Artist Profile
Taylor Ikin, Watercolor

Applause! Magazine
September/ October 2004

Red Ripe Robust

   Q: What's unusual about your work and process?
   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.

The Golden Aster, 2003, watercolor, 26 x 20

   Q: How did you pick your subject matter?
   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.

Still Water Marsh

   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.
   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.

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