Thursday, March 21, 2013

A New Beginning

So, I knew it had been a while since I had posted on my blog, but I didn't think it had been over two years. Once I started using Facebook, it became too much to post news everywhere. Facebook, with cc's to twitter, and email newsletters became the primary means of communication. However, my interest in Facebook has waned. It does seem to be a necessary tool in the artist marketing arsenal though, so I will keep posting.

This year, I'm turning my attention back to my blog. My intention for calling this blog "Working Through Art" has been two-fold. To promote my work, but also to share what I have learned as an artist (how to paint and draw) and as a businessperson (how to make a living selling art). I find great joy in teaching classes, private lessons, and workshops. I hope this blog will become a valuable resource for others to learn from my successes and failures.

Going forward, I will share inspirations, tutorials, Q&A's, a look into the stages of creating my paintings, and more. I will try to post at least twice a week, so stay tuned...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Plein Air Paintings

I have started a new series of plein air paintings. I try to get out at least once a month to go plein air painting. These paintings are from Burnsville, NC (bottom two), and Jonesborough, TN (top).

Covered with Kudzu, original plein air painting by artist Paul Keysar

Covered with Kudzu
Oil on Masonite

View from Hutchinson Grocery, original plein air painting by artist Paul Keysar

View from Hutchinson Grocery
Oil on Masonite

Collapsed Barn, original plein air painting by artist Paul Keysar

Collapsed Barn
Oil on Masonite

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Finish Those Paintings: Workshop with Critique

“Finish Those Paintings”
Workshop with Critique
with Instructor Paul Keysar
Friday, October 22, 2010 - 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. (Critique Session)
Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. (Workshop Session)

The Community Arts Project
19725 Oak St, Unit 1, Cornelius, NC
Cost: $75 to The Community Arts Project

On Friday, October 22 from 7-9 p.m., participants will meet for a critique session. A critique will help you gain new perspectives in seeing your work, confidence and reinforcement on work well done, and insightful feedback from other students and the instructor to help identify areas of improvement. Participants will bring up to four pieces that they would like to work on completing. Students will participate in a group critique with the instructor, and at the end, they will select one or two pieces to work on the following day.

On Saturday, October 23 from 1-5 p.m., participants will bring their selected pieces, along with their materials, to finish under guidance from the instructor. Students should bring any support materials needed to complete the pieces, such as photographs.

Open to all skill levels, realism and abstract. Open to 2-D media including oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, ink, and drawing. Space limited to 10. For more information, or to host this workshop at your location, please contact me at 704-596-1286.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Opening this Friday

Paul Keysar and Kat Knutsen present new work at Artworks on Main, 165 N Main St, Mooresville, NC.

Join me at the opening reception, this Friday, October 8, 2010, 6-9 p.m.

Work will remain on display through October 2010.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Intro to Painting class

Starts September 20th!

Mondays 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
9/20, 9/27, 10/4, 10/18, 10/25, 11/1
Introduction to Painting
Artworks on Main
165 North Main St, Mooresville, NC 28115
704-664-2414 to register
Mediums: Acrylic/Oils
ages 16+

Call 704-596-1286 with questions and to receive supply list.

Friday, August 27, 2010

American Art Collector

My work is featured in the September 2010 issue of American Art Collector magazine. I am debuting the first of my tornado paintings, Touchdown, part of the Conquest series. There is a highlight of the Multi-Tasking exhibit in Concord, and I am featured in the "Landscape Art Today" special. It should be on newsstands soon.

Touchdown, Original Landscape tornado painting by realism artist Paul Keysar

Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing this painting.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Multi-Tasking Exhibit Opening

I am a featured artist in the Multi-Tasking exhibit on display through October 7th at the Cabarrus Arts Council galleries in Concord, NC. Join me for the opening reception and gallery crawl this Friday, August 27, from 6-9 p.m. I have 14 pieces in this exhibit, most of them new, including oils, charcoals, graphite drawings, and walnut ink drawings.

On September 30th, I will be giving a demonstration and presentation about my work.

The galleries are located in the Historic Cabarrus Courthouse, 65 Union Street South, Concord, NC.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

200 under $200 Exhibit

Join me at the Mooresville "Corner of Art and Main" gallery crawl this Friday, August 13. I will be participating in the 200 under $200 exhibit at Artworks on Main. Featuring 200 pieces of art for under $200. This exhibit runs through the end of August.

Monday, July 12, 2010

FREE Still Life Painting Demo

Still Life Painting

Saturday, July 17, 2010 - 2 to 4:30 p.m.
Cheap Joe's Art Stuff
4420 Monroe Rd, Charlotte, NC

I will paint a still life in one sitting and answer questions from the audience.

