Paul Benedict Brand


Always stretching himself to experiment, Paul searched for fresh and original ways to communicate through imagery, consciously avoiding predictable methods of producing work.

His principle concern was composition, the placing of form and tone within a frame would determine the colours and matters depicted – he was determined to give a painting balance and harmony with an aesthetic influenced by classical and renaissance theory, notably the golden mean.

At the same time, he was playing with the materials to create an illusion of a third dimension on the painting surface, not just by manipulating paint but also by selecting different surfaces such as canvas, board, and hessian, integrating the textures of the materials into his design.  He wanted to give viewers a visual feast, and for them to spend time absorbing the information presented.

His work developed from realistic figurative painting to a more exciting style using colour in a bold new way. Always interested in colour theory he developed his “squares” technique which gives the paintings an almost pixellated effect but predating digital images by two decades. At first, he painted every square the same size, but soon expanded this and loosened up and combined it with conventional painting, and also with other geometric shapes, notably the hexagon. Another key area was in the application of paint to the surface – for a period of about ten years he experimented with applying paint not with a brush but by running cog wheels as rollers through the paint, building up layers of colour which added texture and movement to the image.  

As well as painting in oil, acrylic and watercolours, Paul was interested in many other art forms, notably mosaic, fresco, lino and woodcuts.  He had earlier illustrated books, and some of his later paintings were more in the way of illustration, notably “Peer Gynt”.  To make the mosaic “The Adoration of the Shepherds” he made tesserae, some from clay, and some from glass which he cut to fit, repurposing found materials as he has with other works.  For the frescoes, having no suitable wall to work on he mixed a lime wash solution which he applied to wood, making them as portable as the other works.

He was also keen on pottery and at one time he made his own wheel. However, while many crafts caught his attention for weeks or months at a time, he would always return to painting.