2012 Guest Artist, Paul Brent

Paul Richard Brent is a Panama City artist whose life work has been spent in the depictions and reflections of the Northwest Florida environment he has lived in since 1969. His paintings in watercolor and oil have deftly portrayed the many aspects of the area capturing the innate beauty on paper and canvas. His work has shown constant progression and change throughout his career. The first pieces of art work that he sold in 1976 were pen and ink drawings of coastal wildlife that he tinted with light washes of watercolor on illustration board and later 300lb watercolor paper. By 1978 he had eliminated using pen and ink and was doing more detailed and volumetric paintings of the same subjects in nature.

In 1982, after some experimentation, he launched a new style that featured a painted wash background with drips and splashes of watercolor that ran off the image area. He experimented with adding texture and depth to the watercolor. On top of this loose background, Paul Brent would paint detailed, almost scientific, renderings of tropical fish, birds, shells and flowers along with geometric shapes of French curves, triangles, circles and sometimes three dimensional shapes. This was a blend of his architectural training plus his watercolor techniques and he called this style “Watercolor Montage”. This term means that several unrelated images and techniques are composed together but created in one medium. The composition might look much like a collage that is a series of images that are glued together. As this period evolved, his work became more realistic with fewer splashes and geometrics. The white edge of paper remained but instead of a drip edge he moved to an irregular edge that enclosed an inner image which was painted more deeply. The image continued past that edge and flowed past the border. He called this style a “Structured Vignette”.

At the turn of the millennium, Paul Brent’s work took another turn when he began to paint in oil, first on tempered board that he hand gessoed and later on canvas as well as board. His first oils reflected the transparent tradition of watercolors but he soon moved on to richer layered paintings that explore the depth of color possible with oil paint. His latest work once more has the feeling of collage as he works with both watercolor and oil to create images that are graphically composed with antique prints, stamps, textures, calligraphy and found objects.

Paul has been active in arts and planning organizations both locally and in the state of Florida. He served on the board and was president for four years of Bay Arts Alliance. He was on the board of the Friends of the Bay County Libraries and the Greater Downtown Association. He served as board member and Secretary on the Florida Arts Council and was a board member of the Florida Humanities Council. He has donated his art for many local charities. He painted two life-sized dolphins for the community’s “Dolphin Splash” fund raising event and has been a participant in the Covenant Hospice Mask Parade since its inception in 2003. In 2009 He was appointed to the Panama City CRA, Community Redevelopment Agency, and served as its Chairman.

Discover Paul’s art at PaulBrent.com