Allen was born at Stamford Hill, London, and taught to paint by her parents. Her father, Hugh Allen, was a well-known painter himself, and her grandfather was the publisher George Allen (Allen & Unwin). Coming from a very creative family, she began showing her work at the age of 13, and published two books as a child: A Child's Visions and The Birth of the Opal. She painted and drew fairies and religious subjects, and worked as an illustrator for many magazines, including The Illustrated London News, The Sketch, and The Tatler.
Apparently her precocity caused a sensation in London. Anthony Ludovici was not pleased, declaring in The New Age (October 9, 1913; 13:24:704) "She did go on and paint reasonably well, working in stained glass as well as drawing and painting". The newspapers in 1913 made much of time she spent in St Ives, under the headline 'The Celebrated Child Artist at St Ives', saying that she had become a familiar figure on the beach that summer. In London's Daily Mirror this 'news' accompanied two pictures of the artist and her sister on St Ives beach. She employed one of the Island studios, for a period, in St Ives.
Her work had a strong religious and spiritual element, and she completed pictures on site in a series of churches. [See Spirit of the Ages website for a selection of religious art]. She lived for many years in Chalford, Gloucestershire.
Painter, illustrator, stained glass artist, writer
works and access
Works include: Two books The Birth of the Opal and A Child's Visions (pub Allen and Unwin). The Medici Society Ltd and AR Mowbray Ltd, the religious publishers, were both publishers of her work in the form of cards, and prints.
Illustrations appeared in London News, Tatler, and Sketch; V&A holds early works.
Online access at: Spirit of the Ages.org 2007
Likenesses of the Artist: St Ives Times 12 Sep1913; Daily Mirror: two pictures of the artist (as a child) and her sister on St Ives beach
Dudley Gallery, Piccadilly 1912-15
Burlington Gallery, St Paul's Deanery 1925-27;
The Kingdom was shown at Edward Elgar's Centenary Exhibition
misc further info
St Ives Times 12 & 24 Sep1913;
Daily Mirror 12 Sep 1913
Buckman (2006) Dictionary of Artists in Britain since 1945
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p311)
Johnson & Greutzner (1975) Dictionary of British Artists
Whybrow (1994) St Ives (1921-1939 list pp 219-21)
Who's Who in Art;
Spirit of the Ages website
The New Age at http://modjourn.org/bio_browse.php