Morris Plains artist Jack Quinn has found a way to combine his love of woodworking with his talent in watercolor painting, creating an unusual technique that has been picking up awards. His most recent accolade was an award of merit from the Millburn-Short Hills Arts Center, which is running an exhibit of 66 artworks at Overlook Hospital through April 1.
Quinn uses acrylic paints on conditioned birchwood panels. "What makes my work a little different is that I use the grain of the wood as a design element," Quinn said. The subtle visibility of the wood grain adds a sense of swirling movement to skyscapes, particularly.
"I've done a lot of woodworking and wood sculpture," Quinn said. "This series, which I've been working on for about two years, combines the wet fluidity of watercolor paints with wood. Nobody else is doing anything quite like it."
Quinn, who retired from a supervisory position at Bell Labs, said he is "living out a retirement dream."
Though he's painted throughout his life, he said, "I was a Sunday painter. Now I can pursue it on a full-time basis. I'm having a good time. I'm constantly trying new things, experimenting with different materials. I work out of my home studio."
With the extra time to devote to art, Quinn has found growing recognition. He has been a consistent winner at art shows and his work has been chosen for the prestigious American Watercolor Society Annual International Exhibition and the American Artists Professional League Grand National Exhibition - both in New York City.
Quinn takes commissions for unique or site-specific works. To see more examples, check out his web site.