No RSVP is need to attend. Just show up. Hope to see you there.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Finish Those Paintings class

**NEW** Drop-in Painting Class for the Summer months

You can attend any or all of these dates. More will be announced later this summer.
June 16, 2010 - 6 to 9 p.m.
June 21, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
July 7, 2010 - 6 to 9 p.m.

Location: Artworks on Main, 165 N Main St, Mooresville, NC

Cost: $35 per class - payable to Artworks on Main

RSVP - please email me at or call me at 704-596-1286 to let me know you are coming.

If you have paintings you have been meaning to finish, some you have gotten stuck on, or ones you just need some help with, come to our drop-in class. Bring one or more pieces you've already started or one you'd like to start, along with your supplies, and Paul will provide guidance in completing them. Open to all 2-D media, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, ink, and drawing.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rainbow (SOLD)

Rainbow, Original Charcoal Drawing by Paul Keysar

4" x 7"
Charcoal on Paper

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lake View (SOLD)

I've started doing some reductive drawings with powdered charcoal and charcoal pencils.

Lake View, Original Charcoal Drawing by Paul Keysar

Lake View
4" x 6 3/4"
Charcoal on Paper

Friday, May 28, 2010

New Website Design for

My new website has launched at I've broken down the available work and archived work into sections via subject. I've also added 3 new series sections, details on commissioning a work, and pages for upcoming classes and workshops. You can also get information on purchasing painting panels and handmade wooden palettes.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

All Arts Market - June 2nd and 3rd

I will be exhibiting my work during the quarterly "All Arts Market", June 2nd and 3rd, at the Neighborhood Theatre in NoDa. I will have new work available for purchase, as well as information on upcoming classes and workshops.

The event is sponsored by Nodarioty and takes place from 6-10 p.m. each night. For more information, see More than 90 artists will have their work on display each night.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Art in the Garden

This weekend, I will be plein air painting at the Ginger Kemp Garden during the annual Art in the Garden Tour in Charlotte, NC. This event is sponsored by The Mint Museum of Art and the Charlotte Garden Club. After the tour on Sunday, come to the Mint Museum of Art for the after-party and auction. Each artist will be auctioning a piece of art to benefit the Mint Museum and Garden Club. For more details and ticket information, see

Friday, April 23, 2010

Concord Art Walk

Tonight, I will be exhibiting my work at the Piedmont Renaissance Center during the quarterly Concord Art Walk. The event takes place between 6-9 p.m. in Concord, NC.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Now on Facebook

I am now on facebook. You can follow me by liking my page, Paul Keysar Artist -

I'm also on twitter. Follow me @paulkeysar.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Upcoming Art Classes and Workshops

**NEW LOCATION** Intro to Oil Painting
Artworks on Main, 165 North Main Street Mooresville, NC 28115
(Mondays 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., 6 wks, starts April 19th)

Beginner's to Intermediate
$130.00 payable to Artworks on Main
Late enrollees welcome


Landscapes and Still Lifes in Oil (6wks)
The Community Arts Project, Cornelius Arts Center, 19725 Oak St, Unit 1, Cornelius, NC
(Wednesdays, April 28 - June 2, 6:30-9 p.m.)

All skill levels
Sign up through CAP at
$165 CAP members, $180 non-members
Late enrollees welcome.


Intermediate Oil Painting - University City (exit 46 on I-85)
(Tuesdays 2-4:00 p.m.) $35 pay as you go / $30 pay in advance
Call me at 704-596-1286 for more information


**NEW CLASS** Ongoing Oil Painting - South Charlotte (Park Road)
(Thursdays 2-4:00 p.m., bi-weekly) $35 pay as you go / $30 pay in advance (all levels)
Call me at 704-596-1286 for more information


2010 Workshops

More workshops to be added as details are finalized. The following are currently planned.

September 8-10, 2010 - Painting the Still Life in Oil

Location: Paul & Florence Thomas Memorial Art School, Glendale Springs, NC
$270 for 3 days of instruction (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), breakfast and lunch

October 11-13, 2010 - Understanding Principles of the Landscape - Plein Air Workshop

Location: Paul & Florence Thomas Memorial Art School, Glendale Springs, NC
$270 for 3 days of instruction (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), breakfast and lunch


Private Lessons
Offered to individuals and small groups of adults and serious teenagers.  Individual lessons can take place at my North Charlotte studio or in your home.  Please let me know if you have a neighborhood group, home school group, or several co-workers or friends who would like to take lessons and have an available location to meet.  Lessons are tailored to your interests and can cover a variety of media, including oils, acrylics, and drawing.


I also offer gift certificates if you would like to purchase lessons for a family member or friend.

