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Chickens Al was born and spent his formative years in war torn London. His first memories, he says, are of staying with his Granny North, who lived in a tiny house situated in the East End. In the 50’s this area of London was still a giant bombsite. Food was still being rationed and money was scarce. Al’s life in those early days was tough, no electricity just gaslight, no running hot water nor indoor bathroom or toilet. Soup ingredients resided in the small backyard by way of chickens and rabbits. There were certainly no luxuries such as toys, just pencils and paper.Ssometimes with luck, the pencils were multi-coloured. That is where it all began.

Eieght Years OldAl received his first painting lessons from his Uncle Kenny, himself an accomplished artist. His father when he was around, used to sometimes take the young Alan to a cartoon house in Piccadilly and leave him there alone all day. Al says that that he has probably seen every animation from every studio made up until 1960. When Al was seven years old his father who had been working at the Saddlers Wells Theatre brought home and gave him his first set of oil paints. With those oils Al won his first national painting competitions. The first was sponsored by the Brook Bond Tea company and the other by Desmond Morris who hosted
the TV show ‘Zoo Time”.

The first painting that Al sold was an attempt of a setting sun over a landscape. He surrounded it with an old guilt frame that he bought from a street market for the princely sum of one shilling and sixpence. He hawked his prize piece around the streets and suffered his first rejections and humiliation. Eventually however a costermonger bought the painting for one guinea (twenty one shillings). Al says that on that day, for the first time, he felt like he was an artist but never has done so since.  .

The pictures below are from those early years.

First OilsIn his teens Alan attended Falkirk Street School of Art and Design. It was there that he developed a passion for sculpture.
At that same time Al’s tutor; Miss Lister introduced him to the bohemian lifestyle. He soon left for Paris with the intention of becoming a Beatnik and an artist. Sculpture

Al’s travelling didn’t stop for another fifteen years. He wandered throughout Europe, the East, North Africa, sometimes venturing behind what was then referred to as the Iron Curtain, and eventually spending many years in the USA. For some years he resided in New York City but also explored Mexico, the high mountains of Colorado, the vast forestland of Wyoming, and the magnificent coastline of New England. Throughout those years Al sometimes made his living as a commercial artist but also worked at a variety of jobs. He took his sculpting and model making skills into the realms of carpentry.

He rode as a wrangler at the Pine Grove Ranch in the Catskill Mountains, dived for octopus, crewed as a fisherman, and embarked on his first experience of teaching. Although Alan’s mother had bought him his first guitar when he was ten years old, it was not until his time spent in America that playing music became a large part of his life. Whilst on a visit to a small town north of Boston USA, Alan was invited on a sailing trip along the Eastern Seaboard. Bitten from the first, his life instantly
changed forever.   


boatAs soon as he realized that even with a small vessel of the correct design you can go anywhere in the world single-handed, needing nothing but a fair wind and a fishing line the next decades were spoken for. He studied marine architecture, boatbuilding, and navigation. For many years Al’s love affair with the ocean flourished and since then, he has never lived more than a stone’s throw from the mouth of a river or far from the 
sight of sea and sailboats.

On his return to the UK Al shifted his boatbuilding skills to architecture and house building. However, as always he continued to make pictures.

Plans .

In this short history it is impossible to cover all of Al’s activities, therefore here is some of his personal history:

Alan has run his own commercial studios. His clients have included BBC Television, The Disney Corporation, Warner Bros, The European Space Agency, Dera,
The Gaia Energy Centre, PriceWaterHouse Coopers, and many more. His creations have been exhibited at venues such as the Earl’s Court London, The National Exhibition Centre UK, The Winds Of Change Gallery USA, The Dream Merchant Gallery USA, and more.

Alan holds an Honors degree in fine art, a BSc (Hons) in science, and an MA in interactive art and design. He has lectured and taught at university level in art, design, film, photography, and interactive design. Within his creative endeavors he has made, spent, and lost fortunes. He has travelled much of the world and survived two violent political revolutions. He has swum in many rivers and oceans around this planet. Now he is living here on the South West Coast of Cornwall in the UK. His life is very much about swimming the shoreline, playing guitar on the beach, and as always, making pictures.



Below are some samples from Al’s video sketchbook


China DreamChind Dream
Mind's EyeMinds Eye
Shoot The SnakeShoot The Snake
Can't Let GoCant Let Go
Dark SeaDark Sea
Cotton MoonCotton Moon
Poseidon's HorsePos Horse


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comercial art

To enquire about commissioning Al for projects such as those listed above contact: mail@cazu.com or tel: 07745606275

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