Saturday, 19 May 2012

ALEC FLEMING (1903-1978)

A lovely man called George, who's being restoring and framing paintings forever, rang me this week to ask whether he could show me some pictures he'd bought at a house clearance. "They're rather nice," he said. "I think you'll like them." He was right. It's not often I get that fizzy feeling in my stomach, but these four paintings created that response immediately.
We know very little about Alec Fleming, who lived with his wife Barbara (who was also a painter) in Alderley Edge. He was born in 1903 and died in 1978. We don't think they had any children.

They obviously loved to travel, as many of the pictures are of European cities and landscapes including Italy and France. As I imagine it, they painted pictures of places they visited and loved, and returned home with their memories in oil on board, rather than conventional photographs or postcards. I love the idea they wanted to paint something into their memory, rather than simply taking a snapshot of it.

 Alec painted local scenes too, of the Cheshire countryside and coastal scenes from what we think is the south of England. None of the paintings have titles, and all are very simply signed on the back. George has lovingly restored the pictures and given them elegant frames that show them off well. I've only seen a handful of pictures, but they're all impressive, with an assured, lose brush stroke, and with hints of inspiration from impressionist artists like Vincent Van Gogh and Alfred Sisley.

 I'd love to know more about this artist, and his wife too: George has several of Barbara's paintings in his collection as well. But for the moment, I'll have to be content with simply the paintings, which speak for themselves.


Christopher Rainham said...

Hi Fiona
They look fantastic, lovely use of material. How many have you got?

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