living and working in the Lakes means he is never short of inspiring subject matter.

'From the tiniest clump of grasses or primrose nestled into a mossy bank to huge expansive fell top views, the beauty and drama of it all and the complexity of converting it into an oil painting is a joy and a challenge I never tire of,' he said.

Alan, who attended Carlisle College of Art followed by a BA at Leicester Polytechnic, and a scholarship at the prestigious Slade School of Fine Art, has been a full-time artist for almost 40 years.

'My subjects come about intuitively,' he said. 'I walk a lot and things cry out to be painted, so I might have half a dozen things on the go at once. I will revisit places I'm painting to get more information about such things as a foreground detail or colour of a tree.

'Sometimes it can be months before I get around to painting subjects which have excited me and inevitably some are abandoned, but usually there are about 20 things in my head waiting to be attempted.

'Pictures are often worked on for months as oil paint is slow to dry and I like to use glazes of thin transparent colour. Also it is good to hide things I'm working on for a while – seeing them afresh can help to sort out the problems. It's a huge privilege to be able to spend my time painting this fine area which has always been home.'

His work is in private collections throughout the world and, apart from local exhibitions, he has shown his work in Seville – after his two years at the Slade he was invited to spend a year painting in Spain – and in touring exhibitions, as well as in Edinburgh and in Manchester.

Winter sunrise by Alan ThompsonWinter sunrise by Alan Thompson

His work is sold by Beckstones Gallery at Greystoke, near Penrith and the slightly looser palette-style depictions of the Mediterranean and Europe are held by the John Noott Galleries at Broadway in the Cotswolds.

His next exhibition of about 40 Lakes landscapes is a culmination of two years work and is on at Beckstones from May 18 for one week.

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