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What else is in the exhibition?

The first wall shows six very detailed paintings with mythological or storytelling themes. For example "the Song of the Birds" was inspired by the folk song "Canto de los Pájaros" played by Pablo Casals.The other titles are "the Firebird", "the Garden of Mirthly Delights", "Jacob's Ladder", "Little Tin Soldiers" and "Atomic World".


These pictures took an enormously long time to complete and all consist of oil paint on thick watercolour paper. My studio is in the same place where I worked for many years as a computer programmer and when my online work was finished I would turn around and continue with a painting.

Your pictures are full of details. What do all of these mean?

Well, almost invariably I don't have a theme for the work before I start. But gradually ideas begin to emerge and hopefully all the details fit into place. If the initial marks are wild enough there is usually sufficient vibrancy to keep all the ideas fresh until all is completed. Otherwise, with the amount of overworking I employ, the paintwork might become flat and boring.              


Here are some of the details from "the Garden of Mirthly Delights" (inspired by Hieronymos Bosch's "Garden of Earthly Delights" at the Prado museum in Madrid), which as you can see are all quite different from each other. However, in the end, it is up to you, the viewer, to decide what everything means.

You have some very strange looking creatures in your work. Why do you paint these?

Well it's rather difficult to explain. There must clearly be a strong element of childishness here, but I also like playing with the way the mind works. We have such an innate desire to make sense of whatever we see that often there is no need to be realistic - our brains can easily puzzle it out for us. Also, others can paint images much more realistically than I ever could.


The first three details are from "the Little Tin Soldiers", the next two from "Song of the Birds" and the last one from "Tootle Bunting".

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© All these images are the intellectual property of Alan Kestner 2018 and cannot be copied or reproduced without his express permission.