Richard Allen (1933 – 1999)
Richard Allen was born in Worcester and studied at the local art school. After National Service in the Far East he enrolled at Bath Academy of Art and was later awarded an artist-in-residence with a fellowship at the University of Sussex. His early works showed the artist’s interest in constructivisim. He used square blocks dipped in wax to stamp regular grids onto paper, with colour occasionally added. His paintings comprised squares divided into a number of smaller squares and divided yet again and rearranged and painted with acrylic and charcoal. This method offered the artist endless variations.
Modern synthetic paint that combines some of the properties of oils and watercolour. Most are water-based, although some are oil compatible, using turpentine as a thinner. When it became available to artists in America around 1936 it was the first new painting medium in centuries and has become a serious rival to oil paint because of its versatility. Acrylic paints can be used on nearly any surface. The water-based nature of acrylic paint allows for easy application and rapid drying time: acrylic paint dries in a matter of minutes, as opposed to the many months required for oil-based paints. Once the paint has been applied to a surface, the water evaporates, leaving behind the synthetic resin (and pigment), which is no longer water-soluble. Visually, acrylic-based paints can appear to be very similar to oil-based paints, but they cannot rival the rich, translucent nature of oils.