Clients and Painting Venues include the following:
- Robert Stigwood
- The Biltmore Hotel Miami
- Hemingway House Key West
- Hard Rock Café
- Moores Hotel Guernsey
- Deerhound Hotel Guernsey
- Cardiff International Airport
- Dragon International Studios
- Beau Couperon Hotel Jersey
- Harbour Lights Alderney
- The Mermaid Restaurant Gibraltar
- The Albert Alderney
- Bronze in memory of South Wales Miners, sited at Abercynon, Wales
John Allinson was born in Cardiff, Wales in 1942, son of 2nd world war Royal Air Force hero Squadron Leader Bill Allinson, and pianist Eira Allinson.
After a Grammar school education he attended the Central School of Art in London, subsequently working as an illustrator and graphic designer in North Africa following the Algerian war, and raising funds for War on Want through his artwork.
During the ensuing years he traveled prolifically throughout Europe, working at just about any job he could find, including fairground mechanic and illustrator, and as a salesman at trade shows throughout West Germany. He managed to find the occasional art commission, and created graphics around a pot bellied stove in Austria for local design agents and for little money.
In 1963 he joined the Royal Corps of Signals as a draughts man and illustrator, but following an accident in Cyprus was discharged from the Army, and began traveling again in Europe.
He worked as a car salesman for a number of years, realizing limited art commissions, and selling portraits and newspaper illustrations at low prices to try and achieve recognition.
He also became interested in ancient buildings, and worked as a technical writer producing articles for newspapers, and in 1979 was invited to assist in the design and construction of a permanent care of buildings exhibition at Hampton Court Palace, where he designed and built mock houses and interiors, and which drew media attention to his work and also more writing and art commissions.
It was at this time that he began to receive a smattering of mural painting enquiries, and subsequently was invited to muralize a restaurant in Gibraltar for Heineken.
Further commissions followed this, including a new waterfront development in Cardiff, Wales, and portraiture commissioned for stately homes.
The first major breakthrough came with commissioned drawings from impresario Robert Stigwood, followed by an invitation to design and build a bronze memorial dedicated to South Wales Miners, where he cast three plaques weighing 300 pounds each, and mounted them on the largest single piece of limestone quarried in Wales.
He was then invited to represent Wales in painting at the Gymanfu Garni Eisteddfod in Pennsylvania, and held cultural lectures in several states, subsequently being invited to hold an exhibition of his work at the prestigious Susquehanna gallery in Harrisburg, which was hosted by the Wales Tourist Board in New York.
He also staged exhibitions in Baltimore, and was made a citizen of Maryland by the then Governor, Donald Schaeffer, and of the cities of Baltimore and Harrisburg.
By this time he was able financially to concentrate all of his efforts on art, and spent a number of years painting murals in the Channel Islands for corporate and private clients, including a number of prestigious hotels. He declined offers to hold further exhibitions, being not so much interested in the completed painting as the process of painting it and his quest to put light onto canvas.
Media attention was prolific, and he appeared on several television and radio programs. He also received requests for illustrated furniture, particularly Victorian Cabin Trunks, but the majority of his efforts were concentrated on mural painting, preferring the use of large-scale colour and tone achievable in large format work.
In 2001 he was invited by filmmaker Richard Attenborough to break the record for the world’s largest canvas painting, as a celebration of the development of a major new film studio and theme park.
240x8 feet plus later, it was discovered that a Chinese artist had completed 6600 feet of canvas, albeit with meager content, and so the attempt was dropped.
As a result, media attention increased on what became ‘Not quite the longest Painting.’ Art Historian rex Harley wrote,” In John Allinson’s painting ‘House of Dreams’ a host of artists and entertainers emerge from a swirl of colours, in the same way that their human counterparts stepped out from the stream of history to entertain and enrich our lives. They are represented mainly as heads and torsos, in a series of tableaux, solid and strong, conjured up in bold bravado strokes of paint. Though there is an echo here of the film poster, the artist is not interested in slavishly capturing physical likeness. Thus, what could have been in the hands of a less accomplished painter a series of disjointed and lifeless portraits becomes here, in this vast panorama, a dynamic progression, action, set against the backdrop of time – the world in wide screen.”
In 2003 he was invited by The Travel Channel to research a series of cultural travel programs based in Florida, and spent several visits filming from Miami to Key West, and painting large canvases at the Biltmore in Coral Gables, in Hemingway’s garden and Hard rock Café in Key West. He made a presentation to the Miami entertainments and Arts Council, and was invited by Keys Commissioner George Neugent to erect the mammoth canvas on the Seven Mile Bridge, but this proved logistically almost impossible. He has declined further invitations to exhibit and perhaps split the painting into saleable sections, adamant that it remains as it is.
He formed a film production company in 2004, which has attracted support from a nucleus of specialist editing and production professionals, and who now form the core of ‘Crucial Cargo Film Productions,’ and a documentary is in progress covering the painting’s journey from conception through to its anticipated erection in Florida.
He also wears another hat, that of inventor and over the past several years has developed a new design concept known as Wave Images, which may well change the way we view things, the IPR of which he has sold to Corus/Tata in exchange for a royalties contract, which also retained him as its creative consultant in order to help in bringing its various design applications to the marketplace.
John Allinson currently exhibits his work at The Gallery on Greene in Key West, and has recently signed a publishing contract with Steven Greenwald galleries in Fort Lauderdale. He has built a solid reputation with buyers from Canada through to New York and various other parts of the US over the past several years.
In 2004 he was commissioned by Cardiff Airport to paint a mural as part of the new arrivals area, and subsequently commissioned to paint a series of large scale ‘destinations’ paintings which currently hang in the Executive lounge at the airport. Bristol airport commissioned similar works which currently hang in the airport and which will be reproduced as murals across the various corridors.
He is also currently working with Cardiff University on an energy dissipation device, which is designed to alleviate the pressure on building fabrics caused by hurricane force winds, and has just signed a collaboration agreement with major worldwide structural engineers, with the purpose of achieving a market in the reduction of energy pressure against buildings during hurricane conditions.
John Allinson paints every day from five in the morning, stopping at 9.30am to hang up his beret before donning his scientific hat. He travels prolifically throughout the UK and to the US, and spends his weekends writing novels, currently working through the fourth book in two years.
The first book ‘Drop,’ received more than a passing interest from Warner Brothers, a sinister story laced with black humor about the expiration of gasoline, and the American ‘land o’ plenty’ attitude of refusal to accept the inevitable.
John Allinson has four children and two grandchildren. His philosophy on life derives from the following.
‘What does not kill me strengthens me,’ and ‘If not now when?’
Steinbeck, Kerouac, Twain and London are his favorite authors. Rembrandt, Hopper, Sisley and Sergeant are his favorite painters.