Last Summer the gallery at the Parthenon featured a local artist, Paul Lancaster. I came into the show with no idea who Paul Lancaster was, but left with a genuine affinity for his works.
Lancaster paints innocence. The repetition and detail allow you to get lost in the painting and venture into what feels like a very safe and sacred place. The bright colors add to this sense of whimsy and guide your eye through the entire scene.
The only book of Lancaster's work, Paul Lancaster: Immersed in Nature is worth every penny. Not only does it give you insight into the life of Lancaster, it features some of his most fascinating paintings.
The book reveals his journey into self-taught art. Remarkably Lancaster has never taken a formal art course--nor does he intend to. Perhaps even more interesting than they way in which he honed his talent is the contrast between his life and his works. Contrary to all that is conveyed in his paintings, Lancaster's life was one of struggle. None of the whimsy and delight featured are in any way reflective of his life.
As a designer, Lancaster has challenged me to create more intricate patterns and to see the natural patterns that exist in nature. He has also given me permission to re-imagine the ways in which I view nature. Trees don't have to be traditional but can instead be formed to the feeling you wish to convey.
Should you at any point find yourself needing a break in your day, I would strongly recommend doing a Google image search of Paul Lancaster and taking a tour of new worlds we all wish to be part of.