“Returning to painting after such a long time has given me a chance to look at my work with a fresh eye, to explore new avenues and move in different directions. I will always be fascinated by dramatic skies, stormy seas and the sense of freedom that expansive landscapes evoke, but as you will see from a few of these new pieces, my work is becoming less figurative and moving even more towards the abstract.
I have adopted an experimental approach, applying oil paint with a palette knife and splattering the canvas with a thinning agent allowing them to merge together creating new lines and shapes. I can control the initial colours and placing of the thinners, but the final results evolve independently, creating natural textures and forms which are unplanned – it is exciting watching them develop and building on the images that emerge – they are my happy accidents.” Alan Stratford July 2023
My life as an artist really began when in 2002 I moved to Somerset from London, following an 18 year career in graphic design. I got out of the graphics industry in 2013 when the work dried up and opened my own art gallery in Wells – but my real passion has always been painting.
So, in 2017 after selling the gallery, I made the move to Cornwall to paint fulltime. Inspired by the beauty of the Cornish landscape and the everchanging drama of the sea and sky, I endeavour to create works which are both ‘evocative and atmospheric’.
In 2009 I was lucky enough to win the ‘Artist of the Year’ award sponsored by Artists and Illustrators magazine for my painting entitled ‘That Certain Smile’. The painting of a young woman was a complete departure from my usual semi-abstract landscapes and has led to numerous commissioned portraits of not only people but also horses.
I love to explore new subject matters and painting styles, either figurative or abstract, continually striving for the perfect balance of asthetic appeal and artistic merit.