Max Decker

I grew up in West Tisbury, though I’ve lived in Brooklyn for the past few years. It’s hard to hold both places in your mind at once; they’re as different as any two things can be different. I’ve painted both, but I prefer to paint the Vineyard.

It’s the challenge of landscape painting that I like: to express a range of emotions through trees and water and sky. To imply a narrative through the use of nonhuman forms is of particular interest, and adds a layer of metaphor with just the right depth.

A painter’s archaic tools (sticks with a bit of hair tied to their ends, pigments of clay and oil, some cotton canvas) can yield an astonishing array of results. Brushes are more suited to the curved and irregular lines of nature than to the sharp angles of man-made objects. When I paint cities I am working against my tools; with nature I’m allowing the brush to do what it wants to do. I very much like to be outside in nature. Farm Neck was a beautiful place to wander and paint.

Max is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. His work has been shown annually on the Vineyard at the PikNik Gallery in Oak Bluffs and at the Eisenhauer Gallery in Edgartown. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. View samples of his artwork at