‘I like to think I’m leaving a legacy…’ Sammy Jones chats to local artist Paul Kane

Posted 17th April 2020

Although he had dabbled in art for as long as he could remember, Paul Kane didn’t feel confident enough to make the leap and turn his passion into a career.

He grew up in a mining town in Yorkshire – not the sort of environment where such creativity was nurtured. But he was good and people would routinely ask him for pictures and paintings.

He even designed a Top Cat neon sign for an entertainment venue which turned heads; Not that Paul was able to admire his own work though – at the time he was underage and unable to get in to the nightclub!

Bull Paul Kane
Bull, Paul Kane. Oil on Canvas

Paul spent years working in the city in IT; first at the House of Commons and then for a banking company. No disrespect to those IT aces among us, but life dealing with data recovery and troubleshooting wasn’t for him.

It was a grey line of work for a man with a colourful creative mind.

When pressures of the job stacked up and stress crept in, Paul took a step back and knew there was a decision to be made; continue on the treadmill of a career that was making him miserable, or take a leap of faith.

He leapt, picked up his first commission that same week and has now been working as an artist for a decade.

“I get up every morning and I love what I’m doing,” he says, having clearly made the right decision.

Paul works predominantly in oil, but is just as skilled in watercolours, pastels and acrylics.

People seeking a special commemorative piece of art, to mark an anniversary, a birthday or a milestone call on his services frequently, and there is nothing he can’t do.

Sandstorm Paul Kane
Sandstorm, Paul Kane. Pastel on paper

His pictures of horses are particularly revered, but Paul can turn his hand to anything with striking effect; from landscapes and portraits, and absolutely everything in-between.

“The beauty of art is that you are only limited by your imagination,” he said, “I love it when new clients commission me and request personalised pieces – nothing is too traditional or too crazy!”

He has a flair for portraiture and also uses his creativity to shine a light on conservation.

“I use my work to look at endangered species. I really like powerful imagery and bold themes, but I don’t pigeon-hole myself.”

From attention grabbing murals to intricate drawings, Paul has the skill set to deliver.

But he doesn’t just make brush strokes, he teaches them too. His art classes are proving very popular and Paul can bring the best out in anyone; whether a proficient painter or a novice, he’ll help you unleash a flair you never knew was there!

“Art is about being free and learning not to be scared of the subject. I recently had a lady come to a class who had never painted before. She left in tears, marvelling at what she had created. When I get a response like that it validates everything.”

Paul now has a small army of devotees; people who purchase his art regardless of the subject, and one fan has snapped up 10 paintings for their property in Surrey.

His work can be seen far and wide with pieces hanging in Atlanta, Texas, Melbourne, Sydney and Lusaka. And with an agent representing him in London and Spain, his profile continues to grow.

Unlike those gruelling days spent navigating tube station escalators, train timetables and fixing problem PCs, Paul’s mind and paintbrush now roam free and every day at the ‘office’ is a good day.

“It’s my passion,” he says simply, “I like to think that I am leaving a legacy. Everything I do lives on, hanging in people’s homes forever. I think that’s quite provoking…”

Operating out of his gallery and studio at Ivy Lodge near Sharnbrook (Rushden Rd., Bedford, MK44 1ND). Paul welcomes visitors to his gallery where affordable originals and prints are available.

To contact Paul about buying art, commissioning a piece or arranging lessons please visit www.paulkaneart.com or email kanep6168@gmail.com