I discovered the artwork of Thomas Paquette via the Internet several years ago. I don't remember what led me to his website. I must have encountered an image of one of his works and that was that. I had to see more. I bought his beautiful little book of gouache paintings and still enjoy thumbing through all the small wonders. Here's what the book looks like. This book and others are for sale on his site.
If you traipse over to Paquette's website, you'd read on his biography that he paints full-time, holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting, has won impressive fellowships and lives in Pennsylvania. He draws inspiration from the natural world surrounding him in the Allegheny National Forest. He paints outdoors, preliminarily, but doesn't consider himself a plein air artist.
What fascinates me about Paquette is his propensity for repainting his works, over and over, until he's satisfied. Alla prima and plein air work may be all the rage currently, but this notion of reworking a piece appeals to me. In fact, you'd be surprised how many "plein air" artists "rework" back in the studio. And there's nothing wrong with it, in my opinion.
Yes, too much repainting can lead to an overworked, overpainted piece that falls apart. But other times the revisiting and experimentation can lead to refreshing new looks and outcomes. Which is why I find Paquette's work so fresh and appealing. It doesn't look like so much of the other landscape, plein air paintings out there. It has a unique look and feel. His interesting, abstract shapes and colors sometimes remind me of puddles of oil on the roadway. Their incandescent glow and reflection.
Aside from Paquette's large oil paintings, his small gouaches are a pleasure to look at. And they just go to show that you don't need a large panel to knock out some interesting little studies and color notes. Here are a few samples I photographed from Paquette's book.
Paquette likes using goache over watercolors due to their opacity, quick drying and ability to be painted over. Whatever the approach, his work clearly retains its own unique look. I think Paquette's approach provides a suggestion for the rest of us. Reworking pieces, repainting and spending some time with them can allow our unique voice and style to surface. Of course, it could also lead to a mess. But hey, I'm willing to experiment a little. Especially if my stuff comes out half as appealing as Paquette's work. Why not give it a try?
To check out more of Paquette's amazing paintings or to purchase one of his books, click HERE (Note: I don't receive any affiliate sales for recommending Paquette's books. I just like his work and want to support a fellow artist!)