Paul’s creative process for figurative paintings begins initially from found images (magazines, internet), which are used as a base from which he begins to sketch out the composition. It’s important to his work that the initial reference images are from a mass produced source for a couple of reasons. The first is that the paintings he wants to create are completely removed from the polished magazine shoots of the paintings source. The bombardment from advertising of immaculate people has for many years become the normal way that we absorb our visual life. The act of taking the person out of the context of material advertising is a way in which what is left can be open to scrutiny and reinterpreted. The second reason why he favours the use of the found image is that there is less of a connection with the subject. This then gives more freedom to reinvent and create the painting in a more expressionist way and break free from a photorealist airbrushed portrayal of the subject. The very act of painting something which has already been produced many thousands of times already becomes a completely different entity when it is then used to create a one off and unique original piece of work. The intention is that the end result be removed from the person who at some point posed in front of the camera.
Paul likes the paintings to have an unfinished feel about them and to communicate being incomplete, compared to what we are normally presented with in our everyday relationship with mass produced visuals. The flat and empty backgrounds he uses helps enhance this.Using a combination of oil paint and graphite, the paint drip freely. Next comes the use of distinctive mark making to create emotion and recollection. The flat and empty backgrounds in the paintings help emphasize this. However, it is still one of Paul’s aims to maintain the slightest hint that there was once glamour.