Michael Alford



(British, b. 1958)



Michael Alford is a diversified painter, whose work combines expressionist technique and Romanticism/Classicism with Impressionist and post-Impressionist leanings. He was born in Cookham, England, grew up in Germany, and attended rugby school! His earliest art training came from his father, a colonel in the Royal Engineers, who taught him to draw in perspective from a young age. After a stint in the Royal Marines, Michael went on to Durham University where he studied Spanish and Arabic. He used his language skills to travel extensively in South America and the Middle East, keeping detailed sketchbooks to record his experiences. A series of early drawings reveals a talent for the representational depiction of cities, human figures, and natural scenes – subjects that form the core of his work to this day.



Returning to the United Kingdom, Michael pursued studies at the prestigious Slade School and the Chelsea School of Art before launching a successful painting career. Well known for his ability to blend classical technique with Romantic, expressionistic, and impressionistic sensibilities, his work can be found in public and private collections around the world. He exhibits regularly in the United Kingdom, as well as in the United States and continental Europe.



Michael’s body of work is varied, reflecting his interests in many aspects of life, as well as his skill in a variety of media. He is best known for masterful cityscapes of urban centers such as London, New York, and Barcelona. His paintings and drawings of figures, clothed and nude – are highly sought after for their combination of fine draughtsmanship, acute observation, and sense of painterly drama. He is frequently commissioned as a portraitist of both individuals and groups. Continuing his practice of painting while travelling, Michael regularly produces plein air paintings, and watercolor and oil sketches of landscapes from Dorset to Oman.



In 2011 Michael served as “Official War Artist” to the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, accom-panying them on their tour of Afghanistan. While there, he completed Afghan Sketches, a series of 24 watercolors that record his experience of living alongside the soldiers on remote patrol bases on the edge of ISAF-controlled territory. He exhibited these and other Afghan paintings at a special exhibition held at the Royal Geographical Society, later donating his sketchbook to “The Colonel’s Fund,” the Guard’s charitable body. Michael was subsequently commissioned by the Guards to paint two large ceremonial works, “Blue 9” and “Presentation of the Colors.”



Education




 

Slade School of Fine Art, London, EnglandM

Chelsea School of Art, London



Museum & Juried Exhibitions




2010

Annual Exhibition, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, London

London Art Fair , Panter & Hall, London

2009

Annual Exhibition, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, London

London Art Fair , Panter & Hall, London

2007-08

Chelsea Art Society Summer Exhibition , London

2005-06

Annual Exhibition, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, London

2005

Chelsea Art Society Summer Exhibition , London



Solo Exhibitions




2010

Highgate Contemporary Art , London

Duncan Campbell Gallery, London

Helmand Paintings, Royal Geographical Society, London

2006-09

Duncan Campbell Gallery, London



Group Exhibitions




Various

Royal Society of Oil Painters, London

Royal Geographical Society, London

2013

Chloe Gallery , San Francisco CA

2012

Christmas & New Year Show, Lime Tree Gallery , Bristol, England

New Year Show, Medici Gallery, London

2011

Summer Show, Blackheath Gallery, London

Summer Show, Medici Gallery , London

2009

Group show, Bucranio Arte, Italy

2007-08

Highgate Fine Art , London

Bucranio Arte, Italy

2005-06

Neville Gallery, Canterbury, England

Blackheath Gallery, London

Highgate Contemporary Art, London

Collins & Hastie, London

2005

Chatto Gallery, London

King’s Road Gallery , London



Prizes, Honors, & Awards



“Green and Stone”, Oil Painting Prize



“Agnes Reeve Memorial Prize,”, best painting of London



Prima Luce mural prize



Grenadier Guards, commission, “Blue 9,” “Presentation of the Colors”



Media & Reviews




2011

Cover, The Strand Magazine

2010

Afghan Sketches , Grenadier Guards' Publication

2008

Cover, The Strand Magazine, June-September

2007

Cover, International Artist Magazine, “The Age of Reason II,” April/May

2006

Cover , Artists and Illustrators Magazine, December

Article, Michael Alford, Artists and Illustrators Magazine , December



Career



Council Member, Chelsea Arts Society



Official War Artist, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards



Enlisted, Royal Marines