Painting is a cross between a crap shoot, finding your way out of the woods, and performing a magic act. Each time I begin to paint I feel like I am walking a tightrope—sometimes scary, sometimes exciting, sometimes very quiet, and always, always surprising; leading me where I never expected to go. Doing art makes me lose all sense of time and place and go inside one long moment of creating. Whenever I feel a painting in my gut, I know this is why I paint. The colors are the message, I feel them before my mind has a chance to get involved.
Color is the most agile and dynamic medium to create joy. And if you can find joy in your art, then you’ve found something worth holding on to. I like to pack my camera when I go down into Vancouver. I shoot cityscapes and people at random from all sorts of crazy angles, like a candid camera photographer. I like the wildness of camera improv in a city setting. So when I drew and painted these images I thought ink and watercolor was a good medium because I could work fast and lay down my impressions rapidly of the scenes. I love cityscapes and city buildings, along with vehicles and everything we see in an urban environment.
Born in Canada and bred in the U.S., Allen Forrest has worked in many mediums: computer graphics, theater, digital music, film, video, drawing and painting. Allen studied acting in the Columbia Pictures Talent Program in Los Angeles and digital media in art and design at Bellevue College (receiving degrees in Web Multimedia Authoring and Digital Video Production.) He currently works in Vancouver, Canada, and works as a graphic artist and painter. He is the winner of the Leslie Jacoby Honor for Art at San Jose State University’s Reed Magazine and his Bel Red painting series is part of the Bellevue College Foundation’s permanent art collection. Forrest’s expressive drawing and painting style is a mix of avant-garde expressionism and post-Impressionist elements reminiscent of van Gogh, creating emotion on canvas.