Taylor Ikin, Watercolor
September/ October 2004
Q: What's unusual about your work and process?
Red Ripe Robust
Taylor Ikin: Probably the most unique part of my work is that I work on a surface call YUPO'". It's an artificial
paper. It's archival, it's acid-free and it's tree-free, which means a lot to me because I paint a lot of subjects with a conservation
message. I was actually the one who gave YUPO'"' the broad scope of utilizing it in the fine arts field. I was introduced to it
by a fellow artist and I called the company to ask if it was archival and acid-free and they said, "Yes, but why do you want to know?"
I said, "I'm a painter," and they said, "You don't paint on it, it's printing paper." Now they give me my paper for
free and I use it whenever I teach classes. Now it's an accepted medium for artists. In the United States, Canada and Europe, people are
painting on it. It's a lift surface. Whatever you put down you can go back and lift up. And the paper gives a response. It's
not for the timid, but it's a great place to begin.
Q: How did you pick your subject matter?
The Golden Aster, 2003, watercolor, 26 x 20
Ikin: I would say most of my subject matter picks me. I always have my eyes open. I'm always looking for undisturbed places
in this great state of Florida. I also do historical buildings. They all fall into the same niche for me.
Q: How would you like people to describe your work?
Ikin: First of all, I think people are attracted to my work for the subject matter. They enjoy seeing environmental themes. I
lean toward tropical scenes, so the work is vibrant, energetic.
It's meant to be viewed from a distance. Up close it is a lot of razzle-dazzle and abstract shapes. You have to be a distance away to see it
properly. In my studio I have a mirror and when I want to look at a work, I hold it up to the mirror. It's a seven-foot distance to the
mirror, so when I look at it in the mirror it's the equivalent of 14 feet away.
Q: How did you feel after you finished your last piece?
Ikin: I'm trying to remember my last piece. I have about 25 pieces going at any one time. Usually, when I start a painting,
in the first 45 minutes I've completed about 75 to 80 percent of the work. And the other 25 percent may take two years.
When I finish a piece, usually it's about resolving some issues. Sometimes I'll finish a piece and I won't want to bring
it to the gallery. I just want to keep looking at it. Then all of the sudden it's okay to let it go. That doesn't usually
happen, though. Most times I can bring it straight to the gallery.
Still Water Marsh
So there's a sense of accomplishment when I finish something, but it's also about letting go.
Locally, Taylor Ikin's work shows and sells at the Nuance Gallery, 720 S. Dale Mabry, Tampa, Florida.