Living in the South West of England the focus of Colin’s paintings is very often the everyday life he finds around him in North Devon or in Cornwall
Days are frequently spent on the coast recording the light as it shines on the estuary, or reveals the fissures and gullies on the cliffs. Maybe it’s the more industrial side of our coastline, to see a ship laying in dry dock while the workmen labour on a refit.
It can be the activity on a farm, the cows standing contentedly in the barn or at market. Perhaps it’s a trip to follow the hunt or a local shoot and record the movement and colour as they cross the winter landscape with its ever changing light.
Working in oils or watercolour from studies, sketches and other reference gathered on site Colin tries to recreate the atmosphere and feeling of the moment seen and convey this through his paintings.
Colin is an elected member of both the Royal Society of Marine Artists, and the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour both whom hold their annual exhibitions at the Mall Galleries in London
Colin's method of working is to draw on the spot, catching a sense of time and place. These can be simple studies but are often more complex, allowing Colin to adjust and alter the image later. In the studio these drawings, supplemented with some photographs, become the basis of his artwork. With watercolour Colin favours a handmade tinted paper from a Somerset mill, on which he can manipulate the painting by washing out certain areas, scratching with a scalpel blade and adding body colour until he has achieved the feel he wants. The addition of body colour gives some of the washes a chalky and atmospheric quality. Colin also paints in oils using drawings as a starting point, although with both these mediums he does paint on the spot. Often these paintings are complete in themselves but can be the basis for a larger, finished work back in the studio.
1954 Born on 8 March in Barnet, Hertfordshire
1971-75 Worked at a commercial art studio in London and took evening classes St Martins School of Art
1998 Elected to the Society of Equestrian Artists
2001 Elected to the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours
2008 Elected to the Royal Society of Marine Artists
2013 Made an Honorary member of the Society of Equestrian Artists
Has exhibited regularly with the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and the Sunday Times Watercolour competition
In the South West exhibits regularly with Royal West of England Academy and the South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts of which he is a member
Married with three children Colin lives in North Devon
Work in collections of Daler /Rowney, Burton Art Gallery & Museum, Marquis of Salisbury and many other private collections
Work can be seen at the John Noott Gallery Broadway, Lincoln Joyce Gallery Surrey, Minster Gallery Winchester, Waterside Gallery Devon
Society of Equestrian Artists, South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts
2013 Neal Meacher Sketchbook award, Royal Institute of Watercolours Annual Exhibition
2009 Turner Watercolour Award, Royal Institute of Watercolours Annual Exhibition
2009 Lincoln Joyce - Rowland Hilder Award, Royal Institute of Watercolours Annual Exhibition
‘Excellence in Watercolour’, Royal West of England Academy, 2001/03/08
‘The Terence Cuneo Medal’, Society of Equestrian Artists, 1999/2003
‘Frank Herring Award’, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours
First Prize, ‘Royal Bath and West Exhibition’
‘Daler Rowney Award’, Royal Watercolour Society, 1991
Royal West of England Academy
The Wykeham Gallery
Burton Art Gallery & Museum, Bideford, North Devon
‘Lynn Painter Stainers Prize’
Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition
‘The Great British Landscape’
‘Art in Nature’
‘A Picture of Devon’, 2008
‘International Artist’, 2005
‘Colin Allbrook’s North Devon’,2002
‘The Artist’, 2002
‘Artist & Illustrator’, 1994
Colin depicts scenes of everyday life in devon and cornwall, which are confined to coastal scenes and landscapes. The artist prefers to draw on the spot, and later to supplement these sketches with photographs. Commissioned pieces typically take 3-4 weeks to complete. Colin is reluctant to create replicas of existing work.