For the most part Allen was a self-taught artist. He is said to have worked “instinctively” with a photographic memory; painting the pictures he sees in his mind. His paintings tell a personal story, but many appreciate them for their ability to go beyond that and represent a generation of Cree people and many other prairie inhabitants of the same era. His work allows viewers to reflect upon the hardships of the past and remember friendship and family as well as a less complicated way of life. Allen’s paintings masterfully depict First Nations culture, the simple elegance of rural life, and the beauty of Saskatchewan.