Paul Padding’s works are colorful landscape scenes that imply mountainous regions or urban sprawl without referencing either directly. More dreamlike than abstract, his artistry achieves an idea of structure not graspable by the intellect alone—insofar as it’s bound to the logic of classical perspective. Describing his paintings as “rooms for wonderment,” his non-figurative landscapes embody the full gamut of human feeling, concretizing the experience of joy, sadness or bemusement into soft geometric shapes.
Working mainly in acrylics, Padding’s paintings emulate the quick inspirations he receives from daily life, translating his experiences of art, travel, and meeting new people into a brightly colored cartography of the emotions provoked by these encounters.
Influenced by the great cubists and colorists of yore, Padding’s surreal melding of colors and shapes suggest naturalistic forms, only to carry viewers’ eyes away from anything that can be seen to a realm that can only be imagined. While not being a representational artist, Padding nevertheless creates compositions that imply figuration—twisting the contours of a body or a landscape into a configuration that might feel bright, sombre, or fanciful.