Alan Hydes first came to Deià 20 years ago, at a time when he had a successful career in television with his own series on UK channel ITV painting portraits of famous people. Two other series featured botanical watercolours and historic English towns.
But Alan was seduced by the extraordinary beauty and remarkable light of Deià
He began his career in TV when he was drawing tutor at Birmingham College of Art, which he had graduated from in 1969. Here he was discovered by BBC television and invited to co-present an arts series. He then took an on-screen job with ITV.
During his time at ITV Alan became a well-regarded portrait painter. His sitters included the British aristocracy. a UK Prime Minister, heads of industry and rock stars.
When Alan retired from his TV career he decided to relocate to Mallorca and his house in Deià, situated in the mountains above the cala.
Around 14 years ago, while the house was being renovated, he was invited to become Artist in Residence at the Belmond hotel La Residencia. He remains at La Residencia exhibiting his paintings and giving highly popular masterclasses to the hotel guests.
I enjoy painting and mixing with the hotel’s guests,’ Alan says. ‘I never know who is about to walk through the door. I even get Hollywood stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio coming to look at my work, so every day brings surprises.’
Today Alan works in mixed media, sometimes on huge canvases. His subject matter often features the landscape around Deià, but he’s constantly pushing the boundaries of creativity. Some of his recent work is abstract, exploring Aztec and Mayan cultures and inspired by his travels in Mexico.