WORKS IN THE EXHIBITION (PART 2)
BIO & ARTIST'S STATEMENT
Born: Pittsﬁeld Massachusetts – 1943. High School:Hudson Falls High School (grades 7 - 12) graduated 1961 College:State University of New York at New Paltz graduated 1965 – post-graduatework from SUNY Plattsburgh.
Married with 3 grown children.Living in Hudson Falls New York
Work: I began teaching Art at Queensbury Elementary School in January 1966. I taught every grade level (1-3, then 4-6, then 7-8) for about 10 years. ThenI started teaching in the High School, where I remained until my retirement in 2001, June (after 35.5 years); retiring as the Chairman of the HighSchool Art Department.
After retiring, I used my new free time to catch up on some things that I letslide over the years. After a fashion, however, I got reacquainted with theproduction of art and started painting again. It feels good. I have found my voice. This is how I will end my days. This is my future.
by Erica Ruggiero
Paul Chapman has always had a love and natural talent for art, but didn’t pursue a full-time freelance career in it until after he retired from being an art teacher and the chairman of his high school’s art department. Though he was a great teacher and waited a long time to focus on what he wanted to do, he wouldn’t change a thing. Now he continues to pursue his love and enhance his talent by entering contests and doing shows, such as the Golden Age of New Paltz.
How did you get into art?
Generally, I think people follow the path of least resistance. And when I was a kid, a thing that I did best, most consistently, was draw. I got a lot of positive feedback for that and people would always say, “Why don’t you do more of it?”. Then of course my head would slam shut because I thought I was supposed to, and then I was rebellious and didn’t want to. But left to my own devices, that’s what I would fall back on.
Was there one moment in your life where you realized you loved art?
I don’t think that actually happened until recently. I’m trying to be as honest as I can. At one point in my life, I was an excellent art teacher in school. I taught from first grade all the way up to 12th grade. And while I was there, art grew. A ton of my students are now my friends on Facebook, and many of them have gone into art endeavors, whether it’s digital art or teaching art or a small business for themselves. I was very good at what I did. But the emotional response, that attachment, I don’t think that started until after I retired and started consistently making art pieces, paintings basically.
Do you think you missed out on anything by waiting so long to pursue your art?
I do indeed. When I started doing the art thing, well, I can do these things well, but let me try something new and do a show here, and nothing happens. So you try to get a show, and nothing happens, you get a lot of rejections, and then after a fashion, you start getting acceptance, you start getting your pictures in books and magazines, you win national contests, you get into a national or international show, and so on and so on. What if I had started something with my art full time? Maybe I would actually be making money with it. But would I have then been married and had the same children that I have? I always hate the “what-ifs”. The “what-ifs” are a a complete utter waste of time because that’s not what happened. All you can say, in retrospect, is that I might have been able to push it. And I know I would not have done that because in real life, I did not do that.
What was the best part about getting back into art?
You are just so immersed in what you do. I still don’t know how I do what I do. The sense of honor, the sense of right and not right. For me, it’s about reality.
What has been your favorite part about participating in the Golden Age of New Paltz?
I did appreciate seeing some names that I did recognize on the wall. They might not have been there. The nicest thing about it was seeing the artwork, seeing that some people still do continue to do their stuff.
What is your favorite piece that you put in for the Golden Age of New Paltz?
I have to say it’s the large blue one. I had two naked lady ones. But the blue one is just wrinkled tin foil. The blue one was something I wanted to do, worked very hard at it, and got complimented on it by having it be in so many shows and winning a couple of prizes. It is also something that came from my mind when I was more secure in my abilities.
Were you able to learn anything from other artists in the show?
Not so much from the other artists in the show, but from other artists that you wind up working with. You don’t have to talk to anybody, but visually you pick up a ton of stuff. It’s a totally educational experience for me. When I go to an opening, I’m going to a reading. I’m reading edges, and colors, and technique, and all that kind of stuff.