Alison Haley Paul is a contemporary painter of lavishly textured landscapes full of nuanced color. Her work conjures up connotations and geographical memories. The places she paints may not be physically specific, but they are immediately recognizable.
Alison grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, and majored in Art and Design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. There she studied ceramics with Byron Temple, a disciple of Bernard Leach, and design with sculptor David Lee Brown. After earning a BA in Interior Design at the Design Institute in San Diego and many years as a successful interior designer she has now returned to her studio full time.
Her work has been exhibited in numerous museums, solo shows, and public and private collections worldwide.
Inspiration can strike at the strangest times: while driving along glancing at passing hillsides; wondering how atmospheric changes affect how we perceive color; admiring the eggs and feathers of my backyard chickens. I’m always looking for the next painting. I don’t think about it consciously, I just keep my eyes open, turn the studio lights and music up high, and paint.
Color mixing, application, and my mix of oils and cold wax are a fluid, almost musical set of motions that I perform with a customized set of palette knives. As a painting dries, I draw and scrape into it with graphite to add another layer of emphasis and perspective. After so many years of trial and experimentation, all this now seems intuitive and a fluent translation of ‘vision to canvas’.
As the daylight dances across the heavy texture of my paintings, subtle visual changes emerge exposing numerous peaks and valleys, hidden colors, and graphite application, making the paintings unusual in my use of texture and pigment. A camera misses so much, as only the human eye can clearly note the nuances, vitality, and feeling of place. When viewing my work at 18 inches there is intensity, and at 18 feet, there is serenity.
My work is abstract yet representational. The scale and balance are subtle, intuitive, and felt, rather than blatantly seen. The surface energy is bold and intriguing, while the composition has roots in the classical principles of design and proportion. What I see, think, and feel gets transformed into color and texture, paint and canvas, which then becomes a personal story translated through art. When joined by the viewer’s own experiences and memories, the work takes on new meaning, and offers the natural equilibrium that comes from centering oneself on the horizon.