I am always in motion, mentally. I see things as I want to see them, meaning my shapes, my colors and my perspective. I love to create happiness in my paintings, with bold and bright combinations.
Jack Allen grew up in Winter Park, Florida and has resided in Jacksonville, Florida for over 25 years. Enamored with abstract art, Allen began painting about fifteen years ago when he experimented with his teenage daughter’s art supplies on a Saturday morning at home.
“I love the intrigue. I enjoy bringing forth my energy and emotions with colors. I like bright, bold colors and movement. I aim to create paintings that cause the eye to wander around the canvas.”
Allen works in his third-floor home studio, in a barn at his cattle farm in Central Florida. Self-taught for the most part, his creative evolution had included devouring images of abstract works by favorite artists including Mark Rothko, Gerhard Richter and Jean-Paul Riopelle.
“I hope to tell a story through each of my paintings – a story of hope, possibility and excitement. My paintings are a reflection of my feelings expressed through color, line, form, movement and depth. I am always available to my collectors, current and future ones".
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INTERVIEW WITH JACKALLENARTIST
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
Having studied agricultural economics in college at Cornell University, my background is in accounting and finance. In my first real career, I was a corporate banker for a large regional bank in the Southeast US. I became interested in selling more than just corporate banking services and ventured into becoming a commercial real estate broker in 1987. I went to work for the largest commercial real estate brokerage in the counter at the time. The only opening that they had was for someone to specialize in land assets. Since then, I am still a student of the land development processes in primarily Northeast Florida doing land investments and land development in commercial and industrial properties. I attribute my success in real estate to honesty and hard work.
WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS
WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO CREATE ART AND WHY?
During cool weather, I love to paint at my farm. I have a beef cattle operation in North Central Florida, where we raise beef calves. It's a beautiful piece of pastoral land where I love to paint outdoors.I don't have to worry about making a mess because if I make a mess in the grass or pastor fields, so what? I just throw the used supplies out and I enjoy the outdoors while I paint.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED PAINTING?
I got started painting when my wife and my daughter went on vacation to the Bahamas when my daughter was attending the Bolles School in Jacksonville, FL. She was taking art classes and became an accomplished artist in her own right. She had the habit of leaving her art supplies all over the house, all of the time. I woke up on a Saturday morning and had coffee, read the paper, and wondered to myself what it would be like to make a painting.
I went to the local supply story called ReddyArts in Jacksonville and purchased acrylic paints a canvas, a brush and some sponges.
My wife and daughter got home a couple of days later, and when they came in the door, I said to them that I got them something over the weekend. They were curious about what it was. I set the painting on top of the stove so that it would be visible to them. Sure enough, one of them discovered it and eventually asked where I got it. I told them I got it at the local artist supply store, ReddyArts. They said they liked the painting and I didn't tell them for a couple of hours that I painted it myself. I wanted them to have an objective time frame to comment on it anyway they wanted to. I eventually told them and they thought it was interesting.
What was your first painting? It's a 24x24 mustardy brown background with painting with shell shapes on it. I still have it and hope that it stays in our family forever.
HOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR ART?
WHY DO YOU USE CERTAIN MATERIALS?
I make my art using some construction tools and cardboard primarily as my painting utensils. I chose them a long time ago through the process of experimentation. Standard artist brushes and tools are very expensive. In fact, cardboard boxes are fundamentally free if you're a wine consumer like I am. I use trowels to push and pull the paint on and over the canvases. Construction trowels can be reused many times. The handles are usually some kind of synthetic material. The metal portion of the trowels are still and reliable and can be cleaned easily with a sander. I use these tools and oil paints because I like the results from oil paints. Atypical tools, I have learned over time, result in atypical markings that are interesting to explore and inspect. I'm told by my collectors and dealers they are interesting and different in their eyes, as well.
WHY DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO?
I do all of the things that I do- my work endeavors, my community endeavors, my charitable endeavors, my artistic endeavors- because they give me joy and fulfillment. Painting has become one of my best friends in life. It's very relaxing because I paint primarily for myself, I don't have any external constraints or guidelines that I have to follow, which is good,, because I don't like people telling me what to do. I prefer to act and behave the way I want to, rather than the way someone else may want me to. So painting is relaxing and intellectually stimulating and I find that it causes me to appreciate myself when I'm doing it. I am motivated to be in motion, mentally and physically, which I believe is evident in my work.
