This picture shows Paul with his three Collies, from left to right; Paddy, Sally and Belle. Looking over his shoulder is Mickey, a rescue dog that Paul took in when he found him starving and frightened. He named him after his old friend Mick Cawston.
Paul lives in North Lincolnshire but his home county is Warwickshire. He was born in 1964 and grew up in Coventry with his two sisters until he attended boarding school in Shropshire at the age of 11. This era found him playing numerous sports including rugby and athletics, it also proved to be a great start to his lifelong love of art. He loved nothing better than to while away the hours in the art room to which he had his own key. At this time he worked in pencil, charcoals and oils to create detailed pictures of motorbikes, cars, wildlife and fantasy.
On leaving school, Paul took a position as an apprentice draughtsman. Recognizing his talent, a firm position was offered which led to Paul spending some years travelling the world producing promotional graphics at sales and marketing conferences for many well known companies.
In 1997, Paul decided that the direction in which he wanted to pursue was painting, so he left his job and set about finding a publisher with his already extensive portfolio. During a visit to a trade show, he met Sally Mitchell. Sally spoke at length with Paul, offering lots of advice on how to progress and being impressed with his work, offered to publish him. Paul says; Sally was the only publisher who offered me the chance to paint whatever subjects I wanted to, this gave me the fantastic opportunity to explore the ideas I had. I wanted my pictures to tell a story and Sally let me find my feet.
The first picture published was a Black Labrador, entitled Watching this proved to be the start of a succession of highly successful prints, many of which sold out quickly. His achievement in such a short space of time has been astounding, and he was honoured to have one of his works accepted into the prestigious Kennel Club Gallery in London during 2004. His idea for a series of dogs drinking beer, starting with the now sold out edition of Three Must Get Beers proved to be the start of something unparalleled.
Since his introduction to Danbury Mint, Paul's work is seen on items from collector's plates to dog beds all over the world. The first image they ever published by him Hitching a Ride proved to be one of their top selling plates ever. He now produces a constant stream of many different breeds of dogs for their use. Paul's diverse technique to create almost photographic quality images starts with a fun idea, he draws doodles and makes notes and then finds the right dogs for the idea. He will spend a few hours taking photos and watching them. Using these for reference, Paul proceeds to create the picture on drafting film using coloured pencils, acrylic paints and an airbrush technique for many of the backgrounds. Consequently the description of Mixed Media is well suited to his works.
Paul will have many pictures on the go at any one time and due to his workload being so high, only finds time to fit the odd commission into his schedule, hence his waiting list for this remains around 12 months. Paul says that painting has changed his life, his ultimate ambition is to be remembered as the guy who painted dogs; he gets a great kick out of people buying his pictures and likes nothing more than demonstrating at shows such as the CLA Game Fair and Crufts, talking to the people who admire his work. He says; I have the best life ever, I get to paint the pictures I want to paint and earn a living for the privilege.
Paul has just finished a three year stint as The Kennel Club Arts Foundation's official artist, where he painted each year's 'Best in Show' winner, presenting the finished painting in the Crufts arena the following year.
Paul's prints, cards and originals are available through Sally Mitchell Fine Arts.