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Meet the artist: Alan Furneaux

Artist Alan Ferneuax is a neighbour to us Whistlefish lot, not that you would think that from meeting him - wearing his London baker boy cap and French inspired Breton top, Alan looks the part of an artist travelling around Europe, making himself at home in any given city. Luckily for us, home is Penzance, right here in Cornwall and Alan's happy demeanour is poured into his brilliantly bold artwork. Read on for his top tips using both acrylic and oil paints and hear why Alan's pasta has to be only the best quality. 

Good to see you Alan, where are you based at the moment? 

I am based in Penzance where I have my Home Studio (it's a converted garage) next to my house. 

Such a good idea to have a studio close by. Are you trained or self-taught? 

I am a self-taught Artist. 

How fabulous. How did that come about?

We always had pictures of my Grandfather George Hann's work and I found it fascinating how all the brush marks were formed. I just had an interest from a very early age, I was full of intrigue - how did he do that? Why did he choose those colours/strokes? Can I do that? 

Any mediums you prefer?

I like both Acrylic or Oil it just depends on what I want to create and how fast I want to do it (and how damp or dry the weather is). Acrylic paint won't dry well if it`s damp. When the conditions are right I love acrylic because you get that strong bold colour. Equally,  I love oil because it has a different 'life' to it and visibly is more pleasing.

How interesting. We love your use of colour that's for certain. Do you have any preferred subjects? 

Usually a visual with the sea included is good. I like to go Plein Air Painting or sit and sketch outdoors to get ideas and to keep learning. I also love still-life because of the way it draws you in. 

How would you describe your work? In three words, perhaps?

Happy, colourful, mature. 

Your work definitely makes us happy. Where/who do you draw inspiration from? 

I like to go Plein air painting or outdoor sketching to get ideas and to keep learning.In the studio is is all created in my head and memory as I find that gives me more licence and allows for a better painting. 

We can imagine you - wearing your statement hat, dining al-fresco while sketching scenes close-by. Where do your travels take you? 

Spain. I love Costa Brava especially because of the rugged coastline, it reminds me a little of Cornwall. 

Do you have a favourite spot down here in Kernow? 

Porthminster Beach in St Ives for me is heaven or Pedne Vounder near Porthcurno for a secluded break. 

Two very special spots! Where would your home from home be?

Perhaps London. So I could soak up the culture. Somewhere nice like Hamstead Heath. 

We'll meet you on a red double-decker bus for a city tour! How about your home style? What’s that like? 

Messy but homely 

A typical artists abode. Any favourite eats? 

Simple pasta is food heaven, I like to get the best quality because it tastes better.

What’s been your coolest ‘pinch me’ moment?

Seeing my name on a Gallery window in posh City of London was pretty cool.

What’s next for you? 

Just to keep on painting and perhaps a little more video of me at work. I really do love my job that much and feel very lucky.