“Treat the world as if it really exists,” writes William Stafford, and there’s nothing like looking at Paul Hotvedt paintings to see the truth and value of this statement.
For years, I’ve been enchanted with the paintings of Paul Hotvedt, a Lawrence land and sky painter who truly makes the obvious more visible without romanticizing, understating or overstating the beauty in front of us all the time. Paul’s work, such as these photos from his summer batch of paintings, show what’s right here in such a way that after looking at his work, I can look at the bushy cedar or the trembling leaves on the ash tree or the scraggly grass lining the woods in a new way: as if it really exists.
The combination of soft edges and just a tease of abstraction with the realistic light of his work helps me understand the colors and textures around me. Why is that important? Because such seeing helps me and probably many of us better connect with the true reality of the earth and sky instead of our ideas about the, and consequently, the bigger world our little lives and even little littler minds float through.
Here is the world. Let’s love it as it is, and that means, really opening our eyes and lives to what is vibrant and shimmering, aging and decaying all at once. Thank you so much, Paul!