Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts is pleased to showcase the paintings of Palmerston North-based artist Paul Lyons. Texplorations: Paintings by Paul Lyons will feature over thirty of the artist’s works, “mainly watercolours with frequent guest appearances by charcoal and gouache.” The works are all representational with some being slightly chromatically exaggerated. “I like my paintings to look like something when viewed from a distance, but to reveal their nature as marks-on-paper when viewed from close-up. So, although the style is realistic, it is not hyper-realistic!” The exhibition will open on Saturday 14th November from 1-3 pm and remain on show through Wednesday 2nd December. Gallery members, friends and the general public are invited to attend and to meet the artist.
Born in England, raised in Auckland, living in Palmerston North, Paul Lyons is a 62-year-old self-taught artist, an academic, an actor and a musician. He has degrees in Chemistry, and has lectured in Computer Science at Massey University for over thirty years. Although Paul has painted for about twenty years, he has only occasionally shown works in galleries, and has sold a few works privately. This exhibition is the first time a significant number of his artworks have been publicly available.
In his academic life, Paul specialises in research into the use of colour in computer interfaces, and has run workshops on the subject around the world. But he is also (slightly) colour-blind, so you can amuse yourself by speculating about which colour effects in his paintings are deliberate, which are the result of using a particular technique, and which are because he just sees colours differently from the viewer.
The artist writes: “I’ve discovered that I’m attracted by natural forms much more than synthesised ones, so the subject matter is mostly ‘landscapish’, and often fairly dramatic. It is largely drawn from scenes discovered on trips through New Zealand, with one or two from Scotland as a bonus. This show is largely an exploration of various techniques. Some of the works are completely traditional watercolours and others feature spattering, charcoal, poured paint or a restricted palette. At one stage, I thought of calling the show Dirty Pictures, because I was going through a charcoal stage, and before you spray them with fixative, charcoal-heavy pictures are filthy things. But those are only a minority, and there’s a strong element of technical exploration about the works on display, so Texplorations seems to sum it up quite nicely.
“Having spent my working life in academia, I’m in the habit of converting the written word into useful skills, so I often search through books on painting, looking for new and interesting techniques. I then experiment with how to use them, when to use them, and how to integrate them into my style. After finding a new technique, I’ll typically produce a few works with a heavy emphasis on that technique, and then, having discovered what I can do with it, put it on a mental shelf till a subject comes up that calls for it. Then it’s time to start searching for another interesting new technique.”
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