by Eva Potter

The new Sean Huntington Gallery is now open in downtown Ellicottville at 1 Washington St. in 1887 Building. The gallery specializes in fine art watercolor and mixed media paintings.

Huntington is known for his recognizable and iconic abstract tree paintings inspired by the canopy of local forests. His multilayer painting process melds watercolor with gouache (opaque watercolors) to produce vibrant, abstract images. Working on paper stretched over canvas allows Huntington to work on a bigger scale than traditionally presented watercolors.

“I use layers of watercolor on paper with a latex resist process. Basically, I’m painting in shapes (mainly trees, since I’m obsessed with the northern landscape) with rubber and a brush, which protect the paper underneath from subsequent layers of watercolor,” explained Huntington. “At the end of the painting, I peel off the latex to reveal the paper underneath — kind of like writing your name on an Easter egg with a wax crayon and then dying it.”

To finish his pieces, Huntington chooses not to frame his paintings. Rather, he edges them in copper or aluminum, giving an industrial contrast to the natural themes. He then finishes his pieces using metal punches that belonged to his grandfather to stamp his name and the painting’s title into the edging.

You can also see the work of artist Patricia Eckstrom at the gallery. Eckstrom works in a variety of media and will be presenting her iconic paper sculptures, mainly from her tree line — her newest work.

Stop in the gallery — with its own entrance located on the M&T Bank side of the 1887 Building — on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.–5 p.m. and by appointment at (716) 244-2943. More information at

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