Paul and lockdown creativity

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Lockdown, Paul Raynor
Paul Raynor

Artist Paul Raynor is pleased with what he calls his “lockdown painting effort” (featured above). He says “the main body of the picture represents our country which is being held down by the cables. One day these will all be cut, and we will rise up in freedom like the birds which surround us.”

Paul lives in Fairlight with his wife Margaret and their dog and that is where he has his jewellery workshop, kiln and a room in his home that serves as his artwork studio.

“Lockdown has presented us with problems, as it has for everyone. But there are some very kind people in the village who have been doing shopping and errands to allow proper shielding. I have got very upset by the awful negativity of the news media, and if there is worry about the population’s mental health, I am not surprised. For the first time ever, I have been turning off the news.

“However, I have rediscovered actual gardening rather than the armchair variety, and the garden now looks lovely. Our Schnauzer dog Monty has also had more lonely walks, but he seems happy enough.”

Paul’s artistic portfolio

Paul has been painting mainly mid-century style acrylic abstracts for many years and says that they are now more unusual, which he likes. He says, “the lockdown situation seems to have fired up people’s creative imaginations countrywide; and with me no less!”

Describing himself as “a largely self-taught artist, apart from silver jewellery training,” he enjoys working in a number of different artistic styles and disciplines as you will see from his impressive gallery below.

Paul says he is “a fairly driven individual and although I no longer feel a need to fill sketch books on a daily basis, I am never really comfortable or at peace unless I have some artistic project on the go. Most of my life I’ve been making varied artworks: silver jewellery; ceramics; oil and acrylic paintings; watercolour illustrations; cartoons; and taking commissions for both my paintings and commercial illustration.”

He thinks he is probably better known locally as a designer and maker of souvenir gift-ware – as bone china items, cards, fridge magnets etc. This gift work is mainly focused on local scenes, but he does designs for anywhere and anything.

Using only his own drawings, Paul concentrates primarily on the traditional process of hand decorated quality UK bone china; this is finished and fired in his kiln at Fairlight. When they were open, the Rye design mugs and jugs etc., were selling at the Rye Heritage Centre and the Avocet Gallery at Rye Harbour.

“With my ceramics I get great pleasure from knowing that I am producing artwork that has a practical use, is attractive, and goes all over the world.”

Referring to his lockdown painting he reflects “fortunately everyone sees more in abstract painting.  I have always liked that aspect of my painting as it also incorporates some figurative elements, so everyone’s interpretation is inevitably different. I am very often surprised by the pictures myself; they are always quite an adventure to paint and a good talking point when on display.”

Where to buy Paul’s work

Paul has a small on-line shop www.silvercrosses.etsy.com where he mainly sells various types of sterling silver jewellery, which he hand-makes to order. He also has some other examples of his other current artworks on the site.

His www.paulraynordesigns.com site gives examples and a good idea of the range of his artistic pursuits.

He says “the souvenir work has naturally dried up for the present, so my attention has reverted to my paintings”.

Image Credits: Paul Raynor .

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