From her home in Lourmarin, France, Alice Williams paints, laughs, gardens, and lives with an ease and awakened wonder which infuse the very fibers of her canvas and inspire every stroke of her brush. Taking in an Alice Williams painting is a meditation; transporting, comforting, inspiring and revealing. Luring one in ever more deeply with its color play and thoughtful composition, her rhythmic strokes delightfully blur the sharp edges of reality, and take the viewer into a lovely, timeless, secret world they never even knew they were missing.
There is no mistaking an Alice Williams painting. Post-impressionist in style for over 40 years, she makes it look easy, but that perfectly unfinished, relaxed precision is the result of a lifelong love affair with the arts and dedicated study with many of the great American artists of our time.
She studied Fine Arts at Columbia College, Furman University, and Clemson University in South Carolina, then went on to study under Al Green, John Howard Kintsler, and Albert Handel, to name a few. It was in Atlanta that she found the great Russian painters (and brothers), Constantine and Roman Chatov, who quickly became her most influential teachers. Alice spent 3 days a week for 3 years under their tutelage, which led to a lucrative 12 years working as a portrait artist, and her eventual discovery of her own, very personal creative expression. The Legacy from Chatov to Robert Brackman to Robert Henri is carried on through Alice’s consistent work.
Also a master gardener, Alice began to apply what she had learned from the Chatovs to painting garden scenes. “Grass is negative space, color positive. I am still amazed and in wonder when I think about it.” Her passion and sheer joy for creating legendary gardens matches her love of painting. Always drawing inspiration from her surroundings, she took notice of the enchanting gardens of England when Don’s job with IBM took them there for two and a half years in 1985. Alice’s homes and gardens have been the subjects of at least 14 articles in major publications.
Continuing their European adventure with IBM, the couple spent two and a half years in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, where Alice and Don fell in love with all things French - Provence in particular. In 2012, they rented a home in a village nearby friends in Aix, and after three years bought an old farmhouse, built in 1823, which Don says is “just south of heaven’s gate, and Alice refers to as le paradis. The majestic surroundings are reflected in her work: sprawling lavender fields, old chateaux and farmhouses, olive groves, and the occasional French interior currently dominate her subject matter. They now consider France home and spend as much time as possible in their little hamlet of Lourmarin. They have never looked back.
Whether you’re stepping into Alice’s world through a landscape or figure: the rooftops of Provence or African savanna: the gondolas of Venezia or a cozy French kitchen, you will find yourself suspended between fantasy and reality: between the foreign and the familiar, like the space between the inhale and the exhale. It is something rarely captured, like a snapshot taken in the dream of a brilliant mind that has remained creatively free in spite of its reasoning and intellect. Magnificent yet approachable, the works of this living master of post-impressionism are a treasure to behold in real time, and will live on to be studied, emulated, and adored for many years to come.