Paul'swork is a reflection of the emotion he feels when he experiences the beauty of our environment. Though he has a fine arts degree from Ohio State University, his current work is an accumulation of discovery. His paintings are the result of an ever expanding process of learning a ‘vocabulary’ that allows him to translate his emotional response into a compelling landscape scene.
Paul is very fortunate to have grown up in a family that had a great appreciation for nature and the outdoors. He gives credit to his father for planting the seed to paint. He exposed Paul to the the beauty of the American countryside. Their vacations involved packing the family station wagon with a pop-up trailer in tow and heading out to experience the unique wonders of nature and geology that each state had to offer. They would travel across the country camping at state parks along the way. From Cadillac Mountain in Maine to the Grand Tetons at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and everything in between. They would visit national parks where Paul would absorb the beauty of the landscape. He found it fascinating to see how unique each state could be. The Badlands of the Dakotas, the expanse of the Plains in the Midwest, the rise of the Rocky Mountains, the depths of the Grand Canyon; all were breathtaking. He would record as many of these scenes as he could with his camera with the intention of painting them when I got home.
As Paul became a serious student of art, he was captivated by the Hudson River School artists. Their depictions of landscapes reminded him of his own feelings when I visited those same national parks throughout his youth. The Hudson River School artists shaped his ideas on how to translate what he saw and felt into his paintings.
One of the traits of the Hudson River School influence that Paul adopted was the use of darker valued foregrounds that gave way to brightly lit points of interest and sunlit mountainous backgrounds. They used trees and vegetation to frame the focus of a painting. As he learned more about the artists and what influenced them, he discovered the work of the romantic artist, John Constable, who is considered a master of painting the sky. “The sky is the source of light in nature and it governs everything, proclaimed Constable". Paul has always loved the immense nature of the sky and the formations of clouds. Constable believed the sky was “the keynote; the standard of scale and the chief organ of sentiment, in a landscape painting.”
Paul has been a South Carolinian for the past twenty five years residing in the Upstate. The foothills of the Piedmont region of the Blue Ridge mountains, along with the many lakes in the area, gave him great sources of inspiration. Every day Paul was surrounded by rolling farmland with mountains in the background and massive skies. One of the lessons he took from the Hudson River school, and Constable, was adding some trace amounts of yellow and earth tones to my rendering of clouds. It gives them volume and form. "I found clouds were more convincing in a painting if I “dirtied’ them up a little." remarked Paul.
During his years living in the Lake Hartwell area he made several trips to Beaufort to visit his parents who had retired to Beaufort in the middle 80's. Paul loved the live oaks dripping with Spanish moss and the tropical feel of the palm trees.......so different from where he lived. While visiting the Lowcountry, Paul always took pictures of images for future paintings.
In June of2014 Paul was very fortunate to be able to relocate to Beaufort. Finding a studio to work full-time from was essential. Upon visiting galleries on First Friday in May of 2014, he found an open studio/gallery space available at Atelier on Bay and is an active member of that wonderful group of local artists. Atelier has afforded Paul the opportunity to paint full-time and display his work. At the same time, I joined Beaufort Art Association, to gain added exposure. Paul admits he has been a member of various art associations over the years, but never encountered a gallery setting like BAA. He feels it is unique among art associations and strong in talented exhibiting artists. "I have found my home in Beaufort".