The Art of Leonard Paul “I paint with a pencil and draw with a brush” (Leonard Paul)
Artist Leonard Paul
Leonard Paul painting plein air at Fish Creek Alberta
Known internationally for his exquisitely detailed portrayals of nature and its creatures, Leonard Paul, a First Nation Mi’kmaq visual artist, was born in Halifax in 1953 and currently resides in Truro, Nova Scotia.
Leonard has had numerous solo art exhibitions, national and international exposure since he started painting for the public in 1976, the year his daughter Tayla was born. He is a master water-colorist and a consummate technician in mediums: drawing, oils and airbrushing. His artwork has been described as high-realism where careful attention is focused on art applications and arduous details. His favourite art is Baroque and he has often travelled to Europe to see first-hand the genre works of Jan Vermeer and still-life art of Wellum van Aelst. He is also deeply moved by the sensitivity of ‘atmospheric light’, employed by the epic landscape painters of the Hudson River School era.
Leonard considers he embodies the better elements of two worlds: Mi’kmaq ancestry and Euro-centric values in mainstream art. He loves to roam around the country sides and river banks with his family and two dogs, seeking inspiration for his artworks. This inspiration takes many forms as seen in the following slideshows.
Leonard Paul also accepts commissions for both public and private art works.
Leonard Paul's development as an artist
Leonard Paul, Artist
Leonard enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts at the College of Art and Design (1971 – 1974), and later graduated from Acadia University in Art History and Political Science (1991). A year earlier under the tutelage of Dr. Dennis Veinotte, Paul received his counseling certificate in Image Therapy from U. of Acadia. Mr. Paul is a full-time professional artist, although he spent time as acting Director of Indian Brook R.O.C.K.S., an arts/cultural program in Indian Brook First Nation, dedicated to promoting cultural arts among youth.
Career Highlights Leonard has experienced many highlights in his professional life as a full-time artist, including - In the fall of 1996, External Affairs and Industry Canada of Aboriginal Business selected his art business as a Canadian Representative at the World Trade Show ‘Tendence‘93’ in Frankfurt, Germany. - In 1991 Leonard received national exposure on television where he was selected as one of the primary artists for a film by the National Film Board, entitled Kwa’nute - On two celebratory occasions the province of Nova Scotia commissioned Mr. Paul to design and paint promotional themes for 1997 and ‘98 campaigns, honouring Mi’kmaq Treaty Day - In 1983, he was recognized for his painting of environmental landscapes, and at this time Leonard became the recipient of the prestigious Canada’s Governor General Medal - In 1998 Leonard submitted a sampling of his art to the national wildlife art competition sponsored by Federal Ducks Unlimited. Paul’s watercolour, Too Close For Comfort, was declared national art winner. - Also in 1998, the Royal Canadian Mint commissioned Mr. Paul to submit a coin design concept for the 1999 ‘$200.00 Gold Coin" - In 2009, Leonard Paul, as illustrator, and international singer Buffy Sainte-Marie joined Canadian acclaimed writer, David Bouchard, in producing his children’s book,Long Powwow Nights - 2014 CAA Public Communications award for his illustration work for the book Pisim finds her Miskanow