An interview with Tom Quinlavin

The Places I've Been

"I continue to explore the power of color, to create an emotional and visual experience by limiting my palate, pushing the color, a removal technique and using additives that create a different sensation for the eye and mind."  — Tom Quinlavin

Tom's one-man show, Quinlavin - Color 2022 runs November 9 - December 3. Don't miss this huge explosion of color! Join us for the Artist Reception on Saturday, November 19th, 2-4pm.


Tell us about the art featured in your show, Quinlavin - Color 2022.

This is a collection of work from 2020-22. Most of it was an exploration of the range of the pigment yellow and my removal process.

How would you describe the nature of your work?

I work predominantly in the abstract. I like working with a larger size that allows you to feel like part of the painting.

What kind of response do you hope your work elicits from viewers? 

I'm hoping you have some emotional experience from my work - what that feels like is up to the viewer.

What does being an artist mean to you?

I am what I am...I couldn't being anything else.


Tell us something about your creative process.

It starts with a thought that can come from anything - something I've seen or heard or felt. Then that thought incubates in my mind until I'm physically ready to attack it.

Do you ever get in a creative rut?

No, I'm never in a rut. Some things just take time.

Do you listen to music while you paint? 

No, never - it would be disruptive and interfere with my process. 

How long have you been painting?

I started painting in high school when I was given the opportunity to take art instead of gym class. I jumped on board, as I was already the best runner in my high school's history. In 1982, I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Long Island University, CW Post Campus. I then spent the next 10 years in New York as part of the East Village Art Scene.