1 SAM CALDWELL.: Alfred Wallis

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Alfred Wallis

I watched a really good documentary this week on BBC called British Masters. I think it's been on a couple of weeks now, I've watched a few of them and some are really interesting and others and really really boring. This weeks was great though. It was all about Cornwall and St Ives in particular. The bit which I really enjoyed was about this guy though, Alfred Wallis.

He was born in August 1855 and was a fisherman all his life, sailing schooners around the North Atlantic. He took up paintings in 1922 at age 67 after his wife died to try to keep himself company. He didn't exhibit or show anyone, just filled his house with his work. 

Then in 1928 Ben Nicholson and Kit Wood were walking past his house and saw his door was open, poked there head inside and were just blown away by Alfred's work stacked up around his front room.

He couldn't really afford canvas and oil paints (even if he could I'm not sure he'd have used them) so he just painted on bits of cardboard and wood he found on the beach with industrial paints they use to paint ships.

I really love the honesty of it all.

"I do not put colours what do not belong. I think it spoils the pictures. There have been a lot of paintings spoiled by putting colours where they do not belong." - Alfred Wallis