A Western Path, 2
Oil on linen, 40x30", 1990
© Page Allen

Statement · Bibliography · Essay

Artist Statement
Page Allen

From the plains east of Denver, the snowy mountains flush pink in the morning light. The full moon seems poised in its descent, a perfect, broad and shining disk, suspended above the peaks.

The little plane makes its ascent, heading home to New Mexico, and the whole, great sweep of mountains appears as we rise. Gazing south to the far horizon, I can see the Spanish Peaks, as graceful as two sails cruising a golden sea. Closer, the beacon of Cuervo Verde shines, with its cresting curl of bright snow and then the fortress of Pike's Peak, looming closer still. These are the landmark mountains of the southern Front Range, silent and eloquent, austere and generous. They lend their easy majesty to our human preoccupations, enlarging us, reminding us of something beyond the daily task.

Looking down now, the roads unfurl north-south, east-west; they are the straight courses of our journeys and journeying. The plane begins its curving path to the southwest and soon we coast above the peaks and valleys. Here the precious watershed of an arid land is revealed, the tiny, pulsing tributaries of the Arkansas and the Rio Grande.

This western land lends itself as a subject for painting, offering an abundance of light and space, ripe with metaphor. Here familiarity and awe may coexist and, in painting, the continuum between realism and abstraction is easily traversed.

I paint the visible world, remembering this dawn in Colorado, an hour by the Rio Grande, a northern highway, a pair of butterflies' delicate investigation. But always I end in painting something that is invisible: a rhythm between earth and sky or a harmony that embraces every eccentricity and renders it beautiful.


Page Allen was born in St. Charles, Illinois in 1951. After studying at Princeton University, she completed her bachelor's degree at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1974 and her master's degree at Northern Illinois University at DeKalb in 1980.

Artists in the Schools Program in Montana. Catalog. National Endowment for the Arts and the Montana Arts Council, 1988.

Clemmer, David. "Critical Reflections: Page Allen. THE Magazine November 1993.

Euclaire, Sally. Review of work by Page Allen. Artnews March 1994.

Hagerty, Don. Leading the West: One Hundred Contemporary Painters and Sculptors. Northland Publishing, 1997.

Udall, Sharyn. Contested Terrain: Myth and Meaning in Southwest Art. University of New Mexico Press, 1996.

Udall, Sharyn. Page Allen. Catalog. Owings Dewey Fine Art, 1990.

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