Ian McAllister

Ian  McAllister


No video available

Ian McAllister Paintings

In this brief appraisal we have endeavoured to capture the essence of a rare artistic personality. One who can effortlessly transport us, with great skill and versatility, from a seascape of billowing cumulus, threatening distant gathering storms, to Turner style brush strokes of mellow light and reflective hues. To complete the journey Marocana, with a medley of electric guitars, breath drama and tension into these compositions which then ebb away to the sound of the violin serenading until the flamenco guitar distills an enduring calm.

With almost photographic accuracy Ian's treatment of still life is also carefully tempered by glimpses of light, subtle reflection or glances of shadow, all entirely the hallmark of an artist well and truly at the very pinnacle of his craft.


I met Ian among some very favoured invitees on a social weekend in Ireland. We were introduced as fellow musicians In the haunting atmosphere of Castle Oliver in County Limerick and in the flickering light of an historic fire-lit oak panelled library.

Whilst Ian enthralled with some Kentucky bluegrass I played flamenco guitar in an unlikely, yet oddly successful, interchange of styles. It was an occasion where anything went and, to this end, Ian and I drifted along in something of a melange of music inspired by the momentum of party bustle and a crackling open fire.

It took a period of time before I was made fully aware that this musician with whom I had shared such a special evening happened also to have the accomplished status of an artistic giant. In awe of the quality of Ian's work I became an immediate follower and the richer for it.

Ian's somewhat complex world is one where we are reminded how nature should command our respect. He paints tactile cumulus filled seascapes concealing a bruising sun, stooped and vanquished, betrayed only by the gentle seepage of yellow and orange as it oozes into the azure remnants of a smothered sky. Then, with a lucid display we are exposed to a man-made gallery of artifacts from ephemeral times of failed empires, classic figures, or the lost and broken relics of deposed ambitions.

This is a truly abstract stage which itself succumbs to the exotic echoes of our early philosophers reminiscent perhaps of Omar Khayyam's paradise. Likewise, dizzy with the expectant aroma of a full bodied red wine, tempted by the rich odour of a ripe wedge of blue cheese ,we are lulled to imagine the soporific sound of latin insects throbbing their massing heart in the joy of the clear night air.

Adept, eccentric, lavishly detailed, blessed with a common touch, I pay tribute here to the creativity of Ian McAllister the artist, the musician, the maestro and the man.