Thursday, January 24, 2013

Renowned Painter Allan Chow-The 2013 Artists Series

Introducing artist Allan Chow whose paintings will light up your world!
Enjoy this insightful and poignant interview. 

Allan Chow (born April 22, 1979) is a Malaysian Chinese born landscape painter who currently resides and owns a studio in the United States. Allan received his BFA in Illustration from the Kansas City Art Institute.

 Mentored by Illustrators, Allan worked as a freelance Illustrator and Graphic Designer during his twenties while he experimented with paint after dark. He spent many hours after work struggling to find his identity as a Fine Artist. However, his natural attraction to Impressionism and Abstract Expressionism inspired him to develop a modern interpretation of landscape paintings with a palette knife. 

Allan's hints of Southeast Asian culture manifests through his exuberant colors, bold paint strokes and irresistible textures that set him apart from his peers and made his paintings one of the most preferred and collected in the country today.

Kansas City ASB Bridge

1)       Allan, when did you first realize you had the desire to paint?

During my third year as an Illustration major, I was desperately trying to give myself some painting exercises to learn about color theory. On top of my Illustration assignments, I remember staying up till 5am every night working on paintings of my native country, Malaysia. 

It was pure Art for Art sake. I didn’t care if it sold or not. I painted because I wanted to learn how to mix paint. I turned to paintings by Monet, Van Gogh and Childe Hassam. I learn by borrowing their impressionistic color palette, style and incorporating them into my paintings. It was a series of ten paintings. That same series of paintings got me my first exhibition and also they got me into my first gallery representation two years later.

Morning View

 2)       What inspires you to begin a painting and what is your methodology?

It is such an emotional and moody process. I am most inspired to start a painting right after completing an emotionally draining painting that I spent the last month or two struggling with. This momentum happens usually in the middle of preparing a show of 30+ new paintings. If I plan a painting from start to finish, I am less excited at the end and will most likely lose interest. 

To avoid this, paint whenever I feel like an idea is ready and I keep my drawings very minimal. I just push paint around until something speaks to me. I work through mistakes and disappointments but embrace happy accidents and build on one victory at a time. Eventually, everything will work out. Tons of texture and layers of colors for visual interest is present. Most importantly, the final result is appreciated so much more.

Morning Missouri

3) Bright color and the palette knife are two signatures of your style. Would you tell our readers more about that? Oh and I do love your images of the Kansas City area.

Allan painting at the easel at a Charity Event
I was particularly drawn to muted and dark color palettes a decade ago while I was studying some impressionists’ work. The more I painted, my natural instincts and personality gradually reflect in my work. I am an optimistic person. I want my paintings to be bold and filled with energy affecting people positivelyThis explains the color palette I am using today. 

As far as my style, it is constantly evolving and hard to explain. It really is a work in progress. It changes when either a new subject matter or medium presents itself. I have learned to let go and refuse to control much these days. The more I let go, the more I discover. 

I know I love texture so a palette knife made sense. The difficulty of controlling paint with a knife forced myself to pay less attention to details. It really freed my wrists and encouraged myself to work more with my entire body. The deal breaker for abandoning a brush was that I didn’t have to wash them and I no longer have to smell turpentine.

Rocks at Rodeo Beach III
4)       Are there artists or others that you admire or consider mentors in your journey?

Allan in his Studio

Absolutely! I admire Impressionists such as Childe Hassam and Monet the most. Some of my favorite Artists are John Singer Sargent, Edward Hopper, Aaron Siskind, Franz Kline, Howard Pyle, N.C Wyeth and Andrew Wyeth to name a few.  

One of my mentors in the past is an Illustrator who paints. He gave me the confidence to do both. My most recent mentor is a Graphic Designer and Instructor. He is probably the most giving and committed person I know. They both have different strengths that I admire a ton. I aspire to be the best I can be as an Artist. At the same time, it is important to be humble and inspire others.

Best of Show Winner -Over Majestic Hills
  5)       You are a world renowned artist and have paintings in many important collections. What are some of the corporate and private collections where your art is featured?

You are too kind. Some collections that I could think of are H&R Block, Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City, Intercontinental Hotel, BKD; Lewis, Rice and Fingerish Law Firm, the University of Kansas Medical Center; Russell Stover Candies; and private collections in Kansas City, Seattle, California, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Dusk at Broadway
       6)  I understand you take consignments and have amazing art available.How may readers contact you who are interested in your art? 

I can be reached at You can also contact me through my website at (

Safety of the Sunset

Kansas City Skyline
7)       Finally what would you tell the person who feels that creative spark to paint?

As a hobby, I recommend everyone to try to paint for fun and be free. I believe as human beings, being creative is innate. Find a medium that you enjoy and just have fun. Professionally, I would advice young Artists to know the difference between TALENT and SKILL. Talent isn’t enough to get you by. The skilled are those who are willing to persevere and risk it all to pursue your passion. Being a skilled Artist will ensure long-term success and personal fulfillment.

Thank you so much Allan. It has been such a pleasure to include you in The 2013 Artists Series.

Dear Readers and Followers I hope you will visit Allan's website ...and come comment on what works of art are your favorites. Allan also does still life paintings as well as his renowned landscapes.

Your support of the art world makes this world and our communities a better place to live!

Thank you with all of my heart for your encouragement.  
Look forward to the next Artist in our 2013 Artists Series. 

Art by Karena

Images Courtesy of Allan Chow Art 
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