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Artist depicts Saratoga his way

"I didn't know where I would come out and I came out a painter," said Eichel.

It was between photography and painting, he said. While he doesn't create art with a camera, Eichel said he considers himself a photographer with paints.

"Anything I see, I want to put down. I love photography but I had to make a choice between photography and painting," said Eichel. "A skill with paint is a greater accomplishment to me personally."

Most of his paintings vary between two sizes, 24- by 30- inches and 12- by 16- inches. He said he's glad he waited until retirement to pursue art because it allows him to paint what he wants, and only what he wants.

"If I hadn't retired I'd be stuck doing every crappy commission everyone wanted me to do," said Eichel, who said he paints on the streets and often has people approach him about their homes. "I tell them if they ask that I'll look at their house, but 90 percent of the time I have to say 'sorry, it's just not right for me.'"

Eichel takes his painting seriously and paints until he's happy with what he sees. Sometimes he even goes back to older paintings and makes them better.

"About 10 or 12 years ago I painted the Glove Theater in Gloversville and recently I went back there with the painting done so many years ago (and God hope you'll be a better artist) and I made that painting 100 times better than it was," said Eichel.

The concept of taking something most people might consider ugly, and turning it into something interesting, is his favorite.

"I've had people say it's interesting to see the world through my eyes and that's an achievement right there," said Eichel.

The exhibit "Saratoga My Way" will be at the Saratoga Springs Train Station on Station Lane at West Avenue through February. To see more of his work, visit www.stueichelart.com.

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