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Alan Hopwood initially trained as an engineer, before gaining a BA Hons Degree and a Masters in fine art. Following 12 years as a lecturer in Fine Art, Alan has returned to his primary passion of painting. As a disabled person, Alan’s work is often both governed and informed by his condition. Working as his mobility allows, on small or large pieces or using digital media and photography, Alan finds that, despite his limitations, he can nearly always find some creative activity to engage himself in. Alan uses his fluctuating condition as the subject for his work, he is drawn to subjects that reflected his mood, bringing this back into his studio to create works that use a more abstract language to express human emotion.
Combining traditional painting techniques with digital manipulation
9 March 2015
I am a visual artist who has studied Fine Art at Masters’ Degree level as well as lecturing in Fine art for some 12 years. In 2014, my muscular skeletal condition escalated to such a level that I had to stop work and register myself as disabled. Since then I have been, as we all do, finding a life balance that enables me to manage my condition whilst still having some fulfilment and family life. In the Autumn I was able to find a small space to use as a studio, and now, as and...
21 March 2015
As I mentioned in the last blog, I have a condition that effects my joints and muscles causing varied amounts of pain and fatigue. This meant that each day was unpredictable and limited what I was able to do. I knew that I needed to try to remain mobile, so walking was vital; this is where the interest in photography developed, it made a slow walk much more interesting if I was looking and taking photos. It also had the effect of making me appreciate the changing world from day to day and as...
14 April 2015
With the Easter break over, it is the last week of my exhibition at the Landscape Gallery ( still available to view on my website www.alanhopwood.com ) and this has been a period of thinking rather than working. Seeing work together in a show, helps you to understand a collective direction, and it was rather apparent that my work has been moving towards a more abstract language. Driven, I think by an interest in the aesthetics of peeling paint and decay, a desire to be more creative and...
As the clouds lift over Glenderattera
11 June 2015
As I recover from another spell of immobility and days of migraines, I am reminded of the therapeutic nature of creativity. Even in its memory it helps to maintain some sense of worth and fulfilment, keeping the wolves of depression at bay. I have chosen to show a painting from a current project, one that enables me to travel, see beautiful countryside, take photos and ultimately paint. All of these activities are part of the creative journey that culminates in finished artwork, but more than...
4 August 2015
I have been making the most of our changing British weather, although I love a clear sunny day, for artwork purposes, the moody changes can also be exciting. My mobility has been poor for a couple of weeks, so I have been grabbing moments outside, working in my sketchbooks direct from the landscape, rather than the long sessions in my studio. It is always good to return to source as an artist, but I feel this is even more important when your art is used for more than expression. I talk a lot...
A new direction
7 October 2015
It’s been a busy and enjoyable summer, having time with family and exploring our beautiful country. All this activity has reduced my art output but I always have a camera with me and usually a sketchbook, pages from which are on my Facebook page. What this time does allow, is more thinking and planning. My work of late has been therapeutic and mostly Landscape based, but it was becoming more abstract and expressive, indicating a shift in my conceptual interests. Thinking about people with...
23 November 2015
Alan Hopwood November 2015 blog Interruptions It has been an exciting period since my last blog, I have turned 50, had work exhibited in Leeds and Leicester, and began my mentoring programme thanks to DASH. At the same time my work is at a crossroads, I have been looking back, searching for a way forward. It is always interesting to look back at old sketchbooks, especially if you can do it with another creative person. The multitude of options and possible directions that are forgotten,...
Remember to enjoy
3 December 2015
Alan Hopwood Blog December 2015 With Christmas coming, I have decided to write my blog early as I know it will be a bit mad in the next few weeks. Likewise, I have been working on my artwork in haste, knowing I will get few opportunities during the holiday, and for the past few days, I have noticed my anxieties rising and a familiar dark moody pressure approaching. Luckily nowadays, I am able to identify such low moods as they grow and I am able to put my strategies such as meditation...
New sketchbook studies
2 February 2016
It is difficult starting a new project. Having to develop a new visual language, to communicate new ideas, and when those ideas are connected to your own wellbeing, both physical and mental, it can be very hard to remain emotionally detached from what you are doing. I have felt some anxiety in these early stages of the project. Not knowing what to do is always a bit stressful, but mostly I have been excited and a little frustrated that my condition has flared up, preventing me from working on...
White Horse 2016
1 March 2016
As I mentioned in my last Blog, I have been struggling with my new project, and with my health. The combination of which were causing me some anxiety. So I have taken a slight step back, not putting so much pressure on myself, and remembering to allow the therapeutic nature of my creative practice to return. My first trip out for a while was shared with a friend, which always adds to the pleasure of the day, and he showed me some basic video techniques. This was my first attempt at video and I...
19 April 2016
April 2016 Blog Spring feels very welcome this year, after a spell of immobility, the sunshine has come and as always, it draws me out into the landscape. I am beginning to regain some independence and with it comes the desire to be creative. Photography is always my first outlet, even when my mobility is limited, it still allows me to get out and do something. At the moment, I am taking photos to inform ideas for a painting to hopefully be part of the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust...
7 November 2016
Tough Summer It has been a very tough summer, with my condition flaring up more frequently, and staying for longer than usual. Hence I haven’t posted a blog for some time and I haven’t been working creatively either. This I have found comes at a cost; when I am ill, is when I need my creativity most. It has a very therapeutic effect as well as giving me a reason to get out and move around. Without it, depression starts to get a foothold and everything becomes harder, both for me and my...
An introductory word from the Artist
9 February 2015
I use subjects direct from nature, such as weather and compositions in observational studies. These are very much in response to a time and place, with a sense of personal experience, captured and held in time, as a memory. In my larger studio works, I explore a more conceptual idea that comes from a combined sense of memory, emotion and perception. These collective influences are less connected to a specific event and therefore ideas are explored through more abstract...