In the Gallery: Andrea Allen

Capturing the transient moments of life and the wild, sprawling beauty of the English coast and countryside is what our current King’s Road artist-in-residence, Andrea Allen, does best.

With an enduring fascination for the landscapes, weather and wildlife surrounding her home-county Oxfordshire, Andrea finds herself drawn to the patterns and shapes found in nature—and the man-made barriers that encroach on the idyllic scenery—creating an immersive and tactile collection as expansive as the countryside itself.

andrea-allen-squareSpeaking to us from her farmhouse studio, we asked to find out more about the lady behind the landscapes. Here Andrea talks inspiration, creation and reflection

A great day begins with…

A four mile walk with my dogs Chuck and Jean. I relish this time to contemplate the day. I decide on what I want to achieve—I work on a number of pieces consecutively so am in a permanent state of finishing and beginning new works.

andrea-allen-3What was the inspiration for this collection?

This collection of many small works was inspired by a book called ‘Weatherland’ by Alexandra Harris. It beautifully describes the history of weather as seen through the eyes of poets, writers and artists over the centuries, explaining our built-in fascination with the subject.

I’m a very visual person and have always been drawn to colour and print. I love printed textiles and pattern—I often notice pattern finding its way into my landscapes.

- Andrea Allen

Describe your creative process, from initial ideas to final paintings.

I keep a photographic journal and often use a landscape photograph as a starting point. I then explore ideas about the drama I want to convey, achieving this through adding birds, animals, figures and trees to the story. I complete the narrative by describing the weather to create atmosphere.

andrea-allen-2Take us on a trip around your workspace.

We live in an old farm cottage. I work in the dairy which is attached to the house. It has all the original brick tiling and stone work slabs. It’s very beautiful and very cold. It’s a big space that allows me to have several pieces in progress at any one time—I often take my easel outdoors as the light is so good, but I don’t tend to last long in winter!

andrea-allen-1My artwork is…

I would describe myself as a mixed-media landscape artist. My work is both abstract and impressionistic with a strong narrative—I’m currently working predominantly in oils. My collage pieces are more decorative and abstract in style.

My favourite place is…

I’m a very visual person and have always been drawn to colour and print. I love printed textiles and pattern—I often notice pattern finding its way into my landscapes. I’m particularly interested in the shapes branches make as they weave together across the sky, and the twisted lattice work in the hedgerows, contrasting with the clean, angular lines of fencing or a telegraph pole that cuts through the brushstrokes that describe the sky.

andrea-allen-4To see more of Andrea Allen’s latest collection ‘Signing of Small Birds’, visit our King’s Road Gallery until February 22nd.