Two days after meeting Tony Allain at the PPSCC show in South Yarmouth, I had the privilege of watching him paint! I drove down to Meriden, CT for a three hour demo hosted by the Connecticut Pastel Society, where he was teaching workshops this past week.
Usually, a demo consists of a room full of people watching an artist, who narrates his/her process while doing a painting. In this case, it was a room full of people watching with rapt attention while the artist did FIVE paintings!! And apparently, Tony was taking it easy--I heard rumors of 11 paintings in one demo at IAPS!
Tony was funny and generous, and amazing to watch--his color choices were rich and spectacular, and his mark making was fast, loose and expressive. As always when I'm watching a really great artist, I'm struck by how much knowledge lies behind each stroke. People often have the impression that artists are emotive creatives (they are) who channel inspiration (they do) in some magical way (nope, not magic). In fact, there's a tremendous amount of disciplined practice, keenly trained observation and a lot of knowledge of the natural world--science!--behind each painting.
I was delighted to be able to watch this master painter at work. Thank you for all your energy and generous sharing, Tony!
Tony has generously given his demo paintings to the Connecticut Pastel Society, to be auctioned later this summer.
Alexia Rosoff Wilber
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