Leslie Allen is a painter’s painter. She approaches the canvas without preconceived notions and allows the process to guide her through the painting. She “takes the plunge” literally, and immerses herself in the development of the painting as it occurs, responding to every mark with a keenly developed improvisational style. Allen relishes the pure color and movement of oil paint on the surface. She “listens” to the paint. She has worked out her own visual language through years of experimentation and exploration. These are sophisticated paintings with a keen sense of color, gesture and division of space. Though you would have to relate her work to Abstract Expressionist paintings of the forties and fifties in their reliance and trust in process, Allen’s work is more lyrical than the New York school – less concerned with “not being beautiful”. Her color sense and gestural style might relate more to Joan Mitchell, but with an understanding of the structure and “bones” of a painting that relates more to Bay Area abstractionists such as Frank Lobdell or Richard Diebenkorn. These paintings invite you to travel through them and explore the sensations that arise from allowing yourself to experience the work.
I set out to make art and simply do it by moving through it. I tell stories by way of quirky cartoons, moody landscapes, gestural figures, and large juicy abstract oil paintings, each revealing something about relationships, weather, attitudes, or just textures and the nature of paint. Making art is the way I gather in the world around me, draw on my own history, use the language of the materials, and concoct fiction that might just happen to resonate with others.