Paul Harman


I was born in Bournemouth, Dorset in a large home that once sat on the cliff next to the chime, and Shelly's cottage was next door. The old house is gone, but the memories linger. We immigrated to Canada by ship, when I was seven and lived in Ontario and Alberta and back to Ontario over a period of eight years as my father sought out new opportunities. We immigrated to the US in 1958. I was schooled in America but have not forgotten my roots and keep contact with members of our extended family. Going back for a visit is always a treat! Pastel Painting is relaxing and such an enjoyable medium to paint in. It wasn’t always that way. I remember my high school years and my desire to be an artist, I loved drawing and painting and wanted to be an illustrator. I can still remember my father’s words, in response, “You bloody fool, you’ll starve to death!” Obviously while parental support was not there, I still continued my interest in art for my own enjoyment. Over the years I have painted in water color and oils and drawn many pencil and pen and ink sketches. As a former law enforcement officer, now retired, I can devote myself to my love of painting. I so appreciate my wife’s gift of lessons after retirement with our local Auburn award winning pastel artist Reif Erickson. Thanks to his teaching and pastels brilliance, I instantly fell in love with the medium, and absorbed every detail I could glean from Reif, as I studied with him for a year. He taught me so much about color and values and why they were important. I found that I wanted to paint larger pieces of things that personally impacted my senses so I went off on my own to paint what I liked in my style. We have many beautiful places in America and it is a real joy to paint them. My goal is to capture the beauty I see and recreate it in a realism style with a painting of the scene for others to enjoy. As I have become more knowledgeable and experienced with my art, I began exhibiting in public places. I am a member artist of the Placer Arts League, the Pastel Society of the West Coast and the Sierra Pastel Society. I have entered and been accepted into many juried shows and my work has garnered a number of awards. I continually strive to improve my art by taking workshops with well-known pastel artists, and reading everything I can get my hands on that is related to composition, values, techniques and creating good paintings. I was awarded Signature status by the Sierra Pastel Society in 2016 and the Pastel Society of the West Coast in 2018. My greatest reward is when a viewer tells me that one of my paintings brought back a special memory of the place I painted. My personal satisfaction is having those paintings grace appreciative buyers homes. Sometimes I have the opportunity to paint scenes “en plein air” and other times I will work from photo references in my home studio in Auburn, California.