Biography David Paul Artist/Illustrator/Author/Carpenter
Born: February 1961. Layton, Utah The life of David Paul can be described as a classical struggle of an artist reaching for a higher level of understanding of “the world as it is”, while attempting to bring meaning to life by casting a vision of “the world as it could be” in the art forms that he produces. For David Paul, physical and social struggles have never succeeded in eradicating his inner drive to share his inner vision of a peaceful landscape filled with an elevated intensity of colors, forms, and detail. David Paul is a fine artist who paints mainly oil-on-canvas. He has also worked with airbrush, pencils, charcoal, and acrylics, but has found oils to be his favorite media. He has written and illustrated several children’s books, which he is working to get published. He is also a carpenter, illustrator, and cartoonist. David has lived in Northern Utah most of his life.
With an output of original oil paintings that now number over 375 pieces, most of his paintings have been sold locally, or given as gifts to his family and friends. David’s extreme generosity along with his physical struggles, have caused him to remain a humble artist in search of broader patronage. Most financially successful fine-artists living in Utah will attest that their support comes mostly from outside of the state in other markets, but they will also confess that here in Utah, there exists a wonderful aura of inspiration from the mountains and unique geological landscapes. Other places of inspiration for David are the beaches and rainforests of Oregon and Washington. David has also studied extensively Native American cultures, the western pioneer culture, and he also draws artistic imagery and inspiration from these sources. David has chosen to devote himself to this inspiration, and also to serve the local market regardless of personal sacrifice. He opened his own galleries in Bountiful and Ogden for some periods of success, distributing his oil paintings, and his original design woodwork crafts and cabinetry. David engaged his customers with personal discussions of why local original hand-crafted art is important to our humanity, and how local art is a missing ingredient for a lot of busy people striving for satisfaction in an epoch period of global mass production and mass consumerism.
David would consider himself to be “self-taught”. He would say, as most devoted artists would, that he was “born with a paintbrush in his hand and a pencil between his toes.” He used pencil and pen to record anything that “popped in” his head, built sculptures in the backyard, and poured over wildlife books that his brother brought to him from the school library, as he would sketch out every page from these books. David’s brother Kevan, recognized David’s natural abilities and encouraged him to develop his talent. David claims that his elder brother Kevan (who is also a versatile artist and musician) remains one of his chief motivators to continue his artistic endeavors.
At the age of ten, David was awarded first place for the National 'Keep Christ In Christmas' contest for the Utah elementary schools. As part of the award he received a large box of art supplies and free art lessons from an artist who became a very dear friend and teacher. The artist is Lucille Stock, of Layton, Utah, who shared a love of the Utah landscape and was locally well known. At age sixteen, David received the very first “young student scholarship” for high school students in Commercial Arts, and attended the Utah Technical College, in Salt Lake City. At age seventeen, David joined the U.S.Army.
The year of 1988 was a turning point when David decided to develop and use his artistic skills again. David first began with freelance commercial art advertising jobs, and painted part-time. In 1990, David opened his own gallery in Bountiful, Utah, and†in 1992 he opened “Artel Arts and Crafts” in the Newgate Mall in Ogden, Utah. In those five years of hard work, he produced and sold over 200 paintings. Those who visited his galleries in Utah were mostly local residents. There were also visitors from Albania, China, England, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, Germany, Bermuda Islands, and more, who purchased his paintings and crafts. In addition to the paintings, he hand built and sold over 400 cabinets, most had original art added to door panels or sides. In addition, he built hundreds of craft items such as children furniture, benches, wishing wells, and an endless amount of craft shelves. The galleries closed in 1995, when David took on a career working full time as a General Contractor, and put his art career on hold until recently. In 1999, after work-related injuries, David began a series of surgeries to repair damage to his arms and hands. Since then, after approximately thirteen surgeries on his hands and arms, he is not able to continue his desired level of work with wood cabinets and crafts.†But he refuses to allow his disabilities to stop his painting, and now has even learned to paint left-handed. David has learned that being able to paint is not just from the hands, but also from the heart. His first two left-handed paintings sold right after they were finished.
Each one of David’s paintings is unique in their inner meaning and source, but all have an extreme level of detail that may confuse an art critic trying to categorize or classify the artworks according to conventions of “painterly technique”, or expected treatment for traditional natural landscapes. In David’s words: “I believe that I have my own technique of painting. I use black, and I’m not afraid to! If I hear an artist say that you should never do this, or that, then it’s a habit of mine to do it anyway, and then work with it to see what I can do. I consider myself to be self-taught, even though I’ve had a lot of private lessons and worked with other artists, so I believe my way of painting is original. I have no fear of color. If it squeezes out of a tube, I like to try it in my paintings, whether it works, or not.” “I want the viewer of my paintings to feel a part of the world that they may never see, due to the fact that a huge majority of my paintings are from my own visions of places that are familiar, but do not exist. Whenever I travel, I don’t take a camera, but I take my eyes and mind. And from these memories, I sit in front of a canvas and create my vision. I don’t like to make my paintings perfectly lifelike; that’s what the art of photography is for. But I do like to give a person the feeling that they can walk into the painting; and then to feel as if a part of them is INSIDE the painting.” “I believe the thing that inspires me the most is the comments that I get when I show at art festivals and galleries. I love to hear from people when they recognize the different use of colors and the variety of techniques that I use. Also, I hear that the colors in my art are daring. I would like to put a person in my painting and give them a feeling of peace.” “When I attend festivals or shows I enjoy standing away and absorbing the comments that people have to say about my work. I feel it helps me grow as an artist and it really keeps me motivated”. I may receive a few negative comments, but they don’t go unheard. I hear and learn; and from day-one, I have listened to try to create something that people can enjoy” “To be famous and well known would be great, but my dreams and goals are to continue to draw my cartoons, build my furniture, teach art classes, and stroke my paints on canvas for the rest of my life. I want to travel to Europe someday, and study and paint in the places where oil painting was invented and refined.”
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