M. Allison: Exploring the Many Facets of Abstraction

By Cassie Rief in Featured Artists > Oil Paintings

Houston, Texas artist M. Allison has been immersed in the art industry for more than 25 years, focusing primarily on abstract and figurative works.

By starting with a simple pencil sketch (often on a black canvas rather than white) she allows her paintings to evolve into loose, uncontrived works of art that allow viewers to develop their own interpretations and storylines based around each work.

“My work is diverse and that is what I love,” she says. “Different ways to create, different outcomes, different satisfactions. . . it surprises me every time.”

The surprise in Crossroads is found in the high-contrast, dramatic mood, which is only heightened by the spy-like trench coats and fedoras, ambiguous facial expressions, and dreary, rainy night.


The painting itself is largely black and white, with similarities that (I find) are characteristic of an overexposed, aged, photograph. You can’t help but ask, after looking at this painting. . . is this duo at a crossroads with their relationship, with a pending murder mystery, or something completely different altogether?

But of course, that’s a mystery best solved by each and every viewer.

And while Crossroads is certainly minimalist, it has nothing on the stripped-down approach that M. Allison takes in My Bouquet, which makes this second painting all the more interesting and beautiful.

My Bouquet

Carefully placed paint smudges, drips, and blobs come together quite masterfully to create a simplified, albeit extremely unique still life.

M. Allison doesn’t bother to erase her early sketches of the flowers, but rather leaves them there to enhance and add definition to the bouquet. A gentle wash of gray in the background complements the delicate theme of the flowers, while her amber and red color scheme adds all the energy needed to the piece.

And speaking of energy, in this final painting entitled The Odds, horses and jockeys alike storm through a murky cloud of dirt, aggressively vying for the gold.

The Odds

The only thing really separating these dueling horses and their respective riders from the churning, muddy background are a few bold black lines. . . which perfectly captures the confused excitement and raw, jumbled energy of horse racing.

For more paintings from M. Allison’s, please visit her website.


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