Joseph Edward Allen

Joseph Edward Allen
Media : Oil on Canvas
Studio : Joe's Workshop
SDMAAG Member : Artist Member
SDMAAG Member Since : 2012

Artist's Bio

Renaissance Artist

      Joseph Edward Allen was born in Saigon, Vietnam, on Christmas Eve, 1966.  He was brought to America at the age of eighteen months.  As a child, Joseph loved sketching landscape drawings, and he painted his first portrait at the age of six.  At the age of ten, his family moved to Iran.  It was in Sar Chesmeh, Iran, that he studied Farsi (Persian Arabic writing), in the Calligrapic form and was taught to draw still life and the art of shadowing to create three dimensional artworks.  As a youth, his drawings and paintings were inspired by European and Middle Eastern culture and artists like Cezanne. 

     Joseph was greatly influenced by the creativity of his family.  His mother had studied Asian abstract painting, and his uncle, Donald P. Allen, was a traditional landscape artist.  During his junior high and high school years, Joseph experimented with sketching and logo design.  In college, he became fluent in French and Spanish, and his fascination with drawing the human form and the study of anatomy led to his decision to go to medical school at St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies.  His medical education took him also to England, New York City, and New Jersey.  Upon his return to Southern California, he continued to create artworks, drawing inspiration from his travels abroad.

      Joseph is a diverse and talented artist who has condensed many styles of painting into a passion for what he calls “Abstract Impressionism.”  Gifted with an eye for color, composition, texture, and a unique linear perspective, he is able to create visual movement on canvas with the brush and palette knife.  Joseph believes in the healing potential of visual art through the generation of positive emotion.  His medical office waiting room has become a space to exhibit his latest paintings.   Patients find his gallery a relaxing and inspiring place, and often comment on the beauty and serenity of his artworks.

       Joseph has dedicated his artistic life to becoming one of the great American painters of the 21st Century.  Already an accomplished physician, teacher, and humanitarian, he believes he can set a new benchmark for creativity and innovation.  Joseph hopes his artwork and contributions to humanity will inspire a new generation of renaissance artists and thinkers for generations to come.

Artist's Statement




     What motivates me is the creative process of rendering an idea into an elegant work of art on canvas that has the power to captivate an audience.  I refer to myself as an Abstract Impressionist.  Abstract because my art is not a precise reproduction, but rather a unique synthesis of a subject or landscape in my own interpretation.  Impressionist, because I like to make a BIG impression on people!  My painting process begins with a spontaneous idea, or when I see something appealing, which I will then refine in my mind’s eye.  I’ll do a linear thumbnail sketch on paper, transfer it to a bigger canvas, then integrate the design elements of color, texture, and composition to create a lasting work of art. 

     I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to travel and live abroad, experienced first-hand many cultures, languages, and religions.  My artwork contains tropical and subtropical themes from the Caribbean, Mexico, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.  I have always gravitated to locations that are sunny and warm, and near the water…places that have wonderful traditions, natural landscapes, bright colors, and dramatic lighting.  My world travels have had a great impact on my artwork, which contains vivid colors, exotic themes, and striking landscapes

     Blue is my favorite color.  My biggest influences are master colorists, Monet, Cezanne, Van Gogh, and also the abstract artists Picasso and Escher, who composed visually stimulating works. Their creations have had a lasting impact on me, specifically for their use of color and composition.  Pure color creates emotion.   The elegant line is a beautiful thing.  I use curves and geometric shapes, twists and turns, and various perspectives to create movement.  To give my compositions palpable texture, I’ll apply gesso to prime the surface of my canvases, then add brush strokes and/or a palette knife to enhance the outcome of my artwork.

     My themes are nautical, floral, still life, wildlife, and landscape, and I am currently creating more figurative art with musical and sporting themes.  People are drawn to my artwork because it is colorful and interesting, emotionally positive, bold, powerful, graceful.  I hope my artwork will endure and give my audience happiness for generations to come

     Things you might not know about me:  As a child, my father taught me how to paint a straight line.  My mother was a painter in Vietnam as a young woman, and has a great eye for composition and style.  My Asian (Vietnamese), Zen side has given me love of asymmetrical symmetry, harmony, tranquility, reverence for tradition, and serenity.  My uncle Donald Phillip Allen, was a traditional landscape/portrait painter who always inspired me.  My first painting was a female nude, copied from a magazine cover, at age eight.  I studied Persian calligraphy while living in Iran at the age of eleven.  I went to medical school in Grenada, the West Indies.  I play guitar, and speak fluent French and Spanish. 

     Aside from a life drawing class in college, I have no formal art training, but art is my life.