Most classes are open to oils, acrylics, and drawing students; however, painting demos are given in oils.

Recommended supply list is provided to students upon registering.

Monday, April 12, 2010

April is for Arts Events - April 16th and 17th

This Friday, April 16th, 6-9 p.m. is the April is for Arts gallery crawl in Davidson and Cornelius. I have some pieces in the Lake Norman Art League's Spring Exhibit at 442 S. Main St in Davidson.

My painting House Fire (shown below) won second place in the exhibit; juror was Christie Taylor of Hodges Taylor Gallery in Charlotte, NC.

House Fire, Man / Nature Series Landscape painting by Paul Keysar

Family Arts Day is Saturday, April 17, 2010 1-4 p.m. at the Cornelius Arts Center, 19725 Oak Street, Cornelius, NC. I will have work for sale and information on upcoming classes and workshops.

The event is free and activities include:
Hands-On Art Activities by The Community Arts Project
Artisan Vendors
Face Painting by LKN Teen Council
Sidewalk Chalk
Bubble Pools
The Great Fettucini

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mooresville Art Walk - April 9th

I'll be exhibiting my work at 202 North Main St Fine Wines in Downtown Mooresville (NC) this Friday, April 9, 2010, from 6-9 p.m. during the Corner of Art and Main monthly art walk. I'll have a variety of work available for purchase along with information on upcoming classes and workshops. Please stop by if you are in the neighborhood.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Strawberry Cheesecake (SOLD)

Here is the latest painting in the 125 series.

Strawberry Cheesecake, Original Still Life Painting by Paul Keysar
Strawberry Cheesecake
6" x 8"
Oil on Masonite

Monday, March 15, 2010

Chocolate French Cruller (SOLD)

Here is the painting I started last week, now finished and dry. This is the latest in the 125 series.

Chocolate French Cruller, Original Still Life Painting by Paul Keysar
Chocolate French Cruller
5" x 7"
Oil on Masonite

Monday, March 8, 2010

Wave Study (SOLD)

My son, Jacob, was born January 30th, and I love being a father! Life with a newborn is very unpredictable, though at 5 weeks, it's becoming easier to find the time to paint. I started a painting of a chocolate donut today, and I have some more ideas in the works for new 125 series paintings.

Here is a painting I did as a demo for a workshop. It's a quick study of the ocean.

Wave Study, Original Landscape Painting by Paul Keysar
Wave Study
5 7/8" x 7 5/8"
Oil on Masonite

Here is a painting from the 125 series that is already taken. If you have a specific idea that you would like to commission, whether a small painting as part of the 125 series, or any size painting, just let me know. I can work from an idea you have or photos provided.

Bottle Caps, Original Still Life Painting by Paul Keysar
Bottle Caps
4" x 6"
Oil on Masonite

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Green Tomato (SOLD)

This is the next painting in the 125 series. With the holidays over, I am planning to be more consistent with working on these paintings. However, with my son due any day now, I will have to do some adjusting to a new life with baby. Wish me luck!

Green Tomato, Original Still Life Painting by Paul Keysar
Green Tomato
5" x 7"
Oil on Masonite

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Charlotte Artery November Exhibit

I have been invited to exhibit as a guest artist in the Charlotte ARTery's November Exhibit.

Two nights only! Friday, November 13 and Friday, November 20, 6-9 p.m. each night.

Located at 130 W. Bland Street, one block off of Tryon St, in the South End of Charlotte. Please come out to see my new painting:

Burning Leaves, Original Landscape Painting by Paul Keysar
Burning Leaves
10" x 8"
Oil on Linen


Teaching Talents: Instructor and Staff Exhibit
November 9 - December 23

Cornelius Arts Center, 19725 Oak St, Cornelius, NC
(Open M-Th, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Cornelius Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Ave, Cornelius, NC
(Open M-F, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

I have three paintings and an etching in this exhibit.

Small Works 2009
November 23 - January 8
Lake Norman Art League Gallery
442 S. Main St, Davidson, NC
Open M-F, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

I have three paintings in this exhibit. Please come out December 3-5th, 6-9 p.m. during Christmas in Davidson. Lake Norman Art League will be hosting a reception each night, taking visitors votes for viewer's choice favorites, and giving free posters away to visitors who come out these nights.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Lonely Bull (SOLD)

This is a limited palette painting using five colors: ultramarine blue deep, cadmium red light, cadmium yellow light, titanium white, and a little burnt sienna. I typically use about 14 colors in a painting. With this painting, I wanted to try restricting my color use, so I could see the range I could get with fewer colors. The reason one would use so many colors is out of convenience, allowing for quicker mixing and therefore, less time. All one really needs is a red, yellow, blue, and white. I am pleased with how this painting turned out, and I hope you are as well.

