About Liz Allen
Academic qualifications: Art Foundation course: Croydon College of Art and Design 1975-76
B.A. (Hons) Fine Art painting: Bath Academy of Art 1976-79
About my past
After art college, I continued painting large abstracts for a while, but the demands of earning money to live on took over and painting was shelved for almost 14 years. In the last seven years of employment, I worked at the South Bank Centre in London, organising exhibitions, then at the Hayward Gallery organising the transportation of works of art for their exhibitions.
In 1994, I moved from London to Brighton, gave in my notice at the Hayward and began painting again. I found I had to undo all the academic stuff art school had instilled in me to find my personal style of painting.
During this process, I also trained to become a teacher of adults and ran my own monoprint and collage workshops for over 10 years.
The present: Algarve Artist
In 2005, I moved to the western Algarve, Portugal and since then my current style has emerged - being inspired by variety in the landscape; the mountains and towns; the character of the old buildings as well as the coastal resorts.
My landscapes start with a cartoon like drawing; a direct and spontaneous response to what I see, and it is this that the painting is built on. Colour is an important element in my paintings. I enjoy being bold and uncompromising with colour - even quite extreme at times. Pattern is also a feature I like to develop and play with.
The drawing process and gathering information on the subject is crucial. During this process, the organisation of shapes on the flat surface brings about changes to the image, as the new shapes emerge and develop. This development directs the painting process from beginning to end.
My paintings tend to have multiple viewpoints to some extent, and I like to include details which would only be visible close up, so they usually contain more information than you could actually see from a given location. I am interested in the way in which Indian Miniatures deal with perspective, and relate this to some of my work.
I work mainly in acrylic and sometimes oil, though I find that acrylic allows me to express the smaller details with more clarity.
and all images copyright Liz Allen 2017