Artistic Excellence 2015 | Honorable Mention: Paul Keysar

North Carolina

Paul Keysar, Jacob in Winter, oil, 14 x 18.

Paul Keysar, Jacob in Winter, oil, 14 x 18.

What inspired your winning entry? This is a painting of my son at the age of 3. My wife and I grew up in Maryland and have fond memories of playing in the snow. As parents, you want your children to experience the things that brought you joy as a child. We moved to Charlotte, NC, almost nine years ago, and accumulating snowfall is rare here. So, when it does snow, it is exciting for all of us. In this painting, I wanted to convey the coldness of winter and portray the sense of wonder a child has when encountering  freshly fallen snow. Just after the snowfall ceases, you go outside and see everything covered in a blanket of white. It is beautiful and peaceful. There is some hidden meaning to me, as my son was born in the winter during a snowstorm.

How would you describe your style? I try to paint what is before me as realistically as possible, with a painterly, not hyperrealistic, approach.

What artists, living or deceased, have influenced your work? When thinking of past artists, I find myself drawn to Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, and the Barbizon School. Out of the artists living today, I am greatly influenced by David Graeme Baker, Randall Exon, and Michael Klein. I really enjoy how they create a narrative by bringing the figure into the landscape.

What is the best advice you have ever received? Never stop learning and never give up.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be? Aimless. I really can’t imagine doing anything else.

What’s the most meaningful recognition you’ve received for your artwork? Honestly, whenever I make a sale or win an award, it just reaffirms the fact that I am on the right path.

When you are not painting, what do you enjoy doing? Spending time with my wife and three children.


Featured in the December 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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