“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”
The artist’s studio, named Creative Art Studios, was originally founded by larry paul as LP Frey in 1988. The current works of larry paul present seven experimental series utilizing two drawing styles described in The Artist’s Perspective section. Since December 2018, he has produced over 120 numbered “experiments” of individual artworks using Prismacolor colored pencils, inks, and graphite. Much of his work derives from the outdoor and built environments, though subject matter and inspiration comes from a collection of his original photographs taken since the 1970s.
The Gallery Page provides a discussion of the artist’s use of both Abstract Expressionism and Impressionistic Realism. The seven series he currently works with incorporate both of his stylistic tendencies. An additional sub-series titled Timeline Era 2020 expressing 2020’s state of affairs (i.e., Black Lives Matter, Covid-9, riots, etc.) is also being created under the Angry Thematics series. The following discussion is meant to better understand how each series fits into its respective style.
- Series 1, Thru Things®, presents an impressionistic realism quality focusing primarily on architectural openings. Both color and monotone drawings are considered. The preferred composition is usually offset corners or close-ups of decayed areas. Interior ghost shapes are a bonus.
- Series 2, Philodendrons, presents an impressionistic realism quality focusing only on the philodendron leaf. Only monotone drawings are currently created. The natural beauty of philodendron leaf is, according to the artist, similar in beauty to the best models of the Master’s.
- Series 3, Plants, presents an impressionistic realism quality the conjures up a purposeful realism, but without committing to any hyper-realism result, with highly-recognizable elements. “Plant Exp 73”, found-In the Gallery-Page is a good example of this type of realism.
- Series 4, Anna Maria Island Sunsets, presents an abstract expressionistic quality with an overlapping and abutting color technique that contrasts and brings the movements together at the same time. The typical colors are easily inspired by wild brilliance offered by the mix of sunsets, storms, and open, blue water. There is a rather “angry” application method in creating these artworks as noted in some frenzy in the strokes.
- Series 5, HAVO-Hawai’i Island Volcanoes, presents an abstract expressionistic, harsher, more ominous color scheme with vivid color spotting as if black, ever-present, silhouettes what is bright. Lava and the volcanic landscape can inspire pressing and dynamic movement.
- Series 6, Cortez Fishing Village, also presents an abstract expressionistic style that attempts to capture slightly tangible elements of traditional fishing village arrays. Scotch tape is sometime added for effect, that often resembles fishing shacks if one looks creatively. The beauty of a fishing village often combines its aged infrastructure with the beauty and color of sunsets and the vessels that are found within what becomes a creatively expressed scene.
- Series 7, Active “Angry” Thematics, presents an abstract expressionistic style and is the earliest rigid Modernistic style for larry paul. Some have referred to these works as a form of “angry art,” perhaps due the artist’s use of art as a form of therapy for autism, or as part of his method of “attacking” the blank drawing paper or Bristol board with pencils waiting for instruction. However, the artist does admit that he feels an energy and sense of balance in letting the colors express themselves on the paper.
The artworks under the early LP Frey moniker present black and white urban street facades and scenes, also from the artist’s photo collection. The medium is common pencil grades. These pieces represent a photo-realistic quality and reveal a complexity in technique and form that often take several weeks to complete. These artworks have won numerous awards including two Best of Shows, several First-place awards, Awards of Excellence, Purchase awards, and other awards and recognitions.
- B.A. in Liberal Arts from The University of the State of New York
- Master’s of Arts in Urban Design from the University of Florida
- Doctorate in Historic Preservation and Architecture from the University of Florida
Though larry paul temporarily set aside his earlier artistic endeavors by the early nineties, he has now re-emerged with boundless creativity that appears to transcend his earlier creations. The full-time artist works out of his self-designed studio in Bradenton, Florida, which also serves as a gallery. The artist’s work is found in several private collections.
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The Artist's Perspective
larry paul’s abstract expressionistic drawings are more subjective and highly personal. They can be subjective and freer in providing deeper experiences from places of both high physical interest interacting with the right side of his mind. Though many of these abstract artworks are referred to as, esoterically speaking, “angry thematics,” the artist suggests a simpler eye-to-hand coordination that results when applying and removing texture without too much thinking. The titles of the seven current series, as well as, the 2020 Timeline Era drawings found within this style allow the observer to set a beginning framework to understand the artwork, and then follow with his/her own interpretation. There are often “hidden” icons in all of his artwork that lead toward the grouping of multiple titles in any individual piece.
larry paul suggests that his impressionistic style scenes use mostly mixed color blending, but highly modified by an erasure technique. It is this erasure that allows the artwork to reveal elements of negative space, reflected, and “thru” light.
The artist’s works in this style are fairly easy to understand, and have the quality of a good natural reading, however, fall short of any hyper or truer realism in that, while they can be visually congruous, reveal a softer, yet at the same time rougher texture to them that is unique to his personalized realism styling.
Both styles reflect a dirty composition that leaves all details of the drawing process on the media surface. This way, the observer can see part of the process of the drawing such as scale grids, notes, smudges, errors, tears, paper edges, etc. The full sheet of medium surface is also included and becomes part of the art. According to the artist, an artwork is truer and more complete when revealing these qualities instead of cleaning them up for final presentation. Erasure, irregular perspectives, and unusual compositions are important elements of each style that give his drawings a certain edginess and friction. The closer one looks, the more poignant this edginess reveals itself.
The artist uses a finely detailed and freestyle attack application method with bold and blended contrasting that allow the media to partially form its own two-dimensional texture as it is laid out according to a peculiar sense of perception, depth, tone, and balance. He refers to a “natural hand” with the media as it gives shape somehow by itself into recognizable form, and where the texture and final reveal just kind of do their own things.
The artist also has a fascination with the philodendron plant with its beautiful, complex and massive leaves, and its ability to afford depth of contrasting light and shadows. The essence of sunsets and volcanic skies are deeply inspired by frequent visits to Anna Maria Island and Cortez, Florida, or his gazing at the backdrop of the glowing Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawai’i where he served as a ranger for Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Finally, his abstract active “angry” thematic drawing expressions can be interpreted in different ways by the observer and present bold, emotional movement, erratic and involved expressive tone, and strict color contrasting and overlapping.
Also, according to the artist, “artistic” balance can be a subjective gift that does not intend to constrain itself to accepted norms; instead, his own feeling of balance in a modernist, two-dimensional presentation serves as an amenity to his art that speaks well to both the craftsperson and casual observer. Often, a work’s imbalanced presentation is easily observed and critical to the piece.