Allen was born and raised in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). After high school he completed a 3-year graphic design course eventually immigrating to South Africa. For several years Allen owned and operated printing and manufacturing businesses in South Africa before he began painting and exhibiting fulltime.
 At this time Allen began to document and paint rural African people, exhibiting this series of documentary works with galleries in South Africa.
 Allen emigrated for a second  time in 2000 - this time to Canada and eventually settled in Gatineau (Quebec). Allen continues to paint the figure, though he is constantly searching for ways to reinterpret the figure. 
Allen also paints the landscape of the area in which he lives, particularly the beautiful Gatineau Hills region.
Allen is a self - taught painter.