The Lonely Bull - Original Landscape Painting by Paul Keysar

The Lonely Bull
5 7/8" x 7 5/8"
Oil on Masonite

Sunday, October 18, 2009

American Art Today Exhibit

Green was accepted into the juried exhibit American Art Today: Juried Works at The Bascom in Highlands, NC.

Green, Original Painting by Paul Keysar

20" x 16"
Oil on Linen

The exhibit opens with a free, public reception on Saturday, October 24, 2009, from 5-7 p.m. Ms. Blaugrund will speak at 6 p.m. about her selections. The exhibit remains on display through December 18, 2009, and is open during The Bascom's regular hours, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"The exhibit juror was Annette Blaugrund, former director of the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts, New York, New York, who has organized major exhibitions and published and lectured widely on diverse subjects in American art. Blaugrund holds a Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University and is author of major books, among them John James Audubon: The Watercolors for The Birds of America (October 1993, Villard Books, Random House, with Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr.). One of Dr. Blaugrund’s projects was an exhibition and catalogue called The Tenth Street Studio Building: Artist-Entrepreneurs from the Hudson River School to the American Impressionists, organized for The New York Historical Society where she was the Andrew W. Mellon Senior Curator of paintings, drawings and sculpture from 1989 to 1995, and Director of Institutional Planning in her last year there. As an accreditation reviewer for the American Association of Museums, Dr. Blaugrund consults privately with museums and foundations across the country." (Bio taken from exhibit prospectus.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Article in University City Magazine

I just realized I never posted this info back in September. I was featured in the September 2009 issue of 'University City Magazine', published by The Charlotte Observer. The issue was all about the arts with the title, 'The Arts Issue - 7 Artists Shaping Our Community'. The article about my work is on page 30, titled "Capturing Nature". They interviewed me for the article and a photographer came by to take my photo while working in my studio back in early August.

Monday, September 14, 2009

White Oak River (SOLD)

This painting is from a photograph of the White Oak River in Swansboro, North Carolina.

White Oak River - Original Landscape Painting by Paul Keysar

White Oak River
6" x 8"
Oil on Masonite

Friday, August 28, 2009

Beach at Fort Macon (SOLD)

This is the next painting in the 125 series. I painted it on location at the beach at Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, last week. I'm teaching a workshop there and at other locations along the Crystal Coast this fall.

Beach at Fort Macon - Original Landscape Painting by Paul Keysar

Beach at Fort Macon
5 7/8" x 7 5/8"
Oil on Masonite

If you're in the Concord, North Carolina, area tonight, I'm participating in the Concord Art Walk from 6-9 p.m. at the Piedmont Renaissance Center. I'll have paintings from the 125 series, larger works, and prepared panels for artists on display and for purchase. Please stop by if you can.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


This painting was in the recent Realism Found exhibit in Charlotte, NC. I hadn't painted this large in awhile, though I have been meaning to. The painting depicts friends gathering around a bonfire for a summertime party, enjoying the peaceful farm setting under the nighttime sky.

Bonfire - Original Landscape Painting by Paul Keysar

28" x 36"
Oil on Canvas
Please inquire about pricing to or call 704-596-1286.

The painting is framed in a black frame with gold lip, outer dimensions 36x44".

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cucumber Slices (SOLD)

Today's painting in the 125 series.

Cucumber Slices - Original Still Life Painting by Paul Keysar

Cucumber Slices
4" x 4 7/8"
Oil on Masonite

Monday, August 10, 2009

Red, Green, and Black Grapes (SOLD)

I'm having to post these paintings so late at night because they are taking longer to dry. Once I get caught up with things, I hope to get them posted earlier in the day. Here's the next painting in the 125 series.

Red, Green, and Black Grapes - Original Still Life Painting by Paul Keysar

Red, Green, and Black Grapes
5" x 7"
Oil on Masonite

Friday, August 7, 2009

Gray Day at the Lake (SOLD)

Here is the next painting in the 125 series.

Gray Day at the Lake - Original Landscape Painting by Paul Keysar

Gray Day at the Lake
5.25" x 6"
Oil on Masonite

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Garden Tomato (SOLD)

I am happy to be back after finishing a landscape commission in late July. I also just got back in town from telling family and friends that I am going to be a dad! Very excited for that. Today a photographer came by to take some photos of me at work in my studio for an upcoming article in University City Magazine. I'll send a link to that when it comes out. I am actually not certain what the article is about, so we will see. This is the next painting in the 125 series.

