Paul Apps U.A.
Fine artist and author Paul Apps was born and raised upon the Romney Marshes where he has recently returned to live with his wife Catherine, also an artist.
Growing demand for his work led Paul to turn professional in 1987 and, for many years, he concentrated upon painting wildlife subjects within their unique and diverse habitats, studying each of his chosen subjects in meticulous detail in order to convey in the truest way possible the sense of light and atmosphere that each subject demanded. Paul made many trips to Africa and the USA to collect valuable reference and, through long periods of observation, along with sketching and those very important photographs, Paul built the knowledge needed to complete work that was not only convincing, but which was highly desired by collectors around the world.
The paintings? Well, seeing them, Paul hopes that they stand upon their own merit. He has always stated that he is an impressionist realist, using colour and brush mark to convey mood, light, atmosphere and texture. He has never been one to attempt photorealism. “Great if you can achieve it,” he states, “but it leaves me cold. It’s clever and technically brilliant but, artistically speaking, has little to say”.
As landscapes and plein air studies forms the supporting ingredients for many wildlife paintings, so it happened that the demand for such landscapes and studies grew over the years from Paul’s many collectors. As a result, they are now as passionately pursued and collected as subject matter as those of wildlife. Whilst Paul can be found painting animals and birds, >wild or otherwise, he is equally home with maritime subjects, even the odd still live creeps in now and again!
Paul is very active and passionate advocate of plein air painting and, when not teaching or painting in the gallery, takes his brushes and easel outside to work directly from nature. Paul states that:
“The brief window of opportunity one has, is in itself exciting, exacting. It stretches me as an artist to react to what I see, the scene and the light as it is. The now! Then decide how best to convey that feeling in paint, value, colour, brush stroke and composition. It excites me to make that painting, but if my message is in turn successfully conveyed to those who later see it, then I have achieved something worthy of my effort.”
Over the years, Paul’s images have been displayed in shows, galleries and exhibitions around the world: Africa, Singapore, the United States of America, Europe and, of course, the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Sotheby’s, Christies and Bonhams auction houses have frequently sold his paintings over many years and these sales always record good prices. In 1997, for example, Christies sold a Tiger painting for a hammer price of £12,000 and, since 1993, several publishers have produced over 70 limited editions of Paul’s work, many now no longer available. Paul has also had his own solo shows and his first, in Milwaukee in 1995, sold out on the opening night.
Paul also uses his art to aid conservation efforts around the world as the conservation of endangered species has, and continue’s to be, high on Paul’s agenda. Since he first started painting he longed to be in a position to help wildlife and give something back to conservation. To that end Paul has always donated prints and originals, supporting Taskforce, Born Free Foundation, Rain Forest Foundation, David Shepherd Conservation Foundation, Save the Rhino Trust, Africat and The Injured Jockey’s Fund, to name a few. The amount raised over the years is not fully known, but it is certainly several tens of thousands of pounds. This work continues. In 2015 Paul launched the “Paul Apps Conservation Fund” which allows Paul to sell his work and choose more directly the conservation issues which his donations will support.
In 2010 Paul opened his first gallery in Marine Walk Street, Hythe, Kent. Along with providing space to hang and sell his work, the new gallery allowed Paul to bring together all his demonstrating and teaching skills within a working studio environment. This was, and remains, hugely successful and many students have benefited from the way Paul teaches as he is passionate about passing on his skills so that others may also get pleasure from creating art. In 2015, Paul achieved another milestone in his career and opened a new, larger gallery, ‘Paul Apps Fine Art’, in Marine Walk Street. This new gallery not only provides more space for teaching and painting demonstrations but allows Paul to showcase his work in a new and exciting way for all to enjoy. The gallery has also recently developed a framing service, creating hand-made and painted frames to set off Paul’s paintings.
Beyond the gallery, Paul has published two volumes on painting in acrylics, Dogs and Puppies (2012) and Lakes, Rivers and Streams (2015). A new volume on painting African wildlife is due in 2019. Paul has also published articles on painting for a variety of art magazines and has also produced a DVD on acrylic painting in 2012. In 2013, Paul was elected an associate of the United Society of Artists in London, and, in 2015, was elected a full member of the U.A.
Since moving back to Dymchurch and his native Romney Marshes, Paul’s work has found new inspiration in the mysterious and captivating landscapes of his beloved Romney Marshes and it’s coastline. These new paintings adorn the gallery walls, alongside the beautiful wildlife images, showing not only the breadth of Paul’s artistic interests but his ability to capture the ever-changing light and moods of the Marshes.