Enjoy the portfolio of talented artist Maura Allen, who transcends printmaking to create a fascinating body of work. See more of her art by visiting her website.
Through the use of bold, silhouette imagery, textures and a unique color sense, my work speaks to the rugged nature and allure of the American West.
My work is bold and contemporary, a departure from the realism that has long defined the western art genre. I use a reductive style where bold colors are presented side by side (rather than blended) to achieve a contemporary, cinematic look. Each piece begins on location with my own photography (I’ve photographed in black and white for 30+ years).
Back in my Denver studio, I transform the images into iconic, larger than life Western scenes using a serigraph (silkscreen) printing process, glazes, textural elements and other materials. I work in both two- and three-dimension (sculpture) and often feature the unique properties of the materials I work on (including wood, clay and steel) as part of the finished piece.
My love of the West and wide-open landscapes is rooted in my Northern California upbringing. But rodeos and ranching weren’t always a part of my life; in fact, my first time on a horse at age six, I panicked and slid from the saddle.
It was on road trips to Wyoming, Montana and Arizona where the colors and imagery drew me in; now ranchers, cowboys and the land they call home are the focal point of my work.
One thing I love about the West is the way stories are told and retold—through song, stories, film, poetry and, of course, painting. Pride, grit, independence, stewardship of the land; this can all be seen and felt through the generations living and working beneath the big, blue wide open sky.
I’ve recently started a new body of work called the “Corps of Discovery”—my own, contemporary take on the flora and fauna that Lewis & Clark first catalogued more than 200 years ago as they explored the West.
My sculptural “Western Tale” towers, which measure 6 feet-plus and have kinetic features, can be assembled in different patterns letting the collector tell their own story.
While there’s long been a formality in the western art genre, there’s also a new breed of artists set on pushing the boundaries with a bold, fresh look—I’m proud to be among them.
Maura Allen invites you to connect with her on Facebook.