Duncan Allan is a painter at heart. His appreciation of nature is most apparent in his tree paintings; seeing human shapes, giving them characters, a personality or a soul. Using acrylic paints and spray cans, they are painted with a slightly surrealistic vision, so he takes the viewer to an ethereal world. From the mischievous grinning of 'Vurt Cat' to the evolving and somewhat menacing 'Save Us All', the common theme present throughout his paintings is his use of bold colour and vibrant contrast. High contrast colours are also prominent in Duncan’s striking digital artworks, especially his Brighton & Hove Collection, which features 'Beach Huts', 'Pavilion' and the amusing 'Brighton & Hove Actually!' inspired by Pop Art and Typography and the colours of the famous 'LOVE' sculpture by Robert Indiana. This collection has appeared in a number of art shows and events, throughout Brighton & Hove, at various locations. All these pieces are now on show or available to order at Ming Art Gallery on request as limited edition numbered prints. A multifaceted artist Duncan is always available for commissions.
I’ve always been drawn to art, I love art, and that’s why I do it. One of my favourite things to do is visit a gallery I've never been to before and discover something inspiring. I also appreciate most styles of comic, op and street art, and equally the great Renaissance and Pre-Raphaelite masters and the Superflat Movement. But especially my seven-year-old daughter’s drawings. These are amazing! Magic! We all have different tastes in art, but I feel there is value in all art, even ‘rubbish’ art!
I find painting the most exciting and fulfilling art form, as the journey is more of a challenge, each time remembering how to paint in a familiar and lucid style that I know works, or suddenly finding a new one! It’s not always immediate each time I start a new painting. I have to paint myself into my artist self, teaching myself how to use the paint and brushes until everything feels right. I like to feel pleased with my art and usually know when to stop working on a painting, when it feels finished. I'm sure most painters learn new techniques with each painting. I know I do! What I enjoy most about creating an artwork is how I become completely absorbed in the moment, never knowing exactly how the finished piece will turn out. I have an idea of the final result, but sometimes it can go in a completely different direction to where I first anticipated, sometimes a better place than originally hoped for.
I also create a lot of digital art, which is fun. These days I often combine both digital and fine art, sometimes with photography, and hand-drawing with my trusty Wacom pen and then painting it on a canvas. It is helpful having basic Photoshop and Illustrator skills, which I have taught myself over the past 15 years or so.
Born in Worcester, an enthusiastic art teacher set me on a good path, encouraging a keen interest in art. This led me to Stourbridge, back to Worcester and finally Swindon where I studied Photography, Fine Art, Art History and specialised in Illustration. In the early 2000s I decided Brighton might be a great place to live – and it is! I thought I’d try my luck in the art world here and have been here ever since. I love my family, music (often music that’s a bit ‘odd' for most), film, quality food, coffee, cats, trees, sunshine...Not so keen on cars or dogs. Brighton & Hove truly is a great place to live, it’s home. Ming Art Gallery also feels like home and I’m very pleased to be part of our art collective.