Garden Tomato - Original Still Life Painting by Paul Keysar

Garden Tomato
4 7/8" x 5 7/8"
Oil on Masonite

This is another tomato variety in my vegetable garden—a heatwave planted from seed. I love the unusual shape.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Red and Black Plums (SOLD)

This is the next painting in the 125 series. I am currently working on a commission due at the end of this month, so that is my top priority for the next few weeks. I'll continue to create new paintings in this series as time permits. I had hoped to be able to juggle teaching, the commission, and this series, but it wasn't reasonable. I look forward to getting back to this series regularly after the commission.

Red and Black Plums - Original Still Life Painting by Paul Keysar

Red and Black Plums
Oil on Masonite

I started this painting last week, intending to send it out Saturday, but had a hard time getting the plums to look right. The first approach wasn't working, so I had to take a different approach, one that I should have started with from the beginning. My first approach was to paint the colors as I saw them on the surface. The approach that I needed, which ended up working, was to look past the surface light (reflections) to the base color of the plums, and then working wet on wet, to build up the colors, ending with the reflections.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Juliet Tomatoes (SOLD)

I finished this painting yesterday, but cadmium red takes a long time to dry, and it wasn't ready to scan until today. I will be sending out another painting tomorrow. These two juliet tomatoes are from my vegetable garden. I hadn't heard of juliets before this year, and I highly recommend them. They are about the size of a large grape or small roma tomato, and the plant is a high producer.

Juliet Tomatoes - Original Still Life Painting by Paul Keysar

Juliet Tomatoes
Oil on Masonite

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Unfinished Painting

This morning I started working on a painting of a green tomato, something I have been looking forward to painting for a few weeks. Unfortunately, it just wasn't happening. I was about half to three quarters of the way done, and it just wasn't clicking. As an artist, every painting doesn't end in success and satisfaction, and you have to know when to move on to something else. This was today's story. Maybe you will go back to the painting the next day, week, or months later, but sometimes paintings stay stacked in a dark closet, never to see the light of the studio again. I started a new painting of two red juliet tomatoes, but got called away from the studio this afternoon. We'll see how it goes tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tennessee Fourth (SOLD)

I painted this in Elizabethton, Tennessee, on July 4th while visiting with my wife's family. It is so refreshing to get out in the mountains and valleys of western North Carolina and East Tennessee. Such a beautiful landscape right in the backyard.

Tennessee Fourth - Original Landscape Painting by Paul Keysar

Tennessee Fourth
Oil on Masonite

Friday, July 3, 2009

Shells (SOLD)

Shells - Original Still Life Painting by Paul Keysar

5.25" x 6"
Oil on Masonite

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pear with Jar (SOLD)

Pear with Jar - Original Still Life Painting by Paul Keysar

Pear with Jar
Oil on Masonite

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Willow Oak Study (AVAILABLE)

Willow Oak Study - Original Landscape Painting by Paul Keysar

Willow Oak Study
Oil on Masonite
$185 (includes shipping within the U.S.)

To purchase this painting, please email or call 704-596-1286.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Blueberries with Lemon Peel (SOLD)

Blueberries with Lemon Peel - Original Still Life Painting by Paul Keysar

Blueberries with Lemon Peel
Oil on Masonite

Monday, June 29, 2009

Shell (SOLD)

Due to my schedule this week, the paintings for this week will probably go out at night. Here is the new painting in the 125/125 series.

Shell - Original Still Life Painting by Paul Keysar

4.25" x 6"
Oil on Cardboard

Friday, June 26, 2009

Cucumber Accident (SOLD)

This is the first cucumber grown in my garden. I accidentally stepped on it when transplanting, and it took on a deformed shape, and then stopped growing. I like to find fruits and vegetables that have unique characteristics. They are much more interesting to me than what is considered a 'normal' look. I have started to play with color in my paintings. The background in this painting started out green. I then changed it to red to play with its complement, before changing it back to green.

Cucumber Accident - Original Still Life Painting by Paul Keysar

Cucumber Accident
Oil on Masonite

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Field on Contees Wharf Ln (AVAILABLE)

Today was a very hectic day. I'm sorry for the late post. Going forward, I would say, I'll get these out as early in the day as possible, but things come up outside of my control. For instance, this painting took a long time to dry, so I had to wait to scan it in. The Habanero Peppers painting has sold. Tuesdays and Wednesdays paintings are currently available if interested. Here is today's painting:

Field on Contees Wharf Ln - Original Landscape Painting by Paul Keysar

Field on Contees Wharf Ln
Oil on Masonite

This is a plein air study. There's a little bit of glare on the right side of the photo.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cherries with Peach (SOLD)

I must say I had a very difficult time editing the scan of this painting. The light reflecting off of the medium used created glare spots, and for some reason, the color just isn't conveying. The actual painting turned out quite nice, and its background and foreground colors are softer and more even than what the photo is depicting. Photo documentation is probably the most frustrating part of this process.

