"I use watercolors," explains Malverne artist Arthur Raymond.
"Acrylics, they dry too quickly, and oil just sits on top of the canvas, so if you make a mistake, you can scratch it right off, but watercolor absorbs into the canvas so you see every mistake," he says. "I like the watercolors for the challenge."
Raymond began his art career drawing with pencils and paper in his Port Chester, N.Y. grammar school. Drawing and painting all the way through high school, his talent flourished and earned him a full scholarship to a New York City art school. After graduation, he began a 40-year-career as a commercial artist.
His successful career was interrupted only by his service to his country during World War II, and of course, by his marriage to his wife of 56 years. He moved with his new wife to Malverne and has lived here ever since.
Raymond does all his painting from the den of his Malverne home, however, he has traveled everywhere from Maine to Montauk with other painters. He has a laundry list of art clubs to which he belongs, including the Art League of Nassau County, the Village Art Club in Rockville Centre, and the American Art League in New York City. Most recently, he was named a fellow in the American Artist Professional League.
Raymond often gives his work back to the community. Most recently, he unveiled a gift he had created for the village of Malverne at the Board of Trustees meeting earlier this month. It was a painting of the Malverne Village Hall, which Mayor Patricia-Norris McDonald hung inside the very building depicted in the piece of art.
In terms of subject matter, nothing is off limits to Raymond's paint brush…except "that modern stuff" as he calls it.
"I like to paint just about anything…but nothing modern, you know…no chrome looking things," he said. "I like more realistic things."
Those realistic things include seascapes, barns, docks, boats, and an award-winning depiction of the Old Bethpage Village entitled, "The Apothecary," which won a merit award at an Art League of Nassau County show in October.
Raymond always has a favorite painting, but it changes every time he paints a new one.
"Well, my favorite is always the last one I've painted," he said. "You put so much time into it and you love it, then you paint another one and you love that one! It's like having a lot of extra kids. You love every one of them."
The art of Arthur Raymond will be featured at the Malverne Historical Society this Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 20-21, from noon to 3p.m. For more information, click .