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Paul Drown | Photographer

When Paul Drown was a young boy, he found the “draw the pirate” ad of an art school in the back of a magazine, and believed he would be the youngest artist ever to graduate from art school. “I used to draw for hours on end, usually clouds or rocket ships or cars. I’d love looking at pictures in our family Bible.” In college, he rediscovered his love of art after finding the music scene in Austin. Paul studied fine art and was trained in painting and photography at the University of Texas at Austin. He took a fifteen year hiatus from art to own and operate a restaurant. “After leaving that profession, I returned to making art.”

As a committed artist, Paul initially focused on architecture and portrait photography, but as he began a love affair with nature, his work shifted. He says part of his goal is a personal documentation of he is experiencing. He says, “In that, I ponder the nature of memory. I also consider states of human consciousness and the ephemeral nature of existence.”

One of the reactions he’d like to elicit from his audience, is wonder. He would also like for people to be able to realize the beauty and the sublime that is in front of them, and the “nowness”, which is reflected in his own personal life philosophy of “open your heart and your eyes; be aware”.

Inspired primarily by nature, Paul draws from his favorite places, including the desert, his own vegetable garden, and the “mile radius from my house”.

Artists that inspire him are Andy Goldsworthy, Masahisa Fukase, Rumi, and Pablo Neruda. His favorite thing about being an artist is “doing what I love to do, and being able to communicate with people in various modes”. “If I weren’t an artist, I’d be a wilderness guide.”

As for his own personal art collection, “I think it’s pretty extensive and eclectic”. Paul does believe art should be affordable, but in the end, he says, “I do want to put bread on the table”.

Paul is currently working on “relearning how to paint”. With his photography, he is fascinated at the moment with birds and mountains, which he says is a “funny combo”. “Great swarms of grackles are a mystery to me, and the desert mountains are the most beautiful things.” Paul is also putting together a book of haikus and photos, and in his spare time he is training for the John Muir Trail, a long-distance trail in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California.

Also an avid reader, Paul just finished a very dense biography of Robert Oppenheimer. “I’m now reading The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy, some philosophy by Ken Wilber and a treatise on morphic resonance by Rupert Sheldrake.”

written by Jennifer Shaver

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