Rob Adams a Painter's Blog painter's progress

April 5, 2013

A Painter’s Life, Chris Alexander

Filed under: Art History,Kent,Life Drawing,Painting,Portraits,Uncategorized — Rob Adams @ 9:51 am

Someone who has given me unstinting encouragement to get out there and paint in my recent career as a proper painter is Steven Alexander of the Wapping Group. He is one of a family dedicated to painting, with two other brothers painting away and a father whose work he has been gathering for a retrospective.
Looking through the many pieces of fine work, makes me think on how fickle fortune is for artists. His father Christopher Alexander, painted figure works and plein air landscapes all his life. There are many sketch books filled with beautifully observed drawings of people and places. He had an especially good eye for figures and taught figure drawing at Canterbury College of Art for many years. History tends often to judge artists not by their work but more upon their talents for self promotion which causes many fine artists to get little exposure in their own lifetimes. Indeed the current trend is to not bother with the work at all but just concentrate on the marketing.
Looking through the pre proofs of the book that has been produced by his son Steve I am struck by how much they are a mirror of the times and of the tides of artistic ideas sweeping to and fro. There are moments of almost Fauvist intensity and even hints of expressionism. There are watercolours that remind me of Corot and drawings that show Degas was a strong influence. The core style in the painting though is that sort of muscular no nonsense impressionism that is native to these shores and much underrated. There is a small taste of his work below and you can see much more at the exhibition in at the Mine Gallery in Carshalton or in the book that covers his career. Below a few examples:

christopher alexander
Portrait study pen and ink 15.5 x 13cm 1949

Christopher Alexander
Portrait study pen and wash 28 x 18cm 1940s/1950s

Christopher Alexander
Portrait study pencil 30 x 30cm 1960s

Christopher Alexander
Girl in a dark coat chalk 62 x 40cm 1960s

Christopher Alexander
Jeanie chalk 46.5 x 30cm 1964

Christopher Alexander
Woman drawing pastel 31 x 32cm 1960s

Christopher Alexander
The life model oils 30 x 41cm 1970s

Christopher Alexander
Two female heads oils 43 x 37cm 1960s

Christopher Alexander
Kingsgate Bay, Thanet oils 29 x 39.5cm 1970s

Christopher Alexander
Blowy day at Botany Bay oils 33 x 44cm 1960s

Christopher Alexander
Watercolour from a 1978 sketchbook (15 x 20cm)

Christopher Alexander
Christopher Alexander drawing in the 1960s

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