Statement

I always work in situ, starting and finishing the painting in the room itself. This gives the picture a strong sense of atmosphere and also forces me to make decisions, trusting my initial instincts to make a complete and original image there and then.

Initially, I find a viewpoint in the room which I find interesting or challenging, then look through hundreds of magazine pages. Viewing the subject I find what's striking me, for instance a strong light area, a deep shadowed recess or an interesting light effect on the floor. Considering the pages, I think of them in terms of light or dark or strong colour shapes. Rather than look for instant ready-made images of specific objects, such as a chair or a dark wall, I examine the pages in a totally abstract way. To assist this process, I may turn the page upside down or sideways. Once I have selected two or more pages, I attach them seamlessly to a blank piece of paper.

Now I compare the scene and the painting's base, working on the structure of the room within the pages, I paint the picture onto the magazine 'in my mind's eye'. Then I start painting on top of the pages. I use acrylic to change certain colours or darken areas. I scratch the surface with a scalpel to create an intense white. I mould the objects, such as chairs, curtains, window recesses, or shutters from what is available to me on the magazine pages. Some of the magazine colours may be wrong but have the right tone, so I leave them and blend in colours. I use thin pale paint and wash it over areas which are too intense. With these techniques, my interpretation of the space becomes realistic.

I try to leave unpainted as much of the original pages as I can. The painting's surface, seen from an angle, is matt where the paint is, shiny on the remaining areas. Finally, the image of the room is dominant, but coexists with a foundation, the photograph of a totally different room beneath. It has taken me years to create and perfect this technique. It creates a unique image.

Alison Pullen

 

EDUCATION 

1991-1993 MA Illustration, Royal College of Art, London  
1987-1990 BA(Hons)Graphic Design, Norwich School of Art
1986-1987 Foundation Course, Kingston Polytechnic

  

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

   
   
   
   
   
   
2018 'Guiding Stars', Sarah Wiseman Gallery, Oxford
2018 'The Garden', Sarah Wiseman Gallery, Oxford
2017 'Woods in Winter', Sarah Wiseman Gallery, Oxford
2017 'In Situ: New Oxford Interiors', Sarah Wiseman Gallery, Oxford
2016 Spring Exhibition, Sarah Wiseman Gallery, Oxford
2015 Autumn Exhibition, Sarah Wiseman Gallery, Oxford
2010 Oxford Exhibition, Sarah Wiseman Gallery    
2008  A total of fifteen commissions including four paintings commissioned for The Langham Hotel, London through 'Project Art'
  Commissions of Christchurch Cathedral, the Divinity and Convocation Schools the Bodleian Library,  Worcester College, Oxford
2007 Eight commissions including private homes in Padstow, Cornwall 
2006 The CEO of SilentGliss commissioned a painting of the exterior of their new factory in Kent
2005 Four paintings commissioned of a house on the beach in Grand Cayman and four paintings commissioned of a Tuscany house
  Commission in Polzeath, Cornwall
2000-01 National Trust's 'Artist in Residence' at Osterley Park House ending in exhibition at the Jersey Galleries, Osterley
2001 The Royal Mail commissioned designs for five stamps
2001 Paul Stead, Head of Fitch Design, commissioned four large paintings of  St Paul's Church, Petersham, for his Private Collection
2000 The Arts Trust, Jersey commissioned three paintings of the Opera House, St Helier, to be made into limited edition prints
1999-03 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd commissioned six sets of illustrations to be installed on three of their cruise ships
1998 The Ionian Bank, City of London, commissioned three large screens for their Trading Rooms
  Her Majesty The Queen commissioned two paintings of the Throne Room for The Royal Collection
 

Limited edition prints produced of three paintings to sell in North America

1993-95 

Mei-Ha Tsang Designs sold my textile designs in New York, Japan and France.

 

Buena Vista commissioned illustrations to be made into three films shown on Saturday morning children's national television.

1993

Museum of London, Barbican Exhibition 'Artist's London'. Three works acquired for archives and displayed on the internet.

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PUBLICATIONS

Editorials in Apollo Fine Arts Magazine, What's On, Time Out, Hot Tickets, House and Gardens, Elle Decoration, World of Interiors, Uptown magazine, the Evening Standard, The Week, The Sunday Times, and The Independent

 

AWARDS

1998  Chelsea Arts Society Painting Prize - (Council member since 2007)
1993 Arts Council Exhibition Award
  Parallel Prize, RCA (£4000)
  Exhibited in 'The Illustrators' at The Chris Beetles Gallery, St James's
1992  Letraset/Faber Castell Award (£500)
1991  Prince's Trust Travel Scholarship

 

ART FAIRS

Islington Art Fair, London

Art on paper Fair, Royal College of Art, London

Glasgow Art Fair, Scotland

Chelsea Art Fair, London

Country Living Fair, Islington, London

Academie Refuse, Llewelyn Alexander Gallery, London

Affordable Art Fair, Bristol

Chelsea Arts Fair, Duke of York Headquarters, London

Chelsea Arts Society Show, London

Discerning Eye, London

Dublin Art Fair, Eire

Edinburgh Art Fair, Scotland

Affordable Art Fair, London

Affordable Art Fair, New York

Miami Art Fair, USA