Beth Allen — bringing the outdoors indoors

Linda Saholt

News Review Correspondent

Beth Allen — bringing the outdoors indoorsBeth Allen’s oil paintings of realistic landscapes and Western scenes will be featured as part of the Maturango Museum’s Open Studio Tour, coming up Oct. 25 and 26. This annual event is a fundraiser for the museum. For a small fee, you get a ticket and a map to the studios of local participating artists. You can meet with them those two days, chat, and see where they work. Art pieces will be available for sale.

Allen’s studio is a small corner of her shop, Inyo Dreams, in downtown Inyokern.

“I enjoy painting in oils because I can glaze and layer colors and work until I get the sunset I saw,” said Allen. “Right now, I’m concentrating on our area of the desert for subjects. Not that many people do just this area. You should be able to recognize the places, like the beginning of the Sierras.

“I like to do backgrounds with mountains, portraits and animals. I like to do people telling a story with the picture. People tell me, ‘I want to remember the sunset,’ or the mountains, or whatever is special to them about this area.”

Her father was a teacher and a painter. “I grew up with a live-in teacher right at home,” she said. “I’ve done commercial sign painting, illustrations, all sorts of things. There has never been a day I didn’t have a project.”

She is looking forward to the Open Studio Tour, and will use the building’s long porch if the weather is good. “Don’t skip Inyokern,” she said. “It’s a worthwhile area on the Open Studio Tour. We have some fine artists out here. There’s always something here in town to paint.”

Her preferred canvases are large. “I like to work big. I’d rather paint the side of a barn than miniatures, although I can do it,” she said. Allen has been painting seriously since age nine.

“I was working professionally at 14. Dad was always showing me how to do stuff,” she said. “My favorite part of painting is being creative, having a project and getting it done, then going on to the next project. I look forward to a blank canvas and to see it change. I can layer the paint and see change on top of change. Creating is part of who you are. If you yearn to do creative work, do it for the joy.”

Allen and her husband, Jerry have been married for 55 years and live in Inyokern.

Beth Allen touches up one of her desert landscapes.

Photo by Linda Saholt

Story First Published: 2014-08-20