It might sound strange, but sometimes an extended break from art can be a good thing. Alan Somers spent most of his childhood and teenage years drawing and painting, and at some point it became commonplace, a part of his life taken for granted. When he reached adulthood he stopped and got entangled with chores of everyday life. For almost a decade he struggled to delve back into his one-time passion, only rarely getting the chance to put pencil to paper, bristles to canvas.
But that time away from art gave Somers a new perspective entirely when he returned to his work. Feeling almost that he had to make up for lost time, he threw himself into painting, almost obsessive in the rediscovery of this long lost craft. His mind is calmer now than it was when he was young, and his observational skills more honed.
His Watercolours are varied and he enjoys working on both landscape and portrait, using colour or more often monochrome tones. Somers remarks; “I think it’s important to have some variation, in order to keep the work exciting.”
Notably his cityscapes take centre stage. Somers aims to capture an atmosphere, a mood, a fleeting moment. Figures, shadows, cars, a city in movement. Light and shadow play an important role in Somers compositions, with touches of strong colour in his subdued palette in the form of car break lights, or traffic lights, drawing the eye into a scene of transition in the city he inhabits. Without question his watercolours have a liquid magical quality.
In recent years he has mastered oil paint, and the light that emerges from his canvases is extraordinary. The composition seems to take a back seat to the pulsating luminosity that bounces off his subject matter whatever it may be.
At 42 years of age Alan Somers is well on his way to becoming one of Dublin’s finest City Scape painters.
He is represented by The Duke Street Gallery in Dublin where he has had sellout shows, and by The Whitethorn Gallery in Clifden, County Galway.