Get to Know Paul

Paul Allen Taylor

Paul Allen Taylor

Artist, Teacher

To sit and chat with Paul you will learn more about his early years on the St. Lawrence River and being raised the small town of Ontario NY than his prior resume working for various companies. His life with art began early as many do, but its not until later than it comes to the surface.

Paul being one of six, (born with a twin brother who did not survive), spent his childhood summers on the St. Lawrence River at the family camp in Canada doing what boys do. Boating, swimming, sailing, fishing, you name it. Until he reached the age of eighteen, his summers were his own. That was Dad’s policy. No working while you are still in school. There was one time he asked his dad if he could stay home with his friends. Of course, the answer was no. Once he arrived at camp, he forgot the whole thing.

In 1973 Paul’s dad retired from teaching. The family moved to the river and built a house on Dingman Point Road outside Alexandria Bay NY. Before the move his dad did try to arrange for him to stay with his friends for the senior year. It almost happened until someone else needed the bedroom. In that senior year Paul tried painting in watercolor and oil. Watercolor was cleaner and did not smell, so he adopted it. His mom bought his first set of paints and he still has one of the brushes today. He graduated from Alex Bay in 1974 followed by two years in Watertown at JCC gaining a Liberal Arts degree. He enjoyed the art studio classes the most exploring all sorts of media.  In 1977 he returned to Rochester in hopes of securing a position in the arts, perhaps in advertising or sign painting. Directors told him he needed more art training to work in the field. Sign painting was not so attractive after all. An injury to his spine forced Paul to back to college. He studied Mechanical Design at MCC in Rochester, securing a position after his second semester as an opto-mechanical designer. It had nothing to do with art so he completed his course work evenings all the while dabbling with watercolor, graduating in 1990. At the prompting of his wife June, since college was done, he started concentrating on his painting. He always found inspiration in the river and had a desire to capture the landscape the way he remembered it growing up.

It was not long before he was exhibiting at outdoor events and entering shows. He was once told, if you think you know something about painting, try to teach it. A chance to do just that came with an evening course teaching in Continuing Education. It is one thing to paint; however, it is another to explain what you are doing while painting. His style was getting noticed, clients were buying his work and he enjoyed the teaching. He felt validated. He is an artist. He said it out loud and although working full time in another field, in his heart, art came first.

When he is not in the studio, Paul takes his palette outside to work en plein air which is something he can do any place. Look for him to participate in the plein air competitions in Clayton and Sacketts Harbor NY during July and August. In this facet of his painting, he is seeing the true landscape and makes judgements not possible with photos. Its for this reason he sketches first using that as his “roadmap” for the work. He finds no greater pleasure than to be outside in the quiet spaces, harbors, and shorelines, capturing in paint that which captures his eye.

Paul is a member of the American Society of Marine Artists, a group dedicated to paintings of the shore sand and sea. He exhibits at The Bayhouse Artisans, Alexandria Bay, The Artstop, Penfield NY, Mares Wares Pottery, Morristown NY, and Brian Lister Fine Art and Friends, Clayton NY. He lives in Rochester with his wife June, and Lola, the Papillon. Together they have a son Austin who will teach high school Biology.