I am Paul M Harman, a visual artist, and today I will share with you wonderful art journey.
My name is Paul M Harman. When I was in high school, I loved drawing in pencil and drew many detailed drawings of wildlife, trees, and a few Native Americans. I wanted to be an artist. My father said, “You bloody fool, you’ll starve to death!” Many things interfered, so while I could not pursue a formal education in art, I continued drawing. I soon took up painting in watercolor and eventually painted with oils, painting in my spare time. After a tour of duty in the Vietnam War, compliments of Uncle Sam, I entered into a career in law enforcement which lasted over 40 years. My art continued as an escape on my days off and in my spare time.
Following my second retirement, my wife kept telling me I should get back into art since I loved it so much. As a birthday surprise, she gifted me with lessons with a distinguished pastel artist by the name of Reif Erickson. I had never done anything with pastels, so this was a new adventure for me. This medium has been around since the 15th century, and many famous artists painted amazing paintings still vibrant and beautiful today.
I began going to classes at Reif’s studio and fell in love with the pastel medium. I tutored with Reif for a year, and during that time, he taught me so much about color, values, and composition. Valuable information one needs to bring one’s paintings to life. I went on and took workshops with other well-known pastel artists and then became active with several pastel societies and our local arts group. Another important addition was creating a website to show my work on the world wide web, www.paulharman.com, and that has opened many doors.
The journey in this wonderful medium began in 2007, and I still love the ability to paint a landscape, seascape, or local wildlife in my studio. I occasionally also paint outdoors on the scene in plein air, and that experience helps so much in truly knowing how light and shadow are different when you are on scene and not using a photo. A camera is wonderful, but it does not have the ability to record the true values one sees in person. Our eyes have a much better registry of the color spectrum and light and shadow.
My art has also made me want to travel to new places, explore back roads, the mountains, and National Parks where I can get new ideas for paintings. My wife loves these outings, and they have given us many special weekends and weeks away together.
In the 16 years I have been painting, I have learned so much on the journey. I have taught others and given a workshop to those interested in pastels. My work has won awards in many local and several national competitions over the years. One of my paintings won best pastel in one of Plein Air Magazines competitions, and my Light of a New Day painting was selected for publication in “Strokes of Genius 10” by Northlight Books. As a member of the North Auburn Artists, my studio will be open for our 25th Anniversary Mother’s Day Open Studios Tour on May 13th & 14th, 2023. This has been a wonderful and enjoyable second career for me.
Creating a painting has different journeys involved. My painting Desert Thunderstorm evolved as we were driving north on Highway 99, going home to Auburn in rainy, blustery weather. One of the storms had massive beautiful clouds rising to the heavens with rain pouring out underneath. I shot photos through the windshield of the amazing clouds and, a few weeks later, was creating this painting. I decided to make the setting a storm over the desert so that the focus would be on the clouds. A very dramatic scene unfolded from my original sketch to the final painting, which measures
12” X 18” and is double-matted and farmed in a custom wood frame.
To know more about Paul M Harman and his artworks, please visit his official website. For news and updates, you can check his Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/paulharman/. Paul M Harman is also on Facebook.