Although we have never actually met, over the years Paul and myself have had various communications which were mostly on the subject of Dartmoor and letterboxing. Like many of us Dartmoor enthusiasts Paul became acquainted with the place through letterboxing. Having been bitten by the ‘boxing’ bug Paul began to cut his own stamps and rapidly began producing much sought after letterboxes. Not only was he cutting stamps but also sharing those skills through online tutorials, a trait which has now been repeated with his artwork. To me, this is an admirable and rarely seen accomplishment as so may artists fail to share their skills with other budding artists.
Paul first began painting when he was around 12 years of age when at that time he was using oils as his preferred medium. His mentor was his uncle Peter Hopkinson who was himself an accomplished artist. Paul freely admits that he has had no formal training and all his skills have been self-taught. As the years progressed Paul diversified into other mediums which included watercolour, oils, acrylics and graphite. It did not take long for commissions to start coming and these encompassed portraits, landscapes and animals.
There can be no question that Dartmoor can cater for a whole combination of interests and so whilst letterboxing Paul began to produce some superb moorland landscape paintings which can be seen on his website. Over the pat few years Paul has produced some stunning watercolours which depict many of the birds to be seen on and around Dartmoor. These truly are ‘works of art’ and appear so life-like that you nearly expect them to fly up out of the paintings.
As always in this section of the website I asked Paul about what makes Dartmoor so special for him, he response was:
“I started painting Dartmoor due to my love of the moor and letterboxing within it’s vast open spaces. About 25 years ago I first started letterboxing and on the odd occasion I took my painting easel. There are three paintings on my web site, Cave Penny Cross, a view over Yellowmead Farm and Haytor Tramway, where I painted on site and finished them at home.
There is one place that I consider my favourite place and such a desolate one at that – Cut Hill! Not just for the boxing side of things but also for the history and features which I have documented on my letterboxstamper.co.uk web site. It’s such a long way out there but definitely worth it! “
Below are but a few examples of Paul’s excellent work and to see many more click on the banner link at the top of the page. On his website you will not only find many of his masterpieces but also a tutorial on how he accomplishes his skilful results. For those interested in rubber cutting along with other Dartmoor features it’s well worth visiting his other website at the link above.
For those with Facebook accounts Paul also posts his latest works, often in a stage by stage progression which culminates in the finished piece – the page can be found – HERE