Alison Friend

Alison Friend was born in Britain in 1973.

A graduate of Nottingham Trent University with a degree in Fine Art and Printmaking. Alison was also the first female stonemason for the City of Nottingham. An accomplished children’s illustrator of 20 published books to date —with notable publishers such as Harper Collins, Nosy Crow, Hodder Children’s, Templar, Usbourne, Little Tiger Press and most recently Alfred Knopf.

A British realist with a modernist vision. Her paintings are inspired by nature and her cheeky sense of humour. Dreamy delicate brush strokes abound every canvas where she captures the secret lives of animals. Every character comes to life on canvas whether having a lolly or a gin. She wants the viewer to participate in the creative process as she says “I start off with an idea for a character. I have lots in my head. It’s like a waiting room until it’s their time to come out! As strong as an idea for a character is, they do take on a life of their own. That’s what I love. I get to know them as the painting progresses.

I keep the beginnings of a painting very loose and – a few brush marks can create a particularly funny expression and all of a sudden there they are!

I really focus on those glances our pets give us. We think of them as having human emotions and I try to capture that. It’s how we connect with the animals in our lives. Hopefully I bring just enough to the work for the viewer to create their own story for the subject. I want the viewer to be part of the creative process”.

She is represented in over 40 galleries worldwide. Alison lives with her son in the Lake District.

The below new collection of works have been specially prepared for the British Art Fair at the Saatchi Gallery in London and will be released at the Private View on Thursday 28th September 2023. Please email the gallery for complimentary tickets.

Any remaining works will be available to buy online from 9pm GMT on the Thursday evening.