By Julie Osterman
When Arizona landscape artist Andrew Paquette sets up for one of his plein-air painting sessions, his canvas often towers above him—many of his recent works are 4 by 6 feet, and he considers a 3-by-4-foot painting small. He prefers the large scale mainly because it’s unusual for plein-air painters. “Many people don’t feel like going outside with a large canvas, but it’s fun for me,” he says. Paquette, a former art director/computer graphics supervisor for Sony Pictures, Universal Studios, and various other projects, began painting primarily in watercolor and now favors acrylic. “One thing I like about acrylic is that I can cut across my brush strokes,” Paquette explains. “I always paint back to front, and it dries fast enough, while oil doesn’t. I’ve always got this really clean, sharp-edged stroke.”
Although he has been known to make random stops while driving to capture a compelling scene, Paquette says that these are really scouting trips for his more serious ventures. “The really knock-out paintings happen when I’m thinking about what kind of painting I’m going to make,” he says. For instance, Paquette was looking through a book of Ed Mell’s paintings and decided to paint Lake Powell in Utah. The subsequent painting, WATERLINE, became one of his most popular pieces. The artist mentions Matisse, Wayne Thiebaud, and Chinee artist Ni Tsan as major influences on his work. He is represented by Taos Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ.
Featured in “Artists to Watch” June 2004