By Carmen Glover
Art usually evokes a myriad of emotions, ranging from awe to excitement and joy. The works created by self-taught Jamaican artist Paul Blackwood explode with vibrant colors and sceneries, often fueling lengthy discussions and intense concentration as patrons carefully study the pieces, trying to decipher subliminal themes. Recently, while exhibiting his artwork in Westchester County, New York and Alpharetta, Georgia, Blackwood joined his family, friends and patrons to discuss his hectic exhibition schedule and the range of emotions that his masterpieces elicit.
“Since the year started I’ve been doing a lot of exhibitions across Jamaica and the United States,” Blackwood said during a lull in the Westchester County event, while explaining that he loved the Westchester location because “It has a nice vibe.” But while art lovers were deep in thought trying to figure out multiple meanings and themes in his work, Blackwood laughed when he stated, “I don’t have a set theme for my art. I paint the way I feel. You can see abstract, semi-abstract or realism but I put my all into my work so when people purchase my work they are buying a piece of me.”
Blackwood says his work has wide appeal. “My paintings are for everyone. People will say that they see a lot of houses and cottages in my work. That’s because I try to bring out a lot of my upbringing in my work,” he said. “I grew up in a little board house in Long Hill, Westmoreland, where you get the best bammy and fried fish in the world,” he said, laughing. Blackwood said that he caters to every taste and budget. “I do coasters, prints and originals so that there is something for everyone. My dream is to let as many persons as possible have a piece of my work,” he said. “If everyone across the globe could have a Blackwood painting, that would be nice.”
Coleen Robinson-Cobblah, who hosted the Westchester event, said she is committed to showcasing his work as much as possible.
“I met Paul about five years ago, selling his work at Golden Krust in White Plains,” she said. “I loved his work and bought a few pieces. I found them inspirational. We ended our conversation like we knew each other for a long time.” She said that she and Blackwood’s friendship grew. “I see him as a big brother. I don’t see him as a friend. He’s family. When I go to Jamaica he treats my family well and I want to expose his work as much as I can. Last year, he hosted a show at my mother’s and this year I decided to host the exhibition here and invite my friends.”
Robinson-Cobblah was pleased with her guests’ feedback at the exhibition she hosted in her home. “The guests all love his work. They bought coasters and paintings. Some took his card to visit his website and purchase more of his work,” she said.
To view and purchase his work, visit www.paulblackwoodart.com.