I first met Alfred Daniels – or Danny as he was known to all of us – in the mid seventies. I had recently let the RCA and we both had a good friend in Peter Garrard. Peter was later to become president of the RBA. At that time Peter was also the editor of the Artist magazine, and encouraged both of us to write articles for the magazine.
When Danny had his last show at the Russell Gallery just recently, I dug out an old issue of the Artist which we both appeared in, along with our photos. Danny looking like he had just breezed in from St Tropez on his yacht – and me looking like a hippy.
Danny developed a highly personal and recognisable way of working but always with a nod to the old masters, of whom he was very fond. His paintings were masterpieces of design, form and colour and put together in a thoroughly workmanlike fashion. His sketchbooks in particular were a wonderful collection of observations that would be transcribed into paintings in the time-honoured way using the greatest of pictorial dynamics.
I think Danny looked upon the RBA as a sort of family and became involved at every level with an enthusiasm that was unmatched. Over the many years of his membership and involvement with the Society he earned both the love and respect of everyone who came into contact with him.
He was particularly pro-active at council meetings and selection, and was never shy of making his opinion known – particularly when it came to frames. Danny became known as the master judge of all frames. But most of all Danny could bring a light touch to these occasions and never let any of us get too serious or hot and bothered about it all. His presence at all RBA gatherings was always one of somebody with great integrity but always with humour and often quips delivered with that wonderful mischievous smile he often had.
In recent years Danny had shown great generosity to the Society and instigated a number of prizes which he funded. He was a dyed-in-the-wool painter who not only loved being an artist but loved what other people could do also.