Cherries with Peach - Original Still Life Painting by Paul Keysar

Cherries with Peach
Oil on Masonite

I am always looking for variety in my paintings, and frequently use what's on hand. This is a combination I haven't painted before and was able to make use of these fruits before they went bad.

ELEMENTary Opening Reception
6/26/09, 6-9 PM - Concord, NC

Please join me at the "ELEMENTary - The Basics: Air, Earth, Fire, Water" opening reception on Friday, June 26, 2009, from 6-9 p.m. at the Cabarrus Arts Council galleries, Historic Cabarrus Courthouse, 65 Union Street S, Concord, NC.

I have 14 works on display, including 7 new oil paintings, one of which is shown below. Hope to see you there!

Shore Line - Original Landscape Painting by Paul Keysar

Shore Line
Oil on Canvas

Below is an invitation to the opening:

The exhibit is on display through August 13, 2009. Regular gallery hours are M-F, 10-4.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cloudy Night (SOLD)

This is the second painting in the 125 series of small paintings.

Cloudy Night - Original Landscape Painting by Paul Keysar

Cloudy Night
Oil on Masonite

In this painting, I wanted to show the coolness of night and the way the light of a full moon plays off of the clouds.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Habanero Peppers (SOLD)

This is the first painting in the 125 series of small paintings.

Habanero Peppers - Original Still Life Painting by Paul Keysar

Habanero Peppers
Oil on Masonite

I was first drawn to paint these peppers due to their delicate, petite nature—a true testament to looks being deceiving, as the habanero is one of the hottest peppers in the world. You won't catch me eating these now that the painting is done. I also wanted to play with the complimentary colors of orange and blue. At first, I had the tablecloth a darker blue, with lighter blue in the background, but the contrast was too strong, so I reversed the foreground and background colors.

For an early preview of tomorrow's painting, please subscribe to my email newsletter (see top right of blog). Thanks!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Watermelon Slice (SOLD)

While you are's one currently available:

Watermelon Slice
Oil on Masonite

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I have finished and turned in all paintings for my second exhibit this summer. I have been working on preparing for the "Realism Found" exhibit (on display through June 30th), and the upcoming "ELEMENTARY: The Basics - Air, Earth, Fire, Water" for the past two months. I am ready to switch focus.

The ELEMENTARY exhibit runs June 22 - August 13, 2009, with an opening reception during the Art Walk on Friday, June 26, 2009, from 6-9 p.m., at the Cabarrus Arts Council, Historic Courthouse, 65 Union Street S, Concord, NC 28026. For more information about this exhibit, please contact the gallery at 704-920-ARTS (2787).

I saw a preview of the exhibit yesterday, and it looks really great! There is a great mix of styles from artists across the region. Please come out to the opening if you can. It won't disappoint.

I'm still working on editing images of the new paintings completed for the two exhibits, so I can show you the new paintings. I created four new paintings for the Realism Found exhibit and seven new paintings for the ELEMENTary exhibit. I'm still working on my website redesign. There's been a lot going on. I'm not posting new information on my website until the redesign is done. In the meantime, look for news on my blog or follow me on Twitter at @paulkeysar.

Monday, June 1, 2009

"Realism Found"
Opening Reception June 5th, 6-9 p.m.

I have 13 pieces on exhibit, including several new, never before seen, pieces. Please come out to the opening if you can. I would love to see you there.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Work in Progress

I am currently working on finishing five paintings for "Realism Found: Charlotte Artists Find New Meaning in an Old Tradition". I have to finish these by Monday to get them photographed and framed prior to next Wednesday's hanging. I'll post some photos of the paintings in the exhibit later next week. The show runs June 2-30, 2009, at The Queen's Gallery, 1212 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC. If you're in town, please come to the opening reception on Friday, June 5 from 6-9 p.m., or the Plaza / Midwood "Krawl" on Saturday, June 13, 2009, from 7-10 p.m. Hope to see you there.

After those paintings are finished, I have several more I have to be finished for another exhibit in June in Concord, NC. Those need to be turned in by June 1st. A very busy week for me lies ahead.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

May 2009 Plein Air Painting Workshops

Field Access, Sotterley Plantation - Original Landscape Painting by Paul Keysar

Upcoming Plein Air Landscape Painting Workshops

Saturday, May 23, 2009 (rain date rescheduled from last week)
McDowell Nature Preserve, Charlotte, NC

1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 30, 2009
Colonel Francis Beatty Park, Matthews, NC

Morning Session: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Afternoon Session: 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
$35 per session, or $70 for both.

