Paul's interest in art stems back to early childhood but he did not paint his first canvas until 1971. He is totally self-taught, in just about all mediums, developing his skills from instructional publications and copying masters works. Finally in 2011, 40 years after his first canvas, Paul turned to art as his sole livelihood and opened a 1200 square foot studio in Vancouver British Columbia.
From early childhood Paul suffered severe nearsightedness and dyslexia, the latter one, not a well understood condition, which remained a mystery for most of his life. These factors led to acute learning disabilities, which he battled throughout his early development; however, his inability to see beyond his reach, combined with the humiliation associated with being an outcast may have been what led to the development of his artistic interests. Art did not require that he could see a blackboard, or follow rules or understand concepts. He could withdraw into his own world and did not suffer the embarrassment of competing with children who were better equipped. Art class was one place where Paul could regain some of his pride and there was no question among his peers as to who ruled that roost. Regardless of his artistic skills, formal training in art was never an option in the eyes of his parents even though Paul's mother had a profound appreciation for the arts. The hardships and austerity of the Great Depression and World War II, right or wrong, had profoundly influenced their belief that a person needed practical skills and regardless of Paul's ability; any discussion of formal training was always dispelled as ridiculous and at the time Paul was convinced it was so.
Upon completing his education in business, his first job was selling IBM office machines; however, within a year, Paul had followed his parents' lead and ventured out on his own, opening his first business as a textile agent representing Montreal clothing manufactures throughout the Canadian Prairie Provinces. Paul knew nothing of fashion when he started but overcoming his own challenges had left him with some useful, however unorthodox skill-sets. He had long since given up trying to assimilate information in conventional ways. By the time he had turned 8, Paul had had several IQ tests that all suggested that he had an above average intellect but none were able to offer a diagnosis or practical solution. Being that no one understood his condition, he was left to his own devices, which he would admit consisted of mostly trial and error and dogged determination. Even as a child, he was aware that he was somehow wired differently, but to this day, he does not understand exactly how or why he absorbs certain types of information expelling others or why he enjoys technical manuals yet has only been able to endure one fictional novel in his life, or why projects that seem frightening to most others are engaging and intuitive to him.
Regardless of his problems or how he managed, Paul became somewhat of a renaissance man and in addition to remaining self-employed throughout his business career he changed his vocation no less than eight times. From selling office machines, to manufacturer's agent, to ladies-wear retailer, to designer, to mortgage broker, to commercial real estate agent, to spending the last 10 years prior to becoming an artist, as a real estate developer, a consultant to the telecommunication industry and fulfilling a life long dream of manually building his home from the ground up. In addition to his art, his life was a plethora of hobbies from music, to boat building, to art collecting, to windsurfing, all of which he took seriously. Not all of his endeavors were financially successful but he always had the admiration and financial backing of others for having bold creative ideas and an almost blind sense of self-confidence.
Although sporadic at times, Paul had never put down his paintbrush for very long or ever lost sight of his artistic aspirations. The pieces of Paul's artistic dream finally started to fall into place, as his daughter Jayne graduated from college at about the same time the house was complete in early 2011, at which time, Paul declared himself an artist in perpetuity, as that single goal had always been his lifelong ambition.
In November 2011 he rolled the dice one last time, opening his 1200 square foot studio in an artists' warehouse at 1000 Parker Street in Vancouver British Columbia, Canada.
In spite of his lack of formal training, Paul is serious about his work and determined to leave his mark on the art world and has no intention of fading into the sunset. He feels that his pent up enthusiasm, work ethic, natural adaptation skills and technical savvy will keep his work fresh and meaningful in a contemporary art market. Paul is not at all daunted by his lack of formal training as he feels that his entire history has culminated to perform this one important role. No one can be sure how his life experiences will influence his artistic future but without question, this cat is out of the bag.