MotorCities National Heritage Area
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By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the Alan Fearnley Gallery
Published 11-10-2021

alan fearnley 1Alan Fearnley

This story is about one of the most talented and gifted automotive artists in the world, Alan Fearnley. Born in Yorkshire, England, he would become one of the most gifted students at Batley College of Art, where he was admired by many. Today, he is known as one of the world’s most talented automotive artists.

Fearnley’s oil on canvas paintings have chronicled automotive history from Jaguars to Rolls Royces. His brush has captured their unique style in great flourishes of color.

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Fearnley’s career began as a commercial studio illustrator many years ago. His great works of art are exhibited in many homes around the world, as well as many corporate offices as well. Fearnley once said that his main source of inspiration has been classic motor and race cars.

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For many years, automotive historians have said that Fearnley’s work is like a real window into the past, where people, cars and architecture literally come to life before our eyes. The Gallerix Museum said this about Fearnley’s work: “It seems that if the wind blows, we can easily smell the gasoline.”

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Fearnley has painted more than 100 works on the subject of classic cars and auto racing. Over 70,000 copies of his work have been published as automotive illustrations. Fearnley calls his work a version of impressionism, using oil and acrylic paints. I always felt that he was a great artist and could bring automotive history to life as an illustrator.

Alan Fearnley 1942 British Formula One painter 5

Fearnley’s has a great reputation within the historical auto community and has a great passion for beautiful landscapes, trains, aviation, ships and people which all have become works of art by the stroke of his paint brush. He certainly is one of the world’s foremost automotive artists. His painting has won praise from critics and enthusiasts alike who appreciate his ability to create detailed images. His most popular paintings have become the basis for prints, posters, albums, calendars, and other uses.

Alan Fearnley 1942 British Formula One painter 6

When you look at a Fearnley painting, you can study the history of the automotive industry and motorsports as well. In 1974, Fearnley became a member of the Aviation Artist Guild, and was awarded the BAC trophy and the Quantas trophy for his work on aviation. Automotive historians reported that Mercedes Benz executives were so fascinated by Fearnley’s automotive illustrations that they published a great looking album of his works as a gift for their most important customers.

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Today, at 79, Fearnley is still one of the leading automotive artists in the world. His illustrations and reproductions can easily be purchased online, via either his official website or through many online galleries. Over the past 30 years, Fearnley has assembled a great portfolio of beautiful works of art. The cars we’d long to have in our own driveways are now part of the beautiful illustrations in Fearnley’s portfolio.

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In conclusion, Alan Fearnley is a gifted and talented artist. His artwork is admired by people of many backgrounds and cultures. His legacy will be admired by many for many generations to come.

Bibliography 

Sidorova, Anna. “Cars and People in the Paintings of Alan Fearnley.” Gallerix Museum.