Tonawanda News

Features

January 28, 2013

North Tonawanda artist blends painting, sculpture you can touch

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Allen started off painting regular two-dimensional, more realistic portraits. It’s only been in the last year or so that he’s started experimenting with adding texture to his works and using a more abstract style. 

Natalie Brown, curator and owner of the gallery, described Allen’s style as varied with earthy colors and lots of details.

“His style changes from each painting. One might be a woman, one might be a decorative bird ... some is abstract shapes and colors,” she said. “He uses ideas from nature and things around him. They’re very modern ... very stylized.”

Allen said he prefers bright, vivid colors that “emanate a warm feeling.”

“Bright colors tend to show the depth in texture, especially in photos ... texture is very hard to capture in photos,” he said.

He builds up the texture or relief of each painting by laying down thick layers of plaster of Paris mixed with terracotta, fierro and pumice. He colors the paintings using acrylic, and to finish each one off, he gives them a clear coat of clear ceramic glaze for protection. 

“That’s why I invite people to touch them. I just wipe them down with a cloth afterwards to erase the finger prints,” Allen said.

To have a go at adding your fingerprints to the more than 30 artworks that will be on display, visit Project 308 Gallery at 308 Oliver St., North Tonawanda, from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday for the opening reception. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursday. The show will be up through Feb. 22.

IF YOU GO • WHAT: "Canvas Sculpture," works by Larry Allen • WHEN: Opening reception is 7-10 p.m. Friday; regular gallery hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; show up through Feb. 22. • WHERE: Project 308 Gallery at 308 Oliver St., North Tonawanda • MORE INFORMATION: Call 523-0068.

Contact features editor Danielle Haynes at 693-1000, ext. 4116.

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