To register, please call 704-596-1286 or email

Skill Level: All skill levels.

Medium: Demo will be given in oil. Participants may use the medium of their choice.

Limit: Workshops are limited to eight (8) participants.

Workshops will deal with the problems artists face during the beginning, middle, and end stages of a painting. Through demo, discussion, and critiques, Artist and Instructor Paul Keysar will help participants develop a higher understanding of and gain a greater confidence in painting the landscape in plein air. He will cover topics such as, how to work with your materials, the use of drawing as a foundation in painting, color choices, the importance of a good composition, and more. Paul will start each workshop with a short lecture and discussion time, followed by a demonstration. The remainder of each day will be spent painting the landscape with each student receiving individual guidance as needed.

Upon RSVP, supply lists and directions will be emailed to you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Entering Juried Exhibits is my favorite resource to check for upcoming juried art exhibits.

Where do you look?

Some key things I check before entering a juried exhibit:

1. Who is the judge?
What type of work does the judge like, as evidenced by their own work (if an artist) work they collect (if a collector), or work they exhibit (if a gallery owner). What type of work has the judge selected for acceptance and awards in previous juried exhibits? Do a Google search to find out more.

2. What type of prizes will be awarded?
Will it benefit me to enter? In what ways...if I win and if I don't?

3. Will my work fit in with the style preferred by the show organizers?

4. What are the additional costs of entering?
Aside from the entry fee, are there shipping costs or booth fees? Do I think that my income will outweigh the expenses?

5. What are my chances for increasing exposure to my art?
What type of press coverage does the event receive? How respected is it in the art community? Is this a local exhibit, regional exhibit, or will it attract national attention?

I entered art exhibits for many years without paying attention to most of these details, just assuming that my work would speak for itself. It's not going to make much impact if you are speaking to the wrong audience. Once I started researching and only entering exhibits that matched my goals and interests, my acceptance and award percentage went up significantly. I encourage you to do the same.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Marketing Your Work Online

Every day it seems there are new online websites, blogs, and social networking sites to help you market your work. While I haven't jumped on the Facebook bandwagon yet...still not sure if I will, and I'm not video blogging (or vlogging) video camera, there are a few blogs I consistently follow. provides articles from an artist's perspective on topics such as search engine optimization tips, art tutorials, marketing tips, reviews of various products, and more. Ways for you to interact are: submit an article you have written for a chance to be published on the site, and suggest that your work be reviewed as the featured artist of the week. My work was featured as the September 5, 2007, featured artist of the week.

Gurney Journey is a must read daily weblog from James Gurney. It contains a wealth of information for all artists, and this is the one site I check every day.

Alyson B. Stanfield has a blog and produces a weekly e-newsletter with tips to help artist's market their work and stay organized, so they can spend more time in the studio. She also has a book called I'd Rather Be in the Studio!.

There are many other sites and blogs out there. Find the ones you like and leave comments to let the authors know when they have provided helpful information and if you have information that may be helpful to others. What are your favorite sites? What sites have helped you most?

If you are on twitter, follow artists_wife for insight on what it's like to be married to an artist, plus news about my work that doesn't always make it to my blog. Twitter is an easy way to share news and insight into your work without taking up a lot of your time.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sketch for Autumn Rain (Available for Purchase)

Sketch for Autumn Rain - Original Graphite Drawing by Paul Keysar

Sketch for Autumn Rain
4 7/8" x 4 7/8" (drawing size)
9 13/16" x 9 13/16" (mat size)
Graphite on Paper
© 2007

This would look great paired with Cattle in Winter. If interested in purchasing, please email me at or call 704-596-1286.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Art Leagues and Critiques

I just returned from a dinner/social/critique session with the Lake Norman Art League. I joined this Art League (and later a couple others) shortly after moving to Charlotte from Maryland. This was a great way to meet people with similar interests and get plugged into the local arts community. If you do not participate in a local art group, I encourage you to search for ones in your area and attend a couple meetings and exhibits to see if you would fit in. Benefits include connecting with fellow artists, participating in exhibits, networking, finding out about local events and having an outlet to help market your own, plus many more.

We had a critique session tonight. Each person could bring one work, give a brief introduction of themselves and the piece, and receive helpful feedback from fellow artists. Many commented they had never stepped back far enough from their piece and were seeing things in a new perspective. Others had not reflected on the impact matting and framing can have on a piece. It is important in every artist's growth to seek out feedback from other artists.

