How Allison Belolan Infuses Her Surroundings into Abstract Art Celebrations

Paige Simianer | August 18, 2023

Featured Artist Allison Belolan explores the intricate dance of balance and texture.

Employing inventive techniques with repurposed artwork, paint, and paper, carefully selected color palettes serve as her canvas.

Her art is influenced by observations of her surroundings and intuitive responses to materials. "I am particularly drawn to unexpected lines in my environment," she writes in her artist statement. In collage and mixed media, Belolan creates abstractions that are celebrations of these lines. 

Each series begins with a limited color palette that unifies the shapes, textures, and lines. 

Belolan works on many compositions simultaneously as she follows her intuition for each composition. "As a result, viewers are left wondering whether the final compositions depict an internal or external landscape or if they are imagined spaces," she explains. 

With each piece, subtle variations in edges, textures, and layers of paper captivate the viewer, creating moments of thoughtful reflection. 

Artwork Archive had the chance to chat with Allison Belolan about her creative process, choice of color palette, and how Artwork Archive helps her manage her art business. 

You can see more of her work on Discovery and learn more about her art practice below. 

Allison Belolan, Golden Moon Path, 7 x 5 in

Do you have a favorite or most satisfying part of your process? If so, can you share a bit about it?

I do! My favorite part of my process is when I get to the "creative storm".

This is a part of my process when I'm exploring ideas wherever they take me—sometimes in several different directions.

It's playful and spontaneous but also a time where I discover new techniques or processes on my own.

For example, I recently began incorporating handmade paper and cyanotype into my work. Whilst in this "creative storm" state, I figured out how to use the two processes while staying true to my voice as an artist.


Do the choices in color hold any symbolic significance or meaning for you?

How I choose a color palette varies. My favorite color palette is black, gold, and white—which I continually return to in an ongoing series of collages and mixed-media paintings.

Other times, it's a specific place or time that inspires the colors. For example, my Celestial Landscape series is inspired by sunsets and sunrises in New York.

Places where I've spent time, such as Zero Foothills in Durham, Connecticut, and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in New York, have influenced my more recent work.

It was winter during my residency at Zero Foot Hills in Durham, so my color palettes naturally evolved to incorporate greys, whites, and blues. The work I created during my Yellow Studio residency at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is filled with greens, yellows, and browns, very much inspired by my surroundings there.


You work on multiple compositions simultaneously. How does this process of working on several pieces at once impact your creative flow and the overall development of each piece?

Working on several compositions at once allows me to sustain my creative flow for longer periods of time.

It also keeps me open to spontaneity and allows for a cohesive series of work to develop. Oftentimes, I find myself waiting during the process, especially when allowing substances like glue or gel medium to dry; so having many pieces to work on means I can keep going.

It also takes away some of the pressure of preciousness; when I have more than one piece going I'm not as worried about making a mistake or a wrong step.


What does success as an artist mean to you?

While being accepted to gallery shows and art fairs is always validating as an artist, I feel the most successful when one of my pieces connects strongly with someone.

I've accomplished what I set out to do when someone has a strong emotional connection to my work or when I catch someone looking at my work a little longer than usual. 

Of course, making a sale feels good, but that's just icing on the cake.


What impact do you hope your artwork will have on viewers?

I want people to have their own moments of thoughtful observation and meaningful connections to my work.

People often say that my pieces remind them of a particular place or that they could get lost looking at them, which is what I love about them.

Allison Belolan, 'Golden Pass', 20 x 35 in

Tell us about your creative workspace. How does your space contribute to your process and productivity?

My home studio is currently an unfinished space in the basement of our house, but for the past few months, I've been working in the Dyan Rosenberg Residency Studio at The Yellow Studio in Cross River, New York.

These two spaces are polar opposites—it's been interesting seeing the differences between them!

My studio at home is in the basement, while the residency studio occupies a bright sunny second floor.  While I work alone at home, the residency offers a small community of other artists and creative-minded women. The Yellow Studio provided more tabletop workspace, enabling me to work much larger. At home my tabletop space is limited, so larger endeavors are a challenge. Working within a community setting meant that ideas were shared and problem-solving was collaborative—a refreshing change from working alone at home.

While at times I love and even crave the solitude of my studio, it's difficult to work entirely by yourself as an artist.


Why did you decide to use Artwork Archive to inventory/manage your artwork?

Artwork Archive has so many options and functions for easily organizing, tracking, and sharing my artwork that it was a no-brainer.

This is my go-to platform for archiving my work.

Allison Belolan, 'ILM16', 6 x 6 in

How do you use Artwork Archive on a daily basis?

My favorite Artwork Archive feature is the Schedule. I use it to keep track of so much—tracking submission deadlines for exhibitions, residencies, and grants, and noting drop-off and pick-up dates for confirmed exhibitions. 

I check it first thing each day.

I also find Private Rooms super helpful for sending examples and available work for wholesale and licensing opportunities, as well as individual collectors and curators.


What advice would you give an emerging artist during this time?

Take the time to discover who you are and what your voice is as an artist.

Once you know your voice, almost every other aspect of being an artist becomes easier: talking about it, writing about it, finding your audience, and more.

Once you know your voice, keep learning and evolving.

Play, experiment, explore, and bring what you discover to your work.

Allison Belolan, 'Weathered Mountain', 9 x 12 x 0.1 in

Allison Belolan uses Artwork Archive to keep track of important deadlines, share her work professionally, and so much more.

You can make an online portfolio, catalog your artwork, and generate reports like inventory reports, tear sheets, and invoices in seconds with Artwork Archive. Take a look at Artwork Archive's free trial and start growing your art business. 

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