Artist Devin Cecil-Wishing
Artist Devin Cecil-Wishing

NYC-based oil painter Devin Cecil-Wishing shares his thoughts on art as a language in its own world.

Devin Cecil-Wishing, “Rhea,” oil on linen, 24x18, 2023
Devin Cecil-Wishing, “Rhea,” oil on linen, 24×18, 2023

Strange and Quirky, But It Makes Sense

By Devin Cecil-Wishing

“As much as anything, I’m trying to get in touch with a way of thinking…perhaps that predates modern conceptions of what picture making is all about. Before the invention of photography, drawing and painting was the only way to create an image, and so it developed as a language of its own and also began to create a world of its own behind the picture plane. It was a strange and quirky place, which oftentimes had very little to do with the appearance of the real world around us. It was a world that played by its own rules but, nevertheless, made sense.

“As you wander through a museum, you can almost come to view each painting as a window into this other world…Hundreds of years of art history can collectively come to be viewed as one body of work and each painting can become a window into different parts of this same world…each one made by different sets of hands and eyes, peaking in to see what part of this other world they can see.

“Through the act of creating paintings, I’m able to act as an explorer, entering that other world and trying to understand it more and more deeply as a place, much like one might explore a new country or some uncharted part of the globe.”

Devin Cecil-Wishing, “Ginko leaf,” oil on linen, 12x9, 2023
Devin Cecil-Wishing, “Ginko leaf,” oil on linen, 12×9, 2023

About the Artist

Devin Cecil-Wishing (b. 1981 in San Francisco) is an oil painter based in New York City who favors traditional methods for creating paintings. He works exclusively from life, memory, and imagination, choosing to avoid the use of photographic references, AI, or other such tools, based on the deeply held belief that the process of creation and the end product are intrinsically connected.

His work takes inspiration from many sources, but his largest influences are the Dutch and Flemish painters of the Baroque era and earlier. He has always been fascinated by the idea of depicting light and by the connection between light and emotion. In many of his paintings, the light effect can be considered to be just as much the subject of the painting as any of the objects being depicted.

Devin Cecil-Wishing, “Red Snapper,” oil on linen, 11x14, 2023
Devin Cecil-Wishing, “Red Snapper,” oil on linen, 11×14, 2023

Devin grew up in San Francisco where he earned a BFA in illustration from the California College of the Arts. He later studied at the Atelier School of Classical Realism in Oakland, CA before eventually moving to New York City to become a full-time student at the Grand Central Atelier. He went on to become one of the core instructors at the Grand Central Atelier where he continues to teach. He also teaches workshops around the globe as well as online classes for students who are not based in New York. His work can be found in collections across the country as well as abroad and he has exhibited in galleries and museums from coast to coast.

Devin Cecil-Wishing, “Parrot Studies,” oil on linen, 9x12, 2023
Devin Cecil-Wishing, “Parrot Studies,” oil on linen, 9×12, 2023
Devin Cecil-Wishing, “Budgie with Asian Pears,” oil on linen, 9x12, 2023
Devin Cecil-Wishing, “Budgie with Asian Pears,” oil on linen, 9×12, 2023

To view his work or for more information on his teaching visit



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