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As a child I continually drew figures and characters from comics. As I grew older I saw that these superhero comic characters were in fact themselves founded on the timeless principles of classical art.
The history of figurative art displays the brilliance of its progress from century to century. I have become hungry to access the knowledge of this development to inform my work. ‘By standing on the shoulders of giants,’ I seek to develop the skill and flair to bridge the gap between the traditional and the contemporary creating a classical context of the modern image. I aim to reveal the strength of personality, dignity and wealth of character I hold to be the essence of every individual, regardless of status. The relationship between artist and subject is a dynamic one and as the layers of defence fade away the self is inevitably exposed. In avoiding the sentimental and paying attention to detail I strive to capture these moments of revealed truth.

I studied at Camberwell College of Arts, Accademia delle belle arti, Viterbo, Italy and gained a BA in Fine Art from the University of Wales, Cardiff.

I was awarded the Harry Hollad Prize for BEST FIGURATIVE ARTIST on graduating.

For the past eight years I have had works selected for display at the ROYAL SOCIETY OF PORTRAIT PAINTERS annual exhibition at the Mall Gallery, London.

I had a solo exhibition at the Salon gallery in west London.

I have also completed many commissions.

In 2010 I travelled the world painting what I saw and experienced.

"James achieves in his paintings something rare, he sees into the soul of his subject" -Sir Antony Sher

"Really kind of you and your work is SENSATIONALLY good. Really loved the Japanese girl which could have sustained an exhibition on its own." - Lady Fellows of West Stafford

"Wonderful artists painted a couple portraits of me LIVE" -  Gillian Anderson

"You have a great and precious talent." - Wynham Creer

"The favorite James Allen painting in my collection is a portrait I commissioned of a dear friend, now sadly no longer around. It is so much more than a remarkable likeness - it captures the very essence of my friend's personality and it is a potent and eloquent reminder of him that I truly treasure. James is a hugely perceptive and talented portraitist." -Gareth Armstrong
"I love particularly his line drawing, a technique that enthralls me, if done well. James does it superbly." -Susan Wooldridge
"Sitting for James is a pleasure and a privilege. He is a kind, patient, witty artist who paints with astonishing clarity and insight. He captures many different aspects of personality in a single painting and when it is actual-size, as in my case, that's a lot of commitment, perception and paint." -Matthew Kelly


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