Paul Winner


In the eyes of the pedant, Paul Winner must, no doubt, be classed among Sunday Painters - who because they work at another job besides their art, are able to paint only at weekends. Those who know the variety of his other occupations and the energy he devotes to them must wonder whether he has time to qualify even as a Sunday painter. The vast range of works shown at his Exhibitions, however, would do credit to an artist who paints full time!

This volume of work is a result of an enthusiasm for creating pictures which leads Paul Winner to interrupt any of his many other activities to sketch the scene before him.

Fortunately, he works rapidly and his productions can best be thought of as the perfect snapshot. The perfect snapshot - the one we always hope to have taken - would record the scene so completely, and yet so personally, that even those who were not with us at the time would feel that they too were present ... that they two, saw the recorded view and were impressed by it as we were impressed. But the emphatic communication is an ideal which the holidaymaker with his camera - strive though he may - can never achieve. Its achievement requires the hand of an artist - an artist such as Paul Winner.

When we see his drawing of Arundel Castle, we feel that we stood beside him on an Autumn day and saw those stones thrust from the earth. We feel that we also were there when he sketched a street in Oxford or a sand-due in Israel. We feel not only that we have been to these places, but that these drawings are the records not of the artist's experience but of our own.

How does Paul Winner achieve this? Partly, I think, the rapidity with which he works obviates the haze of consideration that so often falls between an artist's impression and his work. Partly, perhaps, the fact that he is always so ready to understand the way other people feel, has taught him the art of communicating in this immediate and emphatic manner. But these, though true, are only superficial explanations. The truth is that behind the casual lines and simple colours, there lies, as there lies behind so much unforced effort, a skill born of long experience.

Paul Winner produces 2 "visual diaries" per month and has over 650 sketch books recording his life and times. His watercolours are in many private and public collections