Strata (Staircase/Landing)

Polson (from Poulsbo) presents regional landscape paintings in oil, plus sedimentary layer paintings which can be viewed as either stacked histories or alternate dimensions.




My relationship with art started at an early age, and I have the same motivation and obsessiveness as I did then. Early on I didn’t think of where I might show or how I might sell. Producing art has always been loving the process. Like a scientist in a laboratory, I painted with a purpose to grow, delve into my mind and experiment with my medium.

I am a firm believer of studying the masters as well as works by other artists. It is important to draw and paint from life, both the figure and landscape. Learning from age-old disciplines and techniques, as well as from new developments in art adds greatly to your toolbox.

My paintings begin with an overall idea filled with images, shapes and color – the specific subject matter might change during the process. I lay the canvas on the floor and dive into it with spontaneous brush strokes, splatters and washes. I then use a large rag to blot in random shapes and textures. When this dries to the point of not dripping, I place it on the easel or wall and sit back to contemplate images and shapes.

Controlling a painting from beginning to end leaves me unsatisfied and sapped of energy. I believe it is essential to allow the work to have half the control, so my process and direction is constantly changing. This gives life to the painting and I become engaged in this relationship – not unlike human relationships. Too much control will destroy it. To allow a ‘give and take’ experience makes it a living thing, with its own energy. I don’t know if this energy I am relating to is the universe, God, or some other entity. All I know is that it keeps the movement of the painting alive. It makes the process enjoyable and the outcome much more exciting.



Paul Polson

Paul Polson was born and raised in Wyoming, and was a prolific drawer and painter in his younger years. As a summer job he painted watercolor portraits on the Las Vegas Strip and attended the University of Wyoming during the school year.

After receiving his BA in art education, Polson moved to San Diego and focused on studio painting. Finding a ballroom in the Gaslamp District, he made his bed on the floor and painted large canvases for fifteen years. During this time he was involved in several solo and group shows.

He organized figure drawing classes and did graduate work at San Diego State and University of California, San Diego, while painting small-scale landscapes on a regular basis. During this time he took a three-month solo trip to Europe where he visited the major museums and painted watercolors.

In 1988 he moved to Pioneer Square in Seattle and painted in a warehouse for three years before moving to Poulsbo where he continues to paint. He also designed and fabricated inflatable sculpture and scenic sets for Cirque du Soleil and Radio City as well as a traveling set for the Broadway production of Cats.

Most recently, Polson has focused on oil paintings. Over the past four years he has also been a guest lecturer at the University of Washington, Northwest College of Art & Design (NCAD) and West Sound Academy (both in Poulsbo), and Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend.

More Exhibitions


BIMA@5: Selections from the Permanent Art Collection

Jon and Lillian Lovelace Gallery
October 13 - February 03, 2019
More Information


Jazz Combo II: Group Show

Toni Hall Orientation Gallery
October 03 - October 25, 2018
More Information