Paul S. Brown paints clarity and stillness.
In the process he also does some exceptional still life paintings.
Brown is represented by the Gandy Gallery, a bastion of classical realism, and the selection of his work visible there includes a number of still life paintings, as well as several portraits and self-portraits and a small selection of drawings. I was unable to locate a web presence for the artist other than the Gandy Gallery site.
Brown was born in the U.S., and now lives in the UK. Along the way he studied in the U.S. and later studied and then taught at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy.
Brown’s still life paintings are in the classical tradition in more than one way; they are carefully chosen and arranged tableaux of traditional still life subjects, fruit, vegetables, dish and glassware, set on table tops or tablecloths, and painted with an eye to the Dutch genre painters, but with a vibrant, painterly handling of the materials and a sharp, contemporary sensibility for color.
His objects, in particular vegetables and fruit, carry a tactile sensation of both the physical surface of the objects themselves, the rough sheen of a zucchini, the glossy smoothness of an eggplant or the crisp crinkle of an onion’s skin, and the physical reality of paint on a surface. Though he will sometimes set them against more complex backgrounds, he more often sets his objects off with deceptively simple fields of color, that actually are carefully controlled and contain variations of hue and texture that are a subtle part of the composition, and serve to lead your eye around the work as a more complex background might.
His simple objects are often resting on interesting surfaces, textured wood, smooth but variegated marble, or rows and folds of arranged cloth.
To me, the paintings seem to speak of quite contemplation and the zen-like selfless state that sometimes comes of relaxed focus and careful observation of the visual world.