You will probably not have heard of the man on the left. He is called Alan Knight and he lives in Anglesey. It took him years to get back to the thing he always loved - Art.
Shirley and I went to see an exhibition of his paintings at Oriel Ynys Mon - the main exhibition centre on the Isle of Anglesey.
We were struck by his work in oils. So vibrant and swift and nearly all clearly done with palette knives.
To the right there's a close up corner of his urgent technique as seen in a typical painting. Up close it seems rough - as if just clarted on to the canvas but stand back from it and it looks like a vivid, believable sky, filled with physical energy.
Even though visitors weren't allowed to take pictures in Oriel Ynys Mon, I was very naughty and snapped the following two pictures. If I had had a spare thousand pounds on me I would have loved to buy one of them to hang on our front room wall:-
I visited Alan Knight's website and found him saying this about his painting:-
"After trying various techniques and mediums down the years I eventually discovered that knife painting in oil best suited my temperament. I want a result quickly, in one session, and knife painting enables a speedy process. I’ve found that deliberating over a work and being too hesitant always produces a lifeless, uninspired result. Having the confidence to abandon one's inhibitions and paint in the white heat of inspiration and excitement does not come easy. It took me years to untangle myself and begin to relish and enjoy the pleasure of painting and to forget about the finished work, just to enjoy the process. I tend not to think too much when I paint.
I take inspiration from the visual world. When outside I can see paintings everywhere. Back in my studio the process begins of transforming, distilling what I have seen into an original, personal vision in oil paint. In the end it’s a question of feeling and response."
Though I am using watercolour, I wonder if I could take a little of Alan's approach into my own painting. He scorns the idea of "deliberating" and "being too hesitant". Perhaps I should swig a few glasses of Irish whiskey before putting brush to paper... or more likely I could never approach things in quite the same way as Alan. Oils are so different. You can scrape oil paint off or paint over something you have done. Much more room for amendment. But as I say, a little of Alan Knight's approach probably wouldn't come amiss.