David Skillicorn
New Salem, Massachusetts

David Skillicorn's evocative atmospheric abstract oil paintings are a reflection of the natural world. His Adagio series is named after the musical term, which instructs players to perform slowly, gracefully, and with ease. It is those sensibilities which Skillicorn hopes to convey in this work. In the spirit of Mark Rothko and Agnes Martin, Skillicorn strives to create something authentic, at once sensitive and meditative, yet resonate and contemporary. His paintings are not literal landscapes per se, but rather rich atmospheric explorations, often evoking the sea and the horizon. Skillicorn’s studio practice is a combination of instinct, intuition, and spontaneous expression, carefully balanced by years of technical training and continual editing as a painting takes shape. After attaching folds of fabric to canvas, each painting is meticulously layered with up to fifty glazes of oil paint, often hand rubbed in, to create a deep luminous finish. Each work finally emerges, sometimes after many months, with its own particular atmospheric mood. In the end, Skillicorn hopes these paintings convey something that is not so much experienced with the mind, as felt with the body in an intimate, visceral, and contemplative way.

Artist and Customer Comments

David Skillicorn 7/21/2016 | 2:23 PM

Happy to announce that my large painting Motet, 60" x 60", has been selected into the annual juried show at Galatea Fine Art in Boston, curated by Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for Boston. Show will be up August 3 - 28, with an opening reception on August 5th from 6-8pm.

David Skillicorn 6/29/2016 | 4:53 PM

Pleased to have one of my larger paintings, (Memory I, 60" x 60"), included in the national juried show "Patterns", at the Attleboro Arts Museum for the month of July. Also very pleased that they placed the painting very prominently on it's own wall, facing the Museum's main window to the outside.... in a way having my work represent the show to the outside world. Very nice and much appreciated. Some pictures on my web site,

David Skillicorn 9/26/2015 | 4:48 PM

Very nice interview and critique of my work out in the paper this week, along with a wonderful short video showing me at work in my studio which they've put up wiht the article on their web site. Hope you get a chance to read it and see it:

David Skillicorn 9/26/2015 | 4:45 PM

Pleased to announce that about ten of my paintings, and a long review are included in volume VI of the contemporary arts magazine Inspirational, out September 2015. Here is a link to their site:

David Skillicorn 9/26/2015 | 4:42 PM

Opening reception tonight (9/26/15) at the Zullo Gallery south of Boston in Medfield MA for the 21st annual Juried Exhibition. My painting della terra XIV is included in the show, which will run through November 7th. If you're in the area, I hope you can stop by.


Acrylic painting on stretched canvas
Signed on front and back

60" h x 36" w x 1.5" d
8 lbs. 0 oz.


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Artwork Details

Comments About This Piece

This large painting is a celebration of color. I've applied many layers of thick vibrant paint in a very gestural technique keeping the paint loose, alive and active. Fall foliage is an unmistakable influence in this work, suggesting a beautiful maple in full color on a windy day.

The gallery wrapped canvas is painted on the sides, and comes ready to hang. 

Acrylic painting

Acrylic paint was made commercially available in the 1950’s. Acrylic is a fast drying paint that can be diluted with water, but becomes water-resistant when dry. Acrylics can be applied in thin layers and washes to resemble watercolor paints, or they can be applied in thick layers, built up for texture. The main difference between oil and acrylic paint is the drying time. Oil dries slowly, allowing more time to blend colors and apply glazes. Artists who use acrylic paints typically work faster than those who use oils. Additionally, acrylics offer more versatility and are often used for mixed media work. Artists can mix different materials into the paint, such as sand or rice. They can also apply other media on top of the dried acrylic, such as pastel or pen.

Stretched canvas

Canvas is a heavy-duty fabric used as a painting surface. When a canvas artwork is labeled stretched, it means the canvas has been wrapped around a wooden frame (the ''stretcher''). Stretched canvases typically do not require framing.


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