Jesse Allen Gallery Part 2

pic A

Jesse has an admiration for birds in general, and black swans in
particular, (and I have a big swan tattoo on my back to prove it!)

pic B

This is a recent watercolor called “Island in the Lagoon.” I watched
Jesse painting this one day when he had just started it, and he was drawing
the preliminary lines showing the water level and the islands. I was totally
mystified by the perspective, and had him explain it to me a few times without
ever really understanding it. In any event I saw it again when he was finished
and it is one of my favorites of his more recent paintings.

pic C

This is “Bird Confronting a Serpent,” an early watercolor of Jesse’s.
The suns are all oval because they were traced from a little oval japanese stamp.
The whole idea of the painting is to portray a conflict of which the outcome is
uncertain. The bird could bite the serpent’s head off or fly away, or maybe the
snake will be able to get a poisoned bite in. Many of Jesse’s paintings which contain
conflict also have witnesses to the strife, in this case another bird and two
mysterious creatures looking in from each side of the painting. This is reminiscent
of ancient tradition from the middle ages and the renaissance, when typically
one of the faces in the crowd of bystanders is looking back at the viewer of
the painting.

pic D

This is the first art of Jesse’s I ever owned. I purchased it as a “psychedelic”
print in about 1973 and hung it proudly in my teenage dorm room. The official name
of this is in Spanish: “Fue Como Hablar con un Archangel.” Translated it means “It
was like speaking with an arcangel.”