Meet the Artist - Ed Allen
Edwin (Ed) Allen’s pen and ink drawing “Independence Hall,” depicts what he loves best about Philadelphia. “It’s an ‘old and new city,’ always exciting,” he says. Subjects to paint or draw often occur to him during the course of an ordinary walk downtown. “Independence Hall,” a large drawing full of meticulous detail, captures the centuries’ old brick building, while picturing a horse and carriage full of tourists in the foreground.
Allen was one of scores of artists honored May 30th with a luncheon at the PECO building – an event which capped PCA’s “Seniors Celebrate the Arts” festivities, presented by PECO that month. The celebration had included exhibits of 140 outstanding pieces of senior artwork at the PECO building and at Philadelphia Senior Center as well as a myriad of arts-related classes, workshops and performances
“Line drawing is a new medium for me,” says Allen, who began to blossom as an artist after retirement and who mainly paints with water colors. “I’ve done about eight pieces in pen and ink. I’ve started to win awards for this.”
Allen’s interest in art dates back to his high school days. “I always wanted to paint and never had the time,” he reflects. “I was doing good work in high school and figured it would take me 100 paintings to get back to that level,” he says. After retiring from a career with a large Philadelphia bank, he enrolled in art classes at the Community College of Philadelphia and at the Fleischer Art Memorial. He now continues his art education at Woodmere Art Museum and by working at Philadelphia’s Plastic Club with fellow artists. “Since retiring I’ve actually done about 300 paintings,” he notes, and has more than equaled the promise of his earlier years.
Next up for this artist is a pen-and-ink drawing of the Betsy Ross House and after that, he’s eyeing the Philadelphia Zoo, a subject he previously rendered in water colors. In particular, the Zoo entranceway with the diverse crowd streaming through, fascinates him. “It’s fabulous,” he says.