This year he completed 20 years of keeping sketchbooks:
“What started as a little indulgence 20 years ago has become my life today. I was always a storyteller but what I have discovered over the years through these books and traveling is that I have been a nomad, a drifter, or gypsy, with many stories in my books in the form of sketches, illustrations, conversation pieces and memories. It’s really a privilege to be able to illustrate these tangible and sometimes intangible experiences. What is amazing about these sketchbooks is the fact that they are a visual record of my journey. I can see myself grow, evolve and transform through them.”
Allen started exhibiting his work in 2010. His work since then was shown in India, Germany, France, Switzerland and Finland. Most exhibitions are about impressions, stories and illustrations from his travels.
“So far most of my exhibitions have revolved around the traveling theme, starting with ‘Quo Vadis’ and up to ‘The Kutch Pilgrimage’.” – artist says. “The medium has been watercolor and ink. I am absolutely in love with watercolors. I think they are like mischievous children; you want to have them in your control but you don’t mind if they misbehave. It’s not a static medium like oil or acrylic; it’s dynamic and it’s got mood swings. It needs quick attention with changing weather and surfaces. It’s also a fast portable medium, perfect for a traveling gypsy like me.”
He enjoys a lot of discipline while working:
“The ‘illusive’ aspect of art is what fascinates me, where I have often compared the act of sketching to fishing; one is at it for hours/days but you never know when you’ll catch the fish and it’s ok to come back empty handed. So somewhere between hard work, consistency and love for what one does the magic happens.”
Read this story in POOL 75.