Alastair Elkes-Jones was born in Llangollen in 1942 and spent his childhood and formative years in the industrial and rural climate of North Wales. Since 1971 he has lived on the South Wales coast working at his studio in Mumbles. Painting has been a life long pursuit unencumbered by formal training. His inspiration is found in the imagery of rural and coastal South Wales, the mountainous landscapes of North Wales, and the people who live and work there.
He works primarily in oils, applying the medium with brush and palette knife, often onto a canvas divided into a triptych form, building up the surface of the canvas with successive layers of paint. Finally brushes are used to work both into wet paint and onto the drying layers of the under-painting to achieve a distinctive blend of texture and colour in the final work.
The earlier, anecdotal works of floral still life, the people of the South Wales valleys and local beaches have begun to play an increasingly important part in the development of a more abstract style. Here, the building of a surface dominated by colour patterns tends to take the subject over from a more mechanical application of paint, in a wholly instinctive and often subconscious process.
The final outcome derives from a meeting of experiences, past and present; north and south, that produce images transmuted by the earlier and powerful experiences of a childhood in rural Wales.