Kent Paulette - Paintings and Art
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Kent Paulette

Kent Paulette

Banner Elk, NC

"Kent Paulette is a self-taught artist who uses uninhibited, energetic brush strokes to create paintings that leap off the canvas, alive with color, texture, and movement."
Kent Paulette describes how he finds inspiration from the natural world that surrounds him, "Before each painting, I go to Laurel Creek in my backyard to collect a bucket of creek water. I wade through and stick my face in the water even if it’s the middle of winter. The cold water really wakes up my spirit and I put that energy into my paintings! I come back to my studio with mud between my toes and feeling very connected with nature. I then add the creek water directly to paint and use that to stain the canvas with my transparent Creek Washes."

Kent Paulette is a self-taught artist who uses uninhibited, energetic brushstrokes to create paintings that leap off the canvas, alive with color, texture and movement. He lives in North Carolina where he paints in a studio overlooking the mountains.

For Paulette, each painting is a gamble, a leap into the unknown, a wild ride of exploration and experimentation. He paints to figure things out, not to achieve a specific result. Unexpected or unintended outcomes are welcome; they offer openings through which new possibilities can be glimpsed, imagined, and developed. Paulette works to exploit these opportunities, continually pushing himself and his paintings beyond the boundaries of habit and into the realm of chance.

“I try to give control over to a process that allows the painting to come to life organically. The painting is able to occur as an uninterrupted event subject to the whims of chance.”

Paulette strives to insert the present moment into each brushstroke. To make room for this spontaneity and to breathe life into his paintings, he has developed a whole range of special brushstrokes: Ninja Splats, Building Blocks, Scratching Thoughts, Windows, Kisses, Slaps, Screams, Spells, Jellyfish, Leafing, Whispers, and many more.

"The canvas is a space where events happen, and the paint leaves a trace of those events."

"I've made friends with the wildlife in these woods including Betsy the Bobcat, Spoony the Mink, a black bear, deer, squirrels, birds, and chipmunks. They often walk by my studio window to see what I'm up to or to come hang out and listen to bluegrass music with me. I love finding and identifying different types of birds, trees, and wildflowers on daily nature walks with my family", says Paulette.

The conceptual foundation for Paulette’s work can be traced to a number of different sources. For example, he has drawn particular inspiration from the artist Brion Gysin, known for his pioneering work with the “cut-up” method and for his experiments with randomness and repetition. Music – from classic rock and folk to Afrobeat and experimental electronica – has long played a central role in K Paulette’s creative process and in his understanding of form, pattern, and perception. He also draws insight and inspiration from a wide-ranging reading list that revolves around topics such as artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, evolutionary biology, theoretical physics, and advertising. More recently he's been reading books about nature, science, and a Zen state of mind. Creekside conversations with his brother Tate have also long been a source of inspiration for his art.

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