My drawings, paintings and photographs celebrate the visually absorbing shapes, colors, textures and eccentric details of the urban landscape. For me, buildings are the significant carriers of cultural memory. Surviving the builders and residents, they are reminders of remoter lives and times. Over the years, a city takes on an almost geological aspect, with successive generations leaving behind a layering of architectural styles. The enduring physical makeup of a city directly influences its culture as well as its ability to survive as a place people care about.
My landscapes are always without people. The buildings are the complete statement. Within their lines and the mood they evoke, the people who built them and lived in them are revealed more clearly than if they had posed for a portrait. Here lies the emotional resonance which inspires me to photograph and paint old houses. There is a hard, beautiful dignity in weathering all those years - pure to themselves and uncompromising. Many people have observed that the houses in my paintings seem strangely animated, as if they had personalities of their own. The windows, shutters and doors read almost like facial features, elements of individuality that make their presence felt.
Born in Schenectady, New York, I grew up in Manchester, Connecticut and attended East Catholic High School. From an early age, art was an integral part of my earliest influences and memories as I was surrounded by a diverse group of artists for classes and art openings at my parents' home. My mom (Gail Hinchen), is a mixed-media collage artist who operated her own gallery for over 30 years. Starting to draw in earnest, I watched and learned techniques from artists Elden Rowland and Helen von Borstel (my grandmother) during summers at Truro, Cape Cod. Having studied with Robert Brackman, Jerry Farnsworth and Wallace Bassford, Rowland and von Borstel exhibited their work extensively in Albany, Provincetown, Sarasota and the Art in Embassies Program throughout Europe and Asia. Early on, I was inspired by the lonely landscapes of Edward Hopper and brilliant color staging of Maxfield Parrish. Essentially a self-taught artist, my interests in aesthetics, history, urban design and social policy have always influenced my work. I received a B.A. in philosophy and political science from Drew University and an M.A. in political philosophy from Columbia University.
For many years, I worked solely in pen and black ink. Slowly, I introduced color and have since developed a completely original technique which is characterized by precise ink images with acrylic tones painted over each other, resembling thin semi-opaque or transparent layers. When dry, it produces a smooth matte finish. Other artists and collectors have compared my medium to egg tempera which employs the application of numerous small brush strokes and produces a brilliant, luminous finish. Prominent egg tempera artists include nearly every painter of the Italian Renaissance and Twentieth-Century revival artists such as Thomas Hart Benton and Andrew Wyeth.
I'm a full-time artist who has spent the last twenty five years creating original commissions for individual clients. The majority of my drawings and paintings are of historic homes and landmark buildings in Metro New York, Greater Boston and New England. Word of mouth and referrals from past customers are my primary sources of new work.
Besides drawing and painting, photography has always been an integral part of my creative process. I especially enjoy photographing vintage architectural elements - signs, statues, facades, subway mosaics and stained glass windows. I've recently begun to exhibit my photographs along with my illustrations and paintings.
Always inspired by architectural styles and urban neighborhoods, I've lived in a series of historic houses in Newark, New Jersey, Salem, Massachusetts and Albany, New York. My work has been featured in exhibitions at the Albany Institute of History and Art, New York State Museum, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, University Club of Albany, Stockade Inn, New York State Capitol and Historic Albany Foundation's Built Show 2000-2016 (Best in Show Award - 2010, Judges Award - 2015, 2016). I'm a member of the Albany Center Gallery and represented in numerous corporate / private art collections. Since 2012, I've been the curator of First Friday art exhibitions at First Presbyterian Church of Albany. A large selection of my recent paintings and photographs will be on display at the Albany Symphony's Vanguard Show House in May 2017 and at the Albany Heritage Visitors Center in September/October 2017.
Please visit my Etsy Shop for a large selection of paintings, prints and photographs. Custom house portraits and gift certificates can also be ordered here: