For Bucks County artist Alan Fetterman, "The object isn't to make art, it's to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable." That sentiment, penned by early 20th century artist Robert Henri, is one Alan aspires to every day.
In 1998, he was on the threshold of his career when he first appeared in Bucks County Town & Country Living magazine. In her article, art critic and art historian, Cathie Viksjo, wrote: "For someone who never anticipated being an artist, Alan Fetterman now knows that life is full of surprises."
Over the years, the two kept in touch and Cathie was inspired to write a book about his artistic journey. The book, Illuminate, is slated for release this fall and defines what sets Alan apart from other Bucks County Impressionists. The book is dedicated to Charles Mitchell, her former professor and chair of the art history department at Bryn Mawr College.
In the book, Cathie recalled their first meeting. The two were introduced by the late Frank Bianco in 1995 at a crowded opening reception at the Bianco Gallery in Buckingham. Cathie immediately noticed a stunning intensity about Alan. Just beginning his career as a painter, he was thrilled to be there and said to her, "I'm an artist—at least I think I am."
"I'm an art critic," she replied.
"Oh, good," Alan said. "You can tell me if I am."
Fast forward to the present and we have a pretty good idea. After 26 solo exhibitions and over 150 group shows, Alan's work is collected throughout the United States and abroad. His painting, Doylestown at the Turn, is prominently displayed in the Doylestown Hospital lobby and also appears on the cover of "Illuminate."
This fall, Alan will have a solo show at the Silverman Gallery in Buckingham, PA. Gallery owner, Herman Silverman, has been a major supporter of his work. The show, entitled, "Bucks County and the Art of Alan Fetterman," will run from November 10 to December 8. Copies of "Illuminate" will be available at the gallery and signings will take place there as well as at the Doylestown Book Store and the Centre Bridge Inn of New Hope.
Recently, Alan discovered that a suite at the Centre Bridge Inn was named after him, featuring some of his original artwork. There is even a signature cocktail on their menu called "The Fetterman," made with ginger beer and Blackheart Rum.
Yet, he remains unaffected by his celebrity, stating, "I don't see my work as great, but good. I do what I can to make it better."
He has been perfecting his style ever since he began painting in 1993 at the age of 35. Totally self-taught, his only art lesson was given to him at age five by his father who taught him how to draw a cube. Alan demonstrated by deftly sketching one with his brush. "This simple cube was the basis of all my future drawing," he said.
To finish reading about Alan Fetterman, go to page 45 in Fall 2012 issue of Bucks County Magazine.