alan brain art
Fine art for sale
Please visit my new website alan brain art to see
Naturally I am pleased when someone buys a painting but the finest compliment is to have a creation of mine appreciated by others.
I was born to the sound of aircraft engines and my love of all things aeronautical is still part of my life. After a brief stay in Japan as a child I moved to a famous RAF Station - Biggin Hill. A child at a Battle of Britain airfield just after the war - How exciting is that? It left its mark.
My father quit the RAF later to join BOAC as it was then. Now I was near enough to Heathrow to watch the big jets and later I would fly in them.
Inevitably I joined BOAC, later to become British Airways. I had an aptitude for programming apparently so my career was in Computing. I progressed to become a General Manager responsible for Online Fares Services. My team and I built the business from scratch and it was the market leader at the time. My job entailed much travelling and I found myself gazing out of the aircraft windows a lot - little did I know that the sense of space I loved to observe then would appear later in my paintings. I had no inkling that I would love painting at that time.
I also learnt to fly and became a Flying Instructor as a second job but in truth it was a passion. It was similar to the way I now feel about painting in that I just have to do it. However, with painting I can be bold and take risks which is not a good idea for a pilot (smile).
I discovered painting by accident. Evening classes for golf and woodwork did not hold my interest but watercolour classes held me spellbound from the start. I was intrigued by whole process. Art had always been a passing interest and now I was realizing I might be able to do it myself. Thank goodness for those Adult Education classes, they got me going. Painting was becoming central to my life.
Here are some examples of my early work:-
When I started I would paint anything but as I moved on the urge to paint something in particular became evident and demanding. I did not know what it was, but it was stirring in me that could not be ignored. I became frustrated and dissatisfied with my subject matter, angry too sometimes when asked to paint say, a bunch of flowers or waterfalls from an old calendar. There had to be more. I was lucky -
A workshop in the USA caught my eye. The advert for it asked questions like -
I went. I learnt that it is all about painting a feeling that you have within yourself: a love, fear, dread, conviction whatever it is, it must resonate with you. It certainly is not a waterfall. I found like-minded people there, some of whom have become close friends; I am well known there now too having spent nearly three months over several trips in their company - learning, painting and drinking beer.
I found that my best paintings reflected my own sincere feelings - the more sincere the feeling the better the painting. They communicated with me and I have learnt a lot about myself from them. Colour became a fascination to me. The way one colour can enhance, even change another colour, intrigued me. Colour became central to my painting.
I also learnt that I need not apply paint as per a formula. There are no "watercolour police." I enjoyed finding my own way to apply the paint - Freedom had arrived!
Here are some paintings from around that time -
Hockney has said "I paint what I want, where I want, when I want" and that is my approach now -
Every painting I do is an experiment, and as with all experiments, they sometimes fail. That's fine. I love to push my boundaries and I consider each "failure" to be a step forwards. If there is no challenge there is no worthwhile result.
Recently, I have been experimenting with Shapes - pushing and massaging them until they say what I want -Loudly! The Power of the Line is also in my sights - I am intrigued by how such a simple mark can create such a response.
It has been a wonderful journey so far and I look forward to continuing.
Accepted to display with -
Featured in -
Articles written for and published in -
"It’s the honesty of one’s own personal language coming through that really captivates the viewer. No other artist sees the world exactly as you do or feels what you feel—that story is yours alone to tell. When you become vulnerable enough to paint what’s inside of you, that other dimension starts to come through in your work.” Nancy Guzi
"The chief enemy of creativity is good taste" Picasso