Mary Allen – Biography

mary-allenMary Allen has lived in Cornwall almost all her life. Her family moved to Gwithian in the late ’40s when Mary was just two weeks old, so her father could start his manufacturing business.

“My brothers and I had the most amazing childhood. We lived close to Gwithian beach and from the outset I was fascinated by boats and all things sea related.

Even in my early years I loved sketching and, living close to St Ives, I was very influenced by its artistic heritage as well as the ever-changing coastal waters; its sleepy, hidden south coast creeks, and the timeless quality of the granite and rocky outcrops.”

Mary waited until she had raised a family and retired before she took on her first solo exhibition… in 2007.

mary_allen-thebeach-710“It was amazing. I sold a few pieces and from then it has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. I find I am now painting full-time – retirement, what retirement?!

“Someone asked me whether I wished I had started painting seriously years ago, but I don’t. I am a different person now, with life experience, and I don’t think I could have painted with the freedom I now enjoy.”

Mary’s paintings capture a moment and mood and are characterised by their texture and depth. She often uses a palette knife to craft her work which allows her freedom in moulding the paint and use layers of colour and glazes to create texture and depth.




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