Letting Fly

Categories: 2019 November-December Issue, Landscape, Oil, and Wolton, Alan.

There is nothing subtle about an Alan Wolton painting—and that is just as he has planned it. His colors almost sing with energy, causing viewers’ eyes to dance through the painting, pausing here and there before moving on, through and around the light, and savoring every aspect of it.

Wolton’s magical paintings have earned him master signature status in the Oil Painters of America (OPA), as well as several awards, including 2017 Sedona Legacy Artist and OPA’s 2014 Distinguished Artist of the Year. While he appreciates the kudos, what really gets his adrenaline going is the act of applying paint to canvas.

“My paintings are seldom experimental,” Wolton says. “I don’t start a canvas until I have a completed vision of the scene and the colors; then I let fly. I literally splash my way across the canvas.”

That splashing began approximately 75 years ago when, at age 10, Wolton was making use of a cheap watercolor set to paint little landscape scenes. Born in London in 1934, he was raised in South Africa, where his father worked as an engineer. “I was actually conceived in South Africa,” he says. “My mother had lost a child, so they went back to England for my birth, and then we returned to South Africa.”

Sedona Snow

40” by 40”

“This another Wolton fantasy, created from an enhanced look through my north-facing studio window at an aspect of Wilson Mountain.”

Radiant Spring

40” by 50”

“This is a Moroccan scene near the Atlas Mountains. We walked through some magnificent almond blossoms before starting our mountain climb. We met many folks, both locals and visitors, who chose to ride mules.”