Ray Balkwill, SWAc is a well-known West Country artist whose…
Alan Cotton, one of Britain’s most distinctive landscape artists, has travelled to many parts of the globe to discover new subjects for his paintings.
His explorations have taken him from Morocco to Tibet, where he went as Expedition Artist to Mount Everest with Sir David Hempleman-Adams. As Tour Artist, Alan also travelled with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Fiji. When working in Transylvania, paintings from which feature in this exhibition, he was privileged to stay in The Prince of Wales’ cottage.
Alan has produced paintings from all these exotic places, but it is to Provence in the South of France and Tuscany and Piemonte in Italy that he returns again and again. Sometimes film crews accompany him and there have been a number of television films of Alan working in these regions. The first, “A Step or Two Away the Picture is Complete” for BBC saw Alan working in his studio, along the Otter Valley and in Brittany. Two half hour programmes called “Cotton on Canvas”, narrated by Hugh Scully, were made for ITV and these was filmed amongst the hill towns of Provence, the orchards of Tuscany and beside the canals in Venice.
There have been two illustrated biographies by Art Historian Jenny Pery “On a Knife Edge” and “Giving Life A Shape” and a new book “Drawn to Paint”, currently in production, which shows how his drawings form the basis for his paintings, will be launched at the Private View of his London Exhibition with David Messum in September 2019.
Alan is Hon. Professor of Arts at the University of Bath and a founder member and President Emeritus of the South West Academy. He also received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Exeter for his “…outstanding contribution to the Arts”.