ART - THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE
WHAT ROLE DOES AN ARTIST HAVE IN SOCIETY?
Art plays a number of critical roles in society for humanity. All forms of art have the potential to be universal languages whether it's visual art, 2D, 3D, or performance art, theatre, dance. Art has the potential to be universally appreciated and accepted regardless of what languages someone might speak. We can still appreciate art forms that are created by people who don't speak our native or learned languages.
If the world ever needed universal acceptance of anything, or if the world had the potential to create unity for humanity in one form or fashion, art forms have the potential to bring us together in ways that we haven't been able to.
WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES?
My biggest influences in art are abstract expression artists of the New York school, post World War II immigrants primarily from Europe, including Mark Rothko, Carhartt Richter, Jackson Paulik, and others. My use of construction tiles is similar to Gherhard Richter's use of squeegees to apply, drag and pull paint across the faces of canvases.
Also, the Canadian abstract expressionist painter, Jean-Paul Riopelle, who was the grandfather of abstract expressionist in Canada, enshrined by Canada and government, he's one of the finest arts in the history of Canada. His abstract markings and his employment of seemingly unrelated colors is so fascinating, I can get lost and I love to get lost in his catalogs for hours and hours at a time.
Colorfield painters like Joan Mitchell and Barnett Newman are so inspiring and so invigorating in their use of color theory, whether they use employed color theory intentionally or unintentionally, there is so much to learn about human emotions through the study and application of colors, that I find the richness of combining primary and creative and unnamed colors, a very emotional and intellectual pass-time.
I think I probably could become even more emotionally sensitive if I did spend more time just playing with oil paints and colors simply for fun to see what the results are.
CULTIVATING A COLLECTOR BASE
HOW DO YOU GET YOUR ART OUT TO THE WORLD?
I have to admit that I have done a very poor job of sharing my art with people outside of my immediate circle in life, which I now plan to remedy with my new art manager and friend, Maria Muzaurieta. Many of my collectors are and have been personal friends for years upon years. Having said that, I've had shows at the Jacksonville International Airport, the Santa Fe International Art Festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico and all around Northeast FL, which has given me exposure in the greater Jacksonville area.
I have collectors in Santa Monica, CA, Mountain Lakes, NJ, Boca Raton, FL, Ithaca NY, and all around Jacksonville, FL. I'm also part of corporate collections of Fort 500 companies, including CSX corporation, headquartered here in Jax, FL.
JACKALLENART SHARES ENERGY
DOES YOUR WORK TELL A STORY OR SHARE A FEELING?
It is my intention for all of my artwork to impart the emotions of happiness, freedom, and excitement. I would find it personally boring and depressing to use dark colors individually and paint dark paintings. Boring, boring, boring, sad, sad, sad. Rather, I prefer when folks look at my work, that they might find something within my work that is intriguing, maybe a bit of a mystery, something that is like taste buds where they find something that looks tasty to them and they want to taste more of it, look further, look longer, look deeper, purchase more of JackAllenArtist's art.
EVOLUTION IN JACKALLENART
HOW HAS YOUR ART EVOLVED OVER TIME?
I think my art is evolved to be more substantial and be more representative of the way that I think, the way that my brain works, which is largely unbridled, unstructured, non-representative of normal things that humans observe with their eyes. I think my art is more reflective today of my deep wonderment and curiosity about everything that I see and experience and feel as a human being. I ask myself the question -- why or why not? -- dozens of times every day. I think that my art has grown to be more reflective of my intellectual curiosity.
As a general rule, I'm not someone that likes to talk about myself because I would never want to be thought of as a braggart or self-centered. I much prefer listening to someone else and learning about someone else, however I've been encouraged by my friends and my collectors to share my life experiences as a person who likes to manipulate numbers and someone who likes financial engineering, along with raising beef cattle, and studying about the absence of unity in humanity, which seems to be in the prevalent state of the human state here on planet earth.