Paul Lancaster is largely retired from his art now and rarely comes by to revisit the space where he worked and painted for decades, a small unheated room above Lyzon Gallery. But the space stills reveals part of who he is, a truly primitive (self-taught) artist from a poor, rural part of Tennessee, humble and completely disinterested in the latest accouterments found in many studios. All he has needed was a place for his easel and print making machinery, and surfaces to hold supplies. He had no use for the extra room required for preliminary sketches or photographs before beginning work on the canvas, as his true “studio” is in his head. That’s where he formed his ideas. Then he began to scan those mental images onto the work surface, starting at the upper left hand corner and continuing down and to the right until the full vision was there to be enjoyed and appreciated by us all. You move quietly and respectfully through this place, not really feeling worthy to be there, where such simple but profound genius found its voice.
From the artist: “I just sit for a while, and then I begin to see what I need to create. Sometimes I can get sort of restless, but when I’m doing art, everything else goes away.”