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Paul Sheldon: 2012 Emerging Artist

Author: Susan Regan
Issue: March, 2012, Page 76
Paul Sheldon

Acrylic and oil painting

What is your art background?
I took art classes throughout school and also went to High School Fine Art Summer Sessions at University of Arizona (UA), which were camps for gifted high school art students who could benefit from the knowledge of university professors. I got a painting scholarship to Northern Arizona University and went there for two years. Then, I transferred to UA and earned a degree in studio art with a minor in art education.

What inspires you?
Bright-colored contemporary Western works like those by John Nieto and Fritz Scholder initially got me going because of their original look and their skillful use of color and composition. At some point, the light bulb went off in my head to try something similar with cowboys. My work developed into something a little less abstract, though. I like all the old-time historic photos of working cowboys with great hats. Later, I added landscapes, which I love to do now more than ever.

What is your most significant art-related achievement?
Learning how to make my own giclees. Fifteen years ago, I started dreaming of the possibility of using inkjet for art. I had some computer graphics background, so I started trying different printers and slowly learned all about it. Now, I control my own fine-art print production, which has been an asset during the Recession and also has helped me reach more buyers.

What do you love most about your medium?
Painting gives me the most freedom, as I love the interplay of color. I mostly use acrylics, although I use oils occasionally. Oils are nicer for blending, but acrylics dry faster.

What’s on the horizon?
I’ve got an idea related to antique photos. Little towns across our great country have put up websites with historic archives. Invariably, you’ll see a saloon, general store or blacksmith shop, complete with townsfolk, dogs, children and cowboys. I’d like to do some large pieces along this theme.

Clockwise from top left: The Morning Crew, acrylic on canvas, 26"H x 48"W • Morning Remuda, acrylic on canvas, 36"H x 47"W • Rhythm and Collision, acrylic on canvas, 53"H x 53"W • Running Remuda, acrylic on canvas, 36"H x 40"W

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