Alan Stoddart is well-known on Denman Island as a really funny multi-talented guy: uber-volunteer, Falstaffian wit, organic gardener, entrepreneur, builder, to name just a few.
But artist? Wait for it: on the evening of Aug. 9 at the Denman Arts Centre, Alan, aka Monsieur Ruffart, makes his formal debut as a painter.
He has dabbled in a number of artistic endeavours since moving to Denman in the summer of 2010 (thereby adding to the island repertoire of storied romances) but one day he picked up a paint brush and that was it.
Once started he couldn’t stop. He says that this is one of the most rewarding things he has ever done, and he is having so much fun.
Why No Surrender? For a start, the “Irish question” loomed large in Alan’s British childhood and the phrase has stayed with him. Besides, he thought it sounded neat — in this respect not unlike William Faulkner who, when asked about the title of his novel, Light in August, replied that he thought it sounded pretty. But perhaps more importantly, Alan says that seeing things through in the face of adversity is something he was never very good at.
Until now. He is working at finding his way as a painter and discovering that although it is sometimes difficult, he enjoys the struggle and he is not about to give up.
He describes his style as abstract expressionism: it’s abstract and he is expressing himself. And he will tell you flat out: Michaelangelo he’s not, but he paints with passion, he really enjoys it, and he wants you to enjoy it, too.
The door opens Friday at 7 p.m. and the show runs until Aug. 20. The gallery is open every day from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. — 1 to 3:45 on Sundays. The artist is often in attendance.
— Denman Arts Centre