The bold hues and intricate grid-like patterns on glass have likely caught your attention on board before – they are the trademark of artist W. Andre Allen. Hundreds of this artist’s intriguing works are aboard our five ships, and he has been delighting guests with his techniques at Artist Loft for several years. An accomplished self-taught artist, he is based in Miami, Florida and has gained significant recognition for his unique craft and eye-catching imagery in recent years. W. Andre Allen is currently aboard Marina, hosting workshops in Artist Loft as he sails with guests among the Mediterranean during the next month. We caught up with him to discover insight into his artwork and the inspiration he brings to Artist Loft.
Our ships feature a range of your acrylic and glass artwork. Can you describe your process for developing those works? I have dyslexia, so I actually paint backwards. Because the “front” surface of the glass can easily become scratched, I leave it covered and paint on the reverse. Once the painting is completely sealed, I take off the protective front covering to see what the image looks like. This process really works for my mind – I can start with the forefront and work backwards. It’s a complete flow. Out of thousands that I’ve done, I think probably only one or two haven’t worked.
What inspires the aesthetics of your artwork?
Everything is about grids – from living in New York for so long. I’ve been flying there all my life. I looked down one day, and the aerial view just struck me. Cy Twombly, an abstract artist, has also made an impact – his expressive style and drip techniques have been an inspiration. I often use textured cloths and other materials to create additional layers. The process is one of adding and subtracting to give the works more layers and depth.
Tell us about your workshops in Artist Loft – what do you focus on?
We paint glass plates with acrylic and just have a fabulous time. There are always guests who believe they can’t paint, or have never painted before – and their work comes out better than they ever would have imagined! It’s so inspiring. The classes are always full which I just love.
What are some of your newest projects?
About a year ago, I began printing my artwork on silk and other fabrics for scarves and pocket squares. I take a piece of the painting, have it photographed and then transfer it onto silk, so they’re all really unique. The scarves and pocket squares are available in Artist Loft every time I’m on the ship – Oceania exclusives! In fact, I’m currently working with a luxury department store on the development of a fabric line and another furniture company is interested in working with me on other projects. It’s an exciting time.
What’s your dream destination or voyage?
I’ve been wanting to go to Africa for a really long time, and now I’m actually getting the chance to aboard Marina – it’s a big dream come true. I always say, if you believe, it will happen.
Join W. Andre Allen in Artist Loft this fall or on an array of exciting Mediterranean voyages next summer:
- Monte Carlo to Barcelona | October 14, 2015
- Lisbon to Cape Town | November 3, 2015
- Rome to V
enice | July 20, 2016
- Venice to Barcelona | July 28, 2016
- Barcelona to Monte Carlo | August 9, 2016
- Monte Carlo to Rome | August 17, 2016
- Rome to Venice | August 24, 2016
- Venice to Istanbul | August 31, 2016
- Istanbul to Istanbul | September 12, 2016