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The Quiet Elegance of Quince Quaintance

Quince Quaintance is an award-winning artist who resides in Jupiter with his wife Rusty.  His work has been shown at the Salmagundi Club in New York City, the New York Pastel Society, and the New York National Academy.  Quince’s favorite medium is oil, but he also works with pastel and water color, sometimes mixing mediums. 

The Rickie Report met with Quince in Tequesta at the Lighthouse Art Center and then moved to Partners on Design, where a large number of his paintings are hanging.   We urge our readers to see his work, a peaceful yet colorful look at the Florida tropics and reverent portraits.

TRR: Tell us about your early art influences:

Quince:  I was always drawing when I was a kid.  I lived in New Canaan, CT, a small town.  My older brother was in the army and I was always drawing WWII planes.   During my high school years, a local bank hung one of my pictures.  I worked in tempera and water color at that time.  After high school I entered the Navy, trained as a meteorologist, and was stationed in New Foundland.   I would see the most amazing frozen waves as I would send weather balloons with transmitters aloft.  When we were back in the barracks, I would sketch and do pencil drawings of my bunk mates’ girlfriends from photos.  The guys would send them home to their girls.

TRR:  Did you ever draw those waves?

Quince:  No, I was always interested in the people.  I came home and decided to go to art design school and attended Parsons School of Design.  I interned for an ad agency in New York City because I studied advertising art.   I ended up finding a job in California for an upscale department store, which had me work on special events for visiting dignitaries, authors, and sports stars rather than drawing.  It really put me in front of the public, which I never thought I could do.  As surprised and pleased as I was, it also gave me ulcers, so I left and came back to New York City to join the family business, Alice Maynard.  We produced needlepoint tapestries and sold knitting supplies.

TRR:   Needle point canvases can be extremely detailed.  What part of the business were you involved with?

Quince:  I was drawing the scenes for the tapestries, which made me feel like I was just a machine.  I kept drawing the same pattern over and over again.  I wanted to do original pieces!

TRR: Burt Silverman is an icon of painting the landscape of the human face, showing realism with emotion.  How did you meet Burt Silverman?

Quince: While working in New York, I wanted to continue to draw and learn more about art.  I attended the National Academy to take classes and met Burt Silverman.  I was one of 10 students taking portrait and life drawing with him.  He was and still is a huge influence on my work.  He is my idol.

TRR:  How did Burt influence your artistry?

Quince:  Mostly in my style.  I like to layer and layer puddled water color on the paper.  Then I use an almost damp brush like scratchboard or an etching technique to take some color away, so you see underneath the layers.  I am not able to do much of that technique any more because they stopped making the paper.  It was a fascinating technique.

TRR:  How did you meet Rusty?

Quince: It is ironic that Rusty also came from New Canaan, CT  but we didn’t know each other at the time.  We met through my room mate, married, and  continued keeping the business going but I burned out and was reaching age 50.

I had made a pact with myself that I would retire if at all possible at that age.  We couldn’t afford to stay in Manhattan, so we explored the tropics to see where life would lead us.  We visited Rusty’s relatives in Miami Beach quite often but didn’t want to live with all the congestion.  So, we drove north until we came to a place where there were no high rises and stopped! That was how we came to Jupiter.

TRR:  What particular medium and subject matter do you prefer?

Quince:  Drawing is my favorite pastime.  I believe that art has to tell me something.   In my estimation, an artist or painter cannot get too far if he cannot draw.  That’s why I am not an abstract  painter.

TRR:  Does that mean that only realism should be considered art?

Quince:  Not necessarily.  Sometimes that art can speak to me.   I can’t critique something I don’t understand!   If you want a piece of art just because it goes with your couch and drapes, that’s not for me.  It is just a pretty picture.

TRR: Can you take our readers from the moment of inspiration to the finished piece?

Quince:  For landscapes, I like to work fast and rarely sketch, especially if I am plein air painting.  I want to get my emotion down on the paper or canvas.  I often work on more than one canvas at a time, going back and forth to bring out a different nuance I hadn’t noticed until I had walked away for a while.  I may paint in a small tree here or there as a road map to the larger landscape.  When I am working on a portrait, I make several sketches with a broad stick of charcoal.  I rough draw the motion of the body  and then go to finer charcoal for the details.  I do a lot of research and use photos for the animal portraits. sometimes it is hard for me to decide when a painting is finished.

TRR:  What story is your work telling the viewer?

Quince:  Art must have a story to tell…to convey something to the person who is looking at my work.  I am very interested in animal conservation and the environment.  Often, I feel that I am painting history.  Who knows how much longer some of these trees and wildlife will be here?  Whatever I paint has to be of interest to me in addition to being popular with a customer.

TRR: What challenges do you face in your artistry?

Quince:  Watching a successful painting evolve is sometimes challenging.  I have to be patient.  Some paintings can take weeks and others may take years.

TRR: What do you suggest to beginning artists?

Quince:  DRAW! DRAW! DRAW!  The colors will come later!

TRR: You can contact Quince at: or 561-757-2360.  Quince’s work is on display at Partners on Design  385 Tequesta Drive  Tequesta, FL.  Contact Blaine Riedel at  561-847-0355 for hours.


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Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420


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