Boerne on Canvas: Local Artist Paul De Luna Paints A Pretty Picture of Small-Town Life
One of my absolute favorite things about Instagram is how easy it makes forming connections with other members of our community; our neighbors. Search a hashtag such as #boerne, #boernetx, or #igboerne and you’re guaranteed to discover not only other local parents, hometown explorers, and foodies, but also small businesses, events, and artists you might never have heard of, otherwise. This is exactly how I came to be introduced to a talented local artist by the name of Paul de Luna.
It was Paul’s affinity for capturing tiny snippets of small-town life that initially caught my attention. Specifically, the photo above, which features Deer-Pumpkins, a 12x16 oil-on-linen rendition of last year’s First United Methodist Church Pumpkin Patch. Then came Boerne Shooting Club Sunrise, oil-on-linen, 8x10:
Main Plaza Pride, oil-on-linen, 8x10:
Cibolo Creek Cypress, oil-on-linen, 9x12:
And, of course, bluebonnets (painted en plein aire):
“Having lived in Boerne most of my life, my heart is increasingly expanding for the people of this town,” Paul explains. “So much of God’s blessing has been unveiled in this place and I love that I get to take part in a community. Much is said of Boerne charm and I simply find it to be the worth, goodness, and beauty within the souls of the men, women, and children who call Boerne home.”
Because of this, Paul’s work also tends to not only capture the beautiful scenery of Boerne and the Hill Country but also the very essence of the people within it. He states, “My artwork is predominately illustrative of life’s goodness and principles. Naturally, it usually includes human figures. I love human form: spirit, emotions, personalities, faces, hands, torso...Being fully and appropriately human is glorious!”
Dancing with Daddy, oil-on-linen, 8x8:
Wishing On a Star, charcoal, 12x16:
Coffee & Pumpkin Pie Time at The Dienger, charcoal-on-toned paper, 10x13:
Paul creates mostly in oils, charcoal, or Conté crayon and credits artists Daniel Gerhartz, Richard Schmid, Brian Jekel, Joaquin Sorolla, Adam & Andrea Clague, John Singer Sargent, and Norman Rockwell as artists of influence over his life and creative process, something that has continuously evolved since he was just a teen.
“I discovered artistic ability at age fifteen when I was seriously into basketball”, he shares. “I dreamt of becoming a professional player or sports artist, but as it turned out, I didn’t grow tall enough for hoops. My artistry did grow and here I am.”
Paul went on to earn an art degree and worked as a designer and illustrator for an educational publishing company in Pensacola, where he met and married his now wife of twenty years. Later came their four children, graduate work in fine art painting, and a newfound talent and love for singing.
“Early in adulthood, singing became a lifeline that ignited a passion for the visual arts like I had never known. Throughout the years, I‘ve continued developing my singing and am grateful for the God-fashioned ability discovered via the bel canto approach. My overall artistic journey has been a mixture of life experience (struggle & triumph) that has helped form a process for creativity like a flowing artesian well. I remember being encouraged way back to ‘be creative’, but for the longest time, I couldn’t seem to tap into it. There’s something to this growing-up business that really ties into creativity.”
Patatpan—Let the Joy Resound, oil-on-linen, 24x36:
No Gift to Bring (Little Drummer Boy), Conté crayon, 15x22:
He’s also rendered commissioned artwork for Geneva School of Boerne, where his children attend, and where his wife currently serves as a Kindergarten teacher.
The Worthy Bird Earns the Worm (Geneva Grammar School reader), digital illustration & design
Additionally, he tells us that come September, he’ll be re-launching his website, www.ReflectionsoftheSon.com, which will showcase previous artwork, include a “newly-written reflection on art, life, & freedom”, and a series of artworks based on “a new direction that has been brewing in [his] life.” Given his connection with The Dienger Trading Co. (if you stop in for coffee on any given morning, you might just run into the artist, himself, as a regular customer or behind the counter), this is an intriguing concept, indeed!
An Opening View (The Dienger Trading Co.), charcoal, 10x14:
Coffee & Chocolate Cream Pie, charcoal, 6x6:
And his reply when asked about possible future representation in local art galleries here in Boerne?
“Yes, there’s definitely good news on that front! As for which gallery that will be? Please stay tuned…There are dreams and goals that take me to places beyond Boerne, but at the end of each journey, this is the place I love and call home."
Us too, Paul. Us too!
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