Paul Stone grew up on a farm in rural Vermont and spent much time painting while immersed in that agrarian landscape: its earth, trees, water, hills , structures and how its people have shaped it all with their striving. One learns what has befallen those living earlier on the same land one experiences. A fundamental sense of place, thus, undergirds Stone’s sense of being and hence his art. So much of human history and experience is embedded in one’s surroundings. Indeed, what memories do our landscapes hold? One cannot know them all. Stone feels he cannot paint what he sees without being affected by what he cannot see---the history of the place, human experience there over time and the weight and meaning such experience imposes upon that place, upon the land and its people. It is an incompleteness that is transfixing, and the attempt at an explication of that conundrum is a defining element in his art.
He moved to North Carolina more than ten years ago and was, at first, not at home in its environs. They were not yet a part of his being. But as he has met people, in their place---the low country---read of their history, this coastal state’s history, explored its waters, trees and land, become part of life in this place; as he has done these things, his sense of this place has deepened, and deepens yet.
During his life, Stone has also spent much time sailing in salt water; thus, part of his oeuvre reflects that experience. The sea has many moods, boats have many forms and the two come together eloquently at times, as Stone’s chromatic and formal perspicacity demonstrate.
A master of color and light, Stone demonstrates in his work his fascination with the rural, coastal and maritime surroundings of his experience. Employing a bold palette, he renders those familiar milieux in a way that bridges the realistic and the abstract, enabling viewers to question, and perhaps then to alter, their perceptions and thus re-examine their own experience.
Stone’s shows are greatly anticipated and draw interest worldwide.
I try to respond to the weight of character with which events have endowed the places that I paint. Sometimes the people give me clues, sometimes the structures do and sometimes the spirit of the place speaks.Paul G. Stone, artist