Paul describes how he met Kathryn, at the Birds in Art Exhibition in Wisconsin. “We have known each other for a long time, it’s easy to become friends with people at that place,” says Paul.
Paul Rhymer is no stranger to Wyoming, or to Turner Fine Art. He has been to Wyoming half a dozen times and has been exhibiting his sculpture work at Turner Fine Art for three seasons. However, with this current show, Paul makes his debut as a water colorist after focusing on sculpture for the last 20 years. We are thrilled to have Paul’s illustrative, symbolic paintings in watercolor, which rounds out the variety of mediums represented in this exhibition.
What do you like to do other than work?
“Work makes me happy—I love working.” Paul also loves to fish, and so does his wife. When asked about his favorite spots in Jackson, he shares that “Pacific creek is my favorite, one of the only creeks you can fish before August. I fly fish, and my wife spin fishes.”
Paul is also a hunter, primarily hunting birds. He describes that he loves hunting waterfowl and while in the Spring, hunting Turkey.
Was there a pivotal moment or experience in your life when you decided to pursue art as a career?
“I always knew I was going to be an artist. As a kid, I mostly drew and painted, doing this all the way through college. I was introduced to sculpting by getting job at the Smithsonian in 1984—working in brochure design and illustration. In that office they did tons of different exhibit production.” Paul goes on to describe how in part of the office at the Smithsonian there was a model shop with taxidermy. Paul’s father was a taxidermist, and he took this job as a first long-term, full time job. This work ultimately helped him develop in his personal craft as a sculptor. Paul describes, “my daily work became 3D based.”
What made you want to participate in this exhibition?
“I was very honored by this invitation—I am really thrilled, really excited to be in the show. I want to put a spin on the content. In a lot of these works, I am juxtaposing things that don’t automatically go together. I am really enjoying the storytelling.”
Could you tell me about your relationship with the medium you are using to paint flowers for this exhibition?
“When I decided to start painting again, last year, I picked up where I left off over 20 years ago. I hadn’t painted seriously since then. When I was painting back in the early days it was very illustrative, that’s why I feel like my painting style has a scientific illustration or sketchbook studies feel to it. I like watercolor.”
Paul also shared the story behind the watercolor paints he used for these works. When he was living in Swaziland, he told his grandmother, Helen Garretson, a member of the American Watercolor Association, that he was painting in watercolor. When she inquired about the paints he was using, she was moved to send him high quality paints. Paul used this same set of watercolors, supplemented with Winsor Newton and other brands, to create the pieces in this show.
Do you have any remarks about the work you have created for this show?
“I am really enjoying the combination and stories of flowers and skulls and feathers. I painted all the flowers from life. Except the Indian paintbrush.” Paul is particularly happy with the last piece he painted, titled “Wyoming.” He describes how painting from photos is different than painting from life, as the lens sorts out spatial relationships for you. So, some artists prefer to paint from life. He painted the Redbud, Dogwoods, and Virginia blue bells from life thanks to the woods and fields around the studio. “I bought the columbine at Home Depot” says Paul, cracking a smile.
To see Paul’s work in While We Were Still…Flowers Bloomed, click here.