By M.Sebastian Araujo
Beauty they say is in the eye of the beholder. Cape Cod is a Beautiful place and Paul Schulenburg’s eye beholds life and the landscape of Cape Cod in a truly beautiful way…His paintings are evocative of the place and people while giving the viewer a sense of timelessness .Recently I had a chance to find out just what attracts the eye of this masterful painter….
What in this world of ours inspires your Art…?
I am turned on by color. Light and shadow. Form and Design. That’s the basic answer. I live in a beautiful area, between Cape Cod bay and the Atlantic ocean. I love the light here. I love the history. Most of my paintings are of the buildings and people that I see day to day, as well as the surrounding natural landscape. I seem to be drawn more and more to painting people, whether as figure studies and portraits, or as subjects within a landscape. For the past 15 years I have done a series of paintings of fishermen and pier workers at the local harbors. That is something I seem to be known for. I enjoy translating the working environment of the fish pier into a painting. The strong architectural elements of the pier make for interesting angles and diagonals when composing a painting. In contrast to the very horizontal nature of the ocean horizon.
Why is Ptown a Haven for Artists and Other Creative People?
Cape Cod is a beautiful place to live. Artists started coming, particularly to Provincetown, more than 100 years ago as an outpost to get away from city life. A place with beautiful water and light, and historic, rustic buildings . Back then Provincetown was an inexpensive, remote fishing village. In the early to mid 20th century, artists could spend the summer living on relatively small amounts of money. Fishermen considered it good luck to share a fresh fish with an artist when they arrived at the pier. That has changed a lot. Provincetown has become an expensive vacation destination, but it still holds on the its artistic roots. There are still a lot of galleries. Artists still come and struggle to stay there. In 2005 I did a series of paintings of outer cape artists in the studios. I was concerned about the possible changing character of Provincetown and I wanted to capture a few older artists and hear their stories of coming to Provincetown decades earlier to live as artists.
The arts are strong all over Cape Cod, not just Provincetown, for several reasons. There is of course the light and the beautiful surroundings. The Cape also has an older year round population that has an interest in learning about art and is interested in collecting art. There are art galleries and arts organizations all over the Cape, much more so than in other parts of the country, so one feeds off the other. More artists creating makes for more interested people, which bring yet more artists, and musicians, and theater. In the summer people come from all over the world for the arts, music and theater, as well as the wonderful beaches.
How do you feel that ART has changed in these technology driven times?
Technology has made art much more accessible to people. People who are interested can look at galleries and museums and learn about artists on their computers or their phones. From home. Or wherever they are. When they see things they like, they can go search them out in person. Technology has changed the music business in that people can duplicate and spread digital music very easily. As far as oil painting goes, people still want to own an original hand crafted work of art. That hasn’t changed.
Technology has also blurred lines between genres of art. Painting, photography, video and computer generated art are sometimes combined together in new ways. I still prefer to work in traditional oil painting.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Wow, that opens a lot of possibilities. In high school and college I was obsessed with music and playing guitar. I wasn’t getting any formal training so I became frustrated after a while. I wasn’t getting very far. I studied painting and fine art in college and I remember making a conscious decision that I needed to focus on either music or on painting. I decided to concentrate on painting, so I wound up putting my guitar aside. I should have kept practicing though. I could have still been playing all these years, even if it was just casually. Personality wise, I think I am better suited to work as a painter.
How do you begin each project?
I remember an art professor saying “I find inspiration by showing up for work every day”. Just like the expression that the longest journey begins with the first step, every painting begins by picking up a brush and getting to work. Sometimes I go out in search of a painting subject somewhere outdoors. Sometimes I set up a model and paint indoors with friends. I try to paint whatever interests me in that moment. When I first started I would worry a lot about what to paint, and in what style I would try to work. Eventually I decided to just enjoy painting one day at a time and see what happens. To find out where it takes me. Every day I am still discovering where it will take me.
Beauty is where you find it…and it seems for Paul Schulenburg it is everywhere he looks…For more of his work and where to find his Art…Click Here: