Alan Thompson Exhibition 2023

About the exhibition

It is remarkable to think that Beckstones’ partnership with Alan Thompson goes back to the eighties and, as our longest standing artist, Alan has been a constant presence at Beckstones. Alan’s beautiful paintings have always had pride of place opposite our desk in the gallery, always at eye level, and we have had the pleasure of seeing them every day for almost 40 years.

Now, as we launch Alan’s ninth solo exhibition, it is hard to believe that even after all these years, though his style has softened slightly over the years, his paintings continue to surprise and delight us and we are thrilled to be able to reveal this latest collection.

So what is it that makes one painting stand out from another? What is the magic ingredient artists strive for but rarely achieve? With Alan his indisputable magic is his unbelievable ability to suffuse a painting with the most natural light whatever the season or weather. Even on the dullest of days his paintings have the most subtle luminosity to them, lighting up a wall in the most natural way and encapsulating this beautiful part of the world quite perfectly.   

A wonderful draughtsman even as a boy, over the years Alan has truly perfected his craft. His oil paintings with their detail and unerring sense of colour illustrate just how much Alan cherishes the natural world around him, noticing and highlighting details we might otherwise miss, the warm glow of sunlight on a leaf, wildflowers on a riverbank or a glimpse of spring blossom heralding the end of another long winter.

Born in 1953 near Penrith, Alan studied at Carlisle College of Art before gaining a first-class honours degree at Leicester. A post graduate scholarship to the famed Slade School of Art, University College London followed where he studied under Uglow, Freud and Coldstream, leading to a very successful professional career.

Father of three and now grandfather of 5, Alan continues to live with his wife Kathryn on the edge of the Lake District in the beautiful Eden Valley.  As Alan’s main gallery, we consider ourselves very fortunate indeed to be able to share these beautiful paintings with you.

A word from Alan

Welcome to my ninth exhibition at Beckstones Art Gallery. All these pictures have been painted within 30 miles of my home. This is such a special area and it has kept my painting interests stimulated for the past 40 years. Anyone who loves landscape, nature, the Lake District will share the knowledge of how special it is. Here skies explode with weather, drama or at times become the Mediterranean blue of a dunnock’s egg, and, when the sun breaks through it illuminates the hillsides with a clarity, making distance appear near enough to touch or the reflections in the lakes as clear as reality! Spring bluebells and ransoms carpet the woodland floor, trees and hedgerows break into heady spring blossom and later turn the wonderful subtle then fiery exuberant colours of Autumn. When there are heavy frosts or it snows, everything is transformed into a wonderland, and even the rain can produce silver morning mists or dark skies heightening the drama of the high craggy mountains. What a precious area this is and how lucky I am to wander the hills and valleys in pursuit of subjects to paint.

I hope I am again able to reflect my excitement and wonder and celebrate the preciousness of this northern English landscape in my paintings.

Thanks for looking and thanks again to Niki and Karen at Beckstones for their organisational skills.