“Leaving A Beautiful Trace” – Paul W. Wood, Artist – Part 1
Updated: Jun 23
Creators are their own worlds and give entrance to unique visions. This series is devoted to illuminate creators whose vision is so vast and world-consuming that they demand epic space across multiple mediums with unique vocabulary requiring a new use of tools to create a world into which you must fully enter to explore. I love that invitation because it exposes us to another spirit’s truth in full manifestation as our immersion becomes a participation. The world of these creators is incomplete without us in it, and with our entrance we allow the creator to express what lies deep within and connects at our core.
My father, Paul W. Wood, expressed a world in which I was gifted entrance, and gave me a taste of life’s purpose with the breadth and scope of his artistic works. He lived a long full life from 1922 to 2003 and was father to four sons and husband to my mom, Jacqueline, who was a pianist and piano teacher.
He was a gentle soul with an immense strength of of purpose and devotion leading him to express deep truths of how he experienced life. His humor and playfulness was infectious and immediately deflated any pretentions because he DID THE WORK. Every day, he picked up his tools dutifully and with joy, sketched, painted, taught, instructed, dreamed, socialized, found humor and healthy perspectives to life challenges and above all, he created. Constantly. Fearlessly. Energetically. Lovingly.
Themes and subjects for his work focused on family, faith, and nature. All interrelated, all suffused with keen eye for subtle color, form through expert line control, textures of oil and cloth, and composition directing the eye.
Color became a texture that he would paint in layers. As the paint dried, he chipped away at the upper layers, exposing a blazing variety of colors beneath. His landscapes were inspired by hometown Port Washington N.Y. on the shores of Long Island Sound; hills, downtown buildings, fields, figures, forests, fields, and shorelines.
I spent most of my adolescence in conversation with my dad about his art, as I was fascinated to know his thinking, imagining, feeling, and expression that was realized with mastery in the one prime outlet of his work. I also greatly admired his independent spirit set by his own rules. Imagine a man with a family of four boys living in middle class suburbia in the 50s and 60s who made his living as an artist! He never compromised or pursued anything that would detract from his mission. Establishing his own gallery to exclusively show his works, he never had an agent or manager, and was stubbornly resistant to excessive publicity.
His single doggedly solo focus was baffling at times; why not have a New York City show? Why not get an agent to show his work on the market? My dad’s idea of marketing was a penciled list of friends and contacts to whom every few weeks he’d send out a one-sheet xerox announcing his gallery would be open for viewing and selling. That was it.
He was a huge influence on my own cinematic style, as I applied all I learned from watching his teaching a class of students whom he nurtured for years. In a family of musicians, I gravitated to my dad as the only one who really knew how I was thinking visually.
Here’s a sampling of his works and a fuller bio: https://www.paulwwoodartist.com
And in the next blog I’ll focus on the stages of how his style developed;
· Developing skills of old masters
· Applying Influences of Abstract Expressionism
· Developing his Unique Style
· Evolving Personal Vision