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    Robert Paulmenn                   [Read Press Release]

    Artist's Statement for Water & Oil, a collaborative exhibition with Noel Thomas

    Robert PaulmennPainting people, portraits and figures, has been my main focus since art school. Working in the studio with its controlled environment is where I have always been most comfortable. But, since moving to Astoria, almost three years ago, there has been a gradual shift toward painting en plein air. The town of Astoria, the river and the ocean have all peaked my interest to explore painting out of doors, where the wind and weather controls what you do. Noel Thomas' work and painting with him has helped move me in this direction. Collaborating on this show with an artist of Noel's caliber has made me a better painter by challenging me to look at my work in a new way.

    I was born in 1950. I graduated from the duCret School of Art in Plainfield, NJ in 1971, where my principal focus was sculpture. After working at Great Adventure/Six Flags Amusement Park in Jackson, NJ as a sculptor and mold maker, I began painting scenery for a regional musical theater company. It was working on large scale backdrops, flats and set pieces that sparked a new interest in painting.
    In 1980 I moved to NYC and attended the Art Students League of NY and the National Academy of Art, where I had the opportunity to study with Daniel Greene, Harvey Dinnerstein and Ron Sherr. More recently, in the summer of 2010, I took a workshop with Burt Silverman that not only helped me turn a more critical eye on my work, but also to remember many of the shared principles of my earlier teachers.
    My life has led me in a number of directions, which on the surface seem to have been great distractions from the path I started out to take. But these side trips and experiences have made me who I am today with the two constants along the way being drawing and painting.
    I paint because I love it. And mostly I paint people, although I will paint anything that catches my eye. To capture the subtle shift of color and emotional energy that each person brings to a painting, as well as the challenge to reveal not just a physical likeness but a bit of their personality, is the search that keeps me going back to the studio every day.