Experimental is a term frequently applied to the works of Wilson Henry Irvine. Early in his life, prior to 1900, he was known to have employed an airbrush in his paintings and later he would gaze at his subject through a prism; working to accurately record what he saw. He would become closely affiliated to the Old Lyme artist's colony as well as the Hoosier Group of Indiana, and be considered an American Impressionist.
Though he created genre and still life scenes, his primary subject was the landscape, which he captured in oil, pastel, watercolor and even some printmaking. In the 1930s he experimented with "aqua prints" which utilized marbleized papers.
He began his formal art education taking night classes at the Art Institute of Chicago while working his days in commercial art. He began to exhibit around 1900, at the Palette and Chisel Club he helped to found.
In the summer of 1918 he relocated to the Old Lyme art colony, but purchased his home in the nearby town of Hamburg. He would remain in the area for the rest of his life.
He was a member of many organizations and associations, including the National Academy of Design in New York and the Chicago Society of Artists. He exhibited widely and received many awards, including medals at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915 and the Chicago Society of Artists exhibition in 1916.
His works are in the collections of several major museums including the John H. Vanderpoel Art Association in Chicago and the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut.