As a professional designer, photographer, and digital image editor, Paul Baldassini owned and managed Paul Baldassini Graphic Design for over 25 years in Boston’s Back Bay where his creative team provided graphic design and advertising services to a diverse range of clients including corporate, private and non-profit organizations. Paul has a reputation for producing quality products through a combination of originality in design and composition, materials and technical competence that have earned him representation and commendations in esteemed settings and publications. Paul has a BFA in Illustration/Graphic Arts from Massachusetts College of Art, Boston and is a Signature Member of the New England Watercolor Society, (NEWS). A native of Quincy, Massachusetts, Paul, his wife and daughter reside in Middletown, Connecticut.
Having had some traditional training, Paul considers himself a self-taught painter due to his total immersion into a highly self-motivated learning process outside the realm of formal instruction — for the most part, self-taught. Through his dedicated study of 16th and 17th century master painters, combined with his vast knowledge of modern painting techniques and digital tools, Paul attends to details that give his paintings a mannered, but nonetheless, arresting quality. His technique is very similar to that of the old masters — a structured approach that utilizes a monochrome underpainting with direct overpainting, minimal glazing and scumbling and the use of a special medium.
Paul’s sketchbook is a digital camera with a macro lens which he uses to create compelling compositions that combine rhythm & repetition with light and shadow effects. The tripartite nature of the process — the object itself, the photograph of the object, and the translation of both into a painting — goes beyond the mere copying of a static reference. Although Paul paints flowers, its the adverbs and adjectives used to describe them that are the subjects of his paintings. “I continue to be awed by the mathematics of repeating patterns underlying their beauty. Their color and variety command my attention while the blossoming of a flower triggers the sense that something miraculous is coming.”
The paintings Paul creates are based on a composite of many images. Like much great art, they are a combination of fact and fiction. As a digital image editor for most of his professional career of more than 40 years, Paul now uses digital technology to examine and edit, larger than life, the flowers he photographs. Whereas a still life painter seeks to capture an impression of a fleeting moment of light and time, Paul methodically seeks to reveal the intricacy and elegance of their design. He spends hours exploring the design possibilities before putting brush to canvas. Throughout the process, and especially when photographing his reference images, Paul appreciates moments of inspiration, and later, seeing his works hung on the gallery wall — the actual painting being mostly just hard work and technical competence.
SHOWINGS & COMMENDATIONS
• International Artist magazine December/january 2017 “A Structured Approach” cover and 8-page article including demonstration.
• Pratique des Arts magazine Issue No. 134 June 2017 “Scenes of cafes that connect people” interview and article about Café Series watercolors.
• International Artist magazine February/March 2015 “Florals & Gardens” Challenge No. 85 Award Winner Finalist.
• Artist’s magazine March 2015 “Over 60” Competition Award Winner Finalist.
• Wesleyan University — Zilkha Gallery “Art for Haiti” 6 paintings on display in group showing.
• Guild of Boston Artists, Newbury Street, Boston — Group show.
• Signature Member of the New England Watercolor Society, (NEWS).
• “The Face of America” Traveling show,1994, Olde Forge, New York, which included entries by Andrew Wyeth, Philip Pearlstein, Red Grooms, and Charles Reid among other nationally known artists.
I am a fine artist, graphic arts specialist, designer, photographer, and teacher.
Having had some traditional training, I consider myself a self-taught painter due to my total immersion into a highly self-motivated learning process outside the realm of formal instruction.
My work is about movement, rhythm and patterns of light and shadow, thoughtfully imbued with the energy I sense in the subjects I paint. To this I add the emotion that first drew me in. Then, with paint, nuances of color, light, and shadow are magnified for a deeper appreciation of the sublime beauty and complexity of nature. My technique is very similar to that of the old masters, yet skillfully incorporates a modern feel with a contemporary style. I try to capture specific moments of a scene as objectively as possible with a certain believability and authenticity while continuing to advance a style of painting that blends detail with the elegant aesthetics of a fine art painting.
Using my own photographic source material and digital image editing software, I review, edit, composite and adjust source images as necessary to create a dynamic composition. Because so much of the creativity happens in this planning stage, I spend a great deal of time exploring the design possibilities and getting things just right -- the actual painting is mostly just technical competence. There are often happy accidents and magical concordances.
I think Edward Hopper said it best -- “If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.”