Back in the 1950s, the image of the cowboy on television was for many the object of childhood fantasies and dreams of riding the range with a six-gun strapped to their hip. Paul Sheldon was no different from many millions of youngsters growing up in the Midwest, except that he was fortunate enough to move with his family to southern Arizona at a time when the cowboy was still very much a part of the local scene. His family would travel around the Southwest, and given Paul's fancy for western lore, the real life images he saw simulated, his creative spirit to such a level that he began to draw and paint by the time he entered his teen years. Truly in his case, his new surroundings served as the catalyst to bring out the artist in him.
Paul Sheldon is a modern artist. His western scenes are not photo representational portrayals of cowboy life or of the bold western landscape, nor are they impressionistic or abstract. Rather they are bright, energetic and stylized images that are still easily recognizable scenes of western life and landscape, but painted in a daring, fresh manner, utilizing a mix of vivid rust, purple, magenta and pink juxtaposed with deep earthen tones and highlighted by warm yellows, beiges and rich, but cool blues or greens. His subjects are often outlined for added effect, making them appear three dimensional, standing out in front of the backgrounds. His landscapes are equally brilliant, their rich colors enhancing the beauty of a desert or mountain landscape. To best understand Paul Sheldon's distinctive style and bold use of color, it is necessary to read his own description of his art. "Color has always been my strongest suit but composition is almost as much fun. There's something special and emotional about the interplay of bright colors in a good composition. These southwestern images I like to use seem to thrive on complimentary colors and rhythm too."
Paul Sheldon currently has archival limited edition giclee prints available.