About Colin Allbrook

Colin Allbrook (c) Colin Allbrook

Colin Allbrook

From an early age perhaps the two most important elements in Colin Allbrook's life were art and the seemingly endless happy days spent playing in woodland and fields around his childhood home. Since leaving school at seventeen with the art prize under his belt he has always made his living as an artist, and for the greater part of his life, the past thirty seven years, the life and landscape of North Devon have been both home and inspiration.

One of his many prestigious awards — for best use of light - sums up his rare talent. Whether it be the more familiar beauty inherent in his land and seascapes, or the everyday activities of the people and animals that inhabit them - at market or on the farm, beside rivers or the sea, at the theatre or at home - Colin Allbrook sheds his own special light on the elusive, intimate moment.

In doing so he lovingly celebrates the quintessential nature of the region's gentle yet ever-threatened pace of life, as in his prize-winning 2002 painting 'Market Shearers, South Molton' which captures a scene probably lost for ever in the wake of Foot and Mouth.

Colin continues to find inspiration all around him. Drawing on the words of Swiss artist Paul Klee who said of art that 'it did not reproduce the visible but rather it made it visible', Colin says,'By continuing to paint the ordinary things of life, the lambing shed, a cattle auction or perhaps someone repairing a boat, that's what I would like to achieve.'

Born in 1954 in Barnet, Hertfordshire, Colin has made his living from his draughtsmanship and painting talent since completing his school art exams. Aged seventeen, he joined a commercial studio in London's West End, specialising in illustration and meanwhile attending St Martin's School of Art. At twenty-one he left to go freelance and never looked back. His work has been purchased and published widely, both in the UK and overseas. Home for the past forty four years has been North Devon, the past thirty seven at a riverside studio in Umberleigh.

His work has won many awards, notably the Turner Award at the annual show in the Mall Galleries, London, of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, to which he was elected in 2001. He was awarded twice the President's Medal in a Society of Equestrian Artists exhibition,of which he is an Honorary member. He was resident artist at the Queen's Theatre, Barnstaple for many years. For a number of years his paintings have been selected for the prestigious Sunday Times Watercolour competition and he exhibits regularly in London, with the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, and the Royal Society of Marine Artists of which he is a member. His work has also been selected for the South West Acadamy of Art's summer shows, and the Royal West of England Academy's autumn shows, where he has won the Watercolour Prize on four occasions. This year (2023) he was awarded the Michael Harding watercolour prize at the Society of Equestrian Artists and last year at the RI the Megan Fitzoliver Brush prize. Colin Allbrook's paintings hang in private and corporate collections across the world.

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