Newcastle based artist Alan Smith Page
My experience of working for many years in a commercial environment taught me to draw both quickly and confidently, and from the late 1960's I became proficient in using Magic Markers on visuals and presentations. The medium itself depends upon speed and a confident hand in order to create a "so easy" look. It therefore seemed a natural progression, when moving on to a more personal and intimate mode of creativity, which I should find myself drawn to the medium of watercolour.
Perhaps because of the various assignments and demands of "commercial art", my style of drawing and painting never remains static, but seems to be in a constant state of flux, forever moving back and forth between stylistic effects as the mood and mind may suggest.
Although I am interested in a variety of subjects such as landscape, still life, the human form etc.my fascination with "street life" and the urban landscape is a major focal point. I simply love painting and drawing the everyday activity of people in the city. Crowded streets, markets, people shopping or just "struttin their stuff" appeal to my sense of humour and I find constant inspiration from the subjects, From Newcastle to New York and many places in between, I have filled sketch books and paintings alike.
In the past I tended to keep mediums separate (and still do), but recently I have taken to mixing them and working in a mixed media, which seems to have brought out stronger drawing in my work - a nod back to my visualising days in advertising, when strong line work was a feature of my style. Back then I had the privilege of working alongside some very fine artists, from whom I learnt so much, and give eternal thanks to both them and fate for placing me in the right place at the right time.. You guys know who you are, although sad to say, some are no longer with us.
I spent part of my working life as Head of Advertising and Graphic Design at Newcastle School of Art, while still keeping freelance work alive in the advertising business - essential for keeping abreast of the times and passing on valid, up-to-the-minute information to young, eager students. "From your students you shall learn"-never a truer word spoken! Those young people were a daily challenge and inspiration, keeping me on my toes and making it a pleasure to come to work. You know who you are too!
So, now having been there, done that, got the t-shirt, it's nice to relax and do as I please.....so nice. Looking back, I am glad I was born an artist, although it has had its moments of doubt and, at times, despair (at those times I wished I had accepted the apprenticeship I was offered as a marine engineer with Hawthorn Leslies Shipyards!)
I hope you enjoy looking at my work, some of it from earlier days but always moving forward and enjoying what is and what used to be.
I am also available to undertake individual commissions.
My work can be viewed by appointment by contacting me on email@example.com