Paul Brent is an artist whose work has become internationally known to represent the coastal lifestyle. His paintings in watercolor and oil deftly portray the innate beauty of the sea on paper and canvas. His work has shown constant progression and change throughout his career. The first pieces of art work were pen and ink drawings of coastal wildlife that he tinted with light washes of color on illustration board, eventually Brent eliminated using pen and dink and created more detailed and volumetric paintings of the same subjects in the coastal habitats.
Later, after some experimentation, he launched a new style that featured a painted wash background with drips and splashes of watercolor that ran off the image area. On top of this loose background, Brent would paint detailed, almost scientific, renderings of fish, birds, shells along with geometric shapes of triangles, circles and sometimes three dimensional designs. This was a blend of his architectural training plus his water-color techniques that he called his “Watercolor Montage”.
This term means that several images and techniques are composed together but created in one medium. The composition might look much like a collage that is a series of images that are glued together. His work became more realistic with fewer splashes and geometrics. The white edge of papers remained but instead of a drip edge he moved to an irregular edge that enclosed an inner image which was painted more deeply. The image continued past that edge and flowed past the borders. He called this style a “Structured Vignette.”
Paul Brent’s first oils reflected a transparent tradition of his watercolors but later moved on to richer layered paintings that explore the depth of color possible with oil paint. His latest work has the feeling of collage as he works with images that are graphically composed with antique calligraphy and vintage textures.
Paul Brent was born in Oklahoma City to parents who were educators. He majored in art at California State University at Long Beach. There he studied for two years before he changed his major to architecture and transferred to the University of Berkeley. He completed his Bachelor of Architecture degree and following graduation he joined the Air Force. After the service, he completed his Master degree in Architecture at Cal Berkeley.
As a professional artist, Paul Brent was accepted as a signature member into the Southeastern Watercolor Society and the National Watercolor Society. His work has been included in museum shows and he has had exhibitions in art galleries throughout the U.S. In 1997 he was inducted into the Society of Illustrators in New York. Articles on Paul Brent’s artwork have appeared in American Artist, Décor, Art World News, Coastal Living and Art Business News to name a few. He was also profiled in an article in the Wall Street Journal that described the phenomena of artists achieving success outside of the New York gallery scene. He has created artwork for fund raising projects for organizations such as PFSU, the New Orleans Aquariums, and the Sanibel Jazz Festival. An oil painting was selected for inclusion in the publication Culture Build’s Florida’s Future produced by the Office of Cultural and Historic Programs. He received a commission for the White House in 2008.
Paul has been active in arts and planning organizations. He served on the board and was president of Bay Art Alliance. He was on the board of the Friends of the Bay County Libraries and the Greater Downtown Association. He served as board member for the Florida Arts Council and was a board member of the Florida Humanities Council. He has donated his art for many charities.
He has been participating in the Covenant Hospice Mask Parade since its inception in 2003. In 2009 he served as Chairman of the Panama City CRA, Community Redevelopment Agency. For the past 20 years Paul Brent has sponsored and judged a Kids Art Contest for 4th graders in Bay County focusing on endangered wildlife.
Paul Brent and his wife Lana Jane have an art gallery in Panama City, Florida, where they live part of the year. From June to October they live in Seaside, Oregon, where they have had a home and an artist’s studio for the past 10 years. Paul Brent is a resident artist at Fairweather House and Gallery in Seaside, Oregon. He has been active in the Seaside Fourth of July Parade, demonstrating his painting techniques through a series of Painting Seaside LIVE ™ events at Fairweather’s and has participated in the Seaside First Saturday Art Walk events at Fairweather’s since 2008.
For more information about the artist please visit:
www.fairweatherhouseandgallery.com /artist tab/ Paul Brent.