Alan starts his painting at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum.
Equestrian artist, Alan Langford, demonstrated painting at the ‘Animals in Art and Nature’ evening at Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, Bournemouth.
In just over two hours Alan completed a watercolour of gypsy horses, while finding plenty of time to talk to visitors as well.
The evening celebrated the summer 2023 exhibition ‘In Her Own Voice’ which brought together a stunning selection of works by the famous equestrian painter, Lucy Kemp-Welch, at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum.
Poster by Lucy Kemp-Welch depicting Robert Baden-Powell’s horse ‘Black Prince’.
If you think you’ve never heard of Lucy Kemp-Welch, think again … she illustrated the first edition of Anna Sewell’s classic book ‘Black Beauty’, using Baden-Powell’s horse Black Prince as the model for Black Beauty.
Alan Langford was gripped by the same desire as Lucy Kemp-Welch to capture in paint the power and movement of horses, and their special relationship with people.
Alan writes in his book ‘WELGORA’ …
Illustration from Alan’s book ‘WELGORA’.
‘In the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth, hangs Lucy Kemp-Welch’s eight foot long canvas, entitled The Gypsy Horse Drovers, which she painted when she was still an art student under the tutorage of Herbert Von Herkomer RA. The idea for the painting occurred to her when she saw the approach of a number of heavy-hoofed cobs, driven by tough-looking Romani riders along a muddy country lane, under a grey wintry sky.
Rushing from her lodgings with palette and brushes in hand, and the lid of her paint box to serve as a paint board, she executed a swift, skilful composition as this irregular, rampant procession proceeded before her.
Following this exciting encounter and full of the energetic enthusiasm that compels artists when embarking on a project that interests them deeply, she ordered an eight foot long, stretched canvas and set about composing her figures against the landscape. The confidence required to undertake such a task using only a hastily prepared oil study for reference was quite extraordinary, and Lucy was only in her early twenties at the time.
Some eighty years later, I stood before this astonishing painting, skin hot from sunburn, salty sand trapped between my toes, and rolled damp towel tucked under my arm … I was completely transported to that cold, muddy lane with its grazing and rearing horses as recorded by Lucy Kemp-Welch all those years ago.’
When you visit Bournemouth, don’t miss going to see Lucy Kemp-Welch’s magnificent painting ‘The Gypsy Horse Drovers’ at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum.