Random Actors, Chinatown Bustle by Allen Forrest

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Ink and watercolor on paper. 

Artist’s Statement:
Painting is a cross between a crap shoot, finding
your way out of the woods, and performing a magic
act. Each time I begin to paint I feel like I am walking
a tightrope—sometimes scary, sometimes exciting,
sometimes very quiet, and always, always surprising;
leading me where I never expected to go. Doing art
makes me lose all sense of time and place and go
inside one long moment of creating.
Whenever I feel a painting in my gut, I know this is
why I paint. The colors are the message, I feel them
before my mind has a chance to get involved. Color
is the most agile and dynamic medium to create joy.
And if you can find joy in your art, then you’ve found
something worth holding on to.


Graphic artist and painter Allen Forrest was born in Canada and bred in the U.S. He has created cover art and illustrations for literary publications and books. He is the winner of the Leslie Jacoby Honor for Art at San Jose State University’s Reed Magazine and his Bel Red painting series is part of the Bellevue College Foundation’s permanent art collection. Forrest’s expressive drawing and painting style is a mix of avant-garde expressionism and post-Impressionist elements reminiscent of van Gogh, creating emotion on canvas.