23rd Salon Régional d'Art
14.30 - 18.00
Alan Taylor was born in 1942 in that part of England affectionately known as 'Metroland', a vast swathe of Middlesex, Berks and Bucks, GB which lost its rurality to the Metropolitan Railway in the late 19th Century. When 12, he moved with his parents to Vange, a little known village on the Thames estuary where, on the Essex Marshes, his first attempts at painting began.
After leaving school at sixteen, he began a gap "year" that included several jobs, part-time study and a spell in the Merchant Navy. It lasted five years. At 21 he went to Colchester School of Art for the first of several years' full-time training before gaining an Upper Second Honours Degree in Art & Design from Stourbridge College of Art.
Living in Wivenhoe, a member of the Wivenhoe Artists Group, he exhibited extensively in London and East Anglia before returning to full-time studies and gaining a Post Graduate Art Teachers Certificate from the University of Sussex. His first full-time Art post was back in Essex at a Comprehensive School where he taught for three years. He then moved to Devon, opting for part-time art teaching and part-time painting alongside his partner Jo's graphic design agency.
In a search for space and tranquillity, the couple moved to France in 1988 where he became a temporary Barn Converter and Amateur Builder. The painting did, however, continue with commissions, exhibitions, submissions to open competitions and personal research. A fairly recent - May 2006 - invitation to hold a solo show at the University of Caen resulted in a burst of creative activity and the end of further barn converting - the latter hastened by a broken hip after tripping over one of the two large and heavy dogs with whom he and Jo share their stone-floored living room. More recently, in August 2010, he held a solo exhibition at the Chateau de Balleroy. Sporadic forays into music and collectables have done nothing to quell his fascination for paint and colour and the painting, which, having begun at the age of fourteen, continues to this day.
Married to Jo Taylor, a writer, graphic designer and illustrator, they live in an 18th Century farmhouse near Bayeux, Calvados, France with the two large dogs and a lot of unfinished jobs.
Foulognes, May 2010.