Alan Lowndes, Tight Rope Walker
Alan was embedded with the Belle Vue Circus in Manchester in 1959 for six months. He made many sketches while he was there mostly in ink wash. Tight Rope Walker was one of the earliest and rarest of his circus paintings for reasons explained below.
Alan Lowndes, 'Tight Rope Walker' - click image for more information.
He completed several oil paintings in his Manchester studio in King Street, but disaster struck. Alan was a serious smoker and drinker, there is no doubt that after a painting session in his studio he must have dropped a cigarette end while still alight. Any art studio has many combustible items, his had more than most. As a result his studio caught fire and he lost several of his Circus paintings. There is a very grainy press photograph of Alan holding one of his damaged paintings. The article in the local press stated, "Artist Alan Lowndes holds his fire blistered oil painting for attractive next door neighbour, 'Maureen Scopes' to examine. Blaze wrecks paintings." At least he gained good publicity for himself. He also had the good fortune to be offered temporary studio accommodation in a pub nearly opposite the Granada TV studios. Landlord Arthur Gosling liked art and hung paintings around the pub several of which were by Alan enabling journalists and producers to see his work. Michael Parkinson for instance bought some of his paintings. Alan's long association with show business people and writers was always an important factor in his life. He completed Tight Rope Walker in 1961 when he was in St. Ives.
For further information read pages 94-98, "Alan Lowndes", biography by Jonathan Riley, published 2010.
This painting will be sold at auction at 10am on Monday 17th February 2020.
Update: The painting sold for £9,920 including premium.