Alan is a classically-trained oil painter based in Toronto Canada with a passion for portraiture, figures and still life. Fine art and art history are his life-long passions. His first professional group exhibition was in 1983 in his home town of Waterloo at age 19. Commissioned portraits and still life watercolours helped to subsidize his university studies. In April 2004, he started formal training at the Academy of Realist Art (ARA) in Toronto, where he learned the secrets of old master drawing and painting. Alan graduated in September 2013 and has been a full-time professional artist since June 2015.
Alan is a member of the Portrait Society of America, the Oil Painters of America, the International Guild of Realism, the Don Valley Art Club, and the Arts Council Haliburton Highlands. He is also a founding member of the Get Real Artists group, a guild of Canadian professional artists who paint in the style of classical realism. Recent exhibits include the ARA Annual Spring Show, the New Masters Exhibition at the Carrier Gallery, and the Get Real Artists show at Visual Arts Mississauga at Riverwood.
“A portrait is well done when it has captured the truth of the subject’s character. That for me is both the challenge and the reward of being a portrait painter. I search for character in the eyes, in the shape of the mouth, and in the pose itself. I like to employ classical lighting effects, clothing and scenery to further bring out the essence of the character I see.
Careful observation is my key to approaching still life as well. Painting a still life forces me to slow down and reflect on the essence of an object — not just what makes a pumpkin a pumpkin instead of an apple or a pine cone, for example, but the way in which the light, the colours it creates, the surrounding objects, and the shadows they cast affect my perception of a particular object. I see personalities emerging and relationships unfolding.