Allens development as an artist was defined early in his home by his parents. His father was an outdoor enthusiast who led Allen on mountain climbs and backpacking trips across the American west. His mother was an accomplished watercolor artist with a love of the landscape who shared her experience with her young son. Allen went on to earn a fine arts degree from Brigham Young University where he met his wife, Janice. They settled in Centerville, Utah where Allen began his career in commercial art and computer game design.
Over the next twenty years, Allen refined his artistic skills in the digital world developing video games with fine companies like Disney, Microsoft, and Take Two. It was during this time that Allen discovered the joys and challenges of landscape painting right in his backyard. Utah is a painters paradise and a university for teaching the plein air artist. He believes that painting on location and in the studio are complimentary pursuits, one building upon the other.