If you don't have an art league or critique sessions in your area, I encourage you to help get them started. Get involved in your local arts community in whatever way you can. Make your voice and interests heard. I did not participate much after college when I lived in Virginia and Maryland and the contrast between then and now is abundantly clear.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

New Painting Finished
View from Quiet Waters Park (SOLD)

View from Quiet Waters Park - Original Landscape Painting by Paul Keysar

View from Quiet Waters Park
8" x 10"
Oil on Canvas
© 2008

I finished this painting a few months ago, but have not posted it to my website yet. The view is looking out on the South River from Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, Maryland.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Spring Classes and Workshops

I am teaching several oil painting classes and plein air painting workshops in the Charlotte, NC, area this spring, as well as a wood cut workshop. I am also available for private lessons for individuals or small groups. View a list of current and upcoming classes and workshops I am teaching. For more information, please email me at or call 704-596-1286.

I am also planning 3- and 5-day plein air painting workshops at Emerald Isle and the Crystal Coast of North Carolina. Projected dates are in late-September and October. More details to be announced soon. There is also the possibility of a 3-day workshop this spring. If interested, please let me know, and I will email you the details when available. Thanks!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Google Image Search

Just a note: If you found my blog by doing a Google Image Search, I recently removed all old posts featuring the miniature paintings I completed in 2007. Almost all of these have been sold, and I am taking a new direction with my blog. A selection of these paintings will be on my website,, in the portfolio of past work, when the site gets relaunched in a couple of weeks. I'm also looking at publishing a book featuring my small works sometime in the future. Until then, the image links should still work if they are hosted on my website server.


Saturday, February 28, 2009

Redesigning my Website

I am currently working on redesigning my website and hope to have it up in the next couple of weeks. Until then, I am not updating it with new content. The new website will have a new look and new features. I will no longer have a news page on my website. All news will be posted to my blog.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Linen versus Canvas

I received a comment from Ellen who asks, "I see that you paint on linen. I have only used canvas. What is this linen all about, and can I buy it in an art supply store?"

You can buy linen in the same forms as you would buy canvas—primed or unprimed, pre-stretched, by the yard, or in rolls. I usually buy mine from Dick Blick, and most major art suppliers carry a wide selection. I always buy primed linen or canvas to save time.

Aside from what you are willing to spend, probably two of the most important factors to consider when purchasing linen or canvas is the weight and the texture. There are light to heavy weights and extra-fine to large grain textures. I am most concerned with the texture, and I prefer extra fine because I like the smoothness and the way it takes the paint. I am still searching for a suitable linen or canvas with a texture I enjoy and a price I am willing to pay.

Canvas is usually made of cotton. Linen comes from the flax plant. Cotton is more readily available and can be cheaper to manufacture into canvas, whereas the flax plant grows best in Belgium and France and takes more resources to produce. The fiber strength is stronger in linen, and linen is better for archival purposes.

All said, I think linen looks better than canvas, and there are affordable linens out there. You just have to do some research, look at some samples if possible, and figure out what will work best for you.

What type of linen or canvas to you prefer? Please leave a comment...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cattle in Winter (Available for Purchase)

Cattle in Winter, Original Graphite Drawing by Paul Keysar

Cattle in Winter
5" x 5" (drawing size)
9 7/8" x 9 7/8" (mat size)
Graphite on Paper
© 2007

I will be posting one drawing for sale per week. I'm starting with a few drawings I have had hidden away in my sketchbook. If interested in purchasing, please email me at or call 704-596-1286.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A New Year, A New Blog Format

Welcome to 2009! Hard to believe February is almost gone. I did not do a good job at keeping up with my blog last year or email newsletters. It's easy to let things get away from you if you get out of the habit of doing them. I have been evaluating things and coming up with a plan to be better organized this year.

I have also been evaluating my goals for my art, and will be starting a couple new series of paintings this year. Along with a new direction in my art, I decided I needed an updated website and blog. My wife is working on a website redesign of, and has just finished updating this blog, now titled "Working Through Art".

I decided to call it "Working Through Art" for two reasons. 1. My occupation is an artist. 2. I don't have this artist life figured out yet, and I will share some of my experiences with you through my blog. I hope writing about my experiences helps me work through some things and gives you some insight into what it is like to be an artist. I also hope to encourage other artists who might be going through some of the same issues.

I value your comments and welcome your questions. Please feel free to leave a comment, send me an email, or give me a call (studio - 704.596.1286). I'll do my best to get back to you in a timely manner.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Finding a Balance

Here's a struggle that I am constantly facing. I would like to have a body of work to approach galleries with, to participate in solo or group exhibitions, and to market to collectors. Galleries usually want a minimum of 15-20 paintings when reviewing new artists. You need a good number of paintings to be in an exhibition. And what I have learned in the past year, is that it is important to create series of work. I have several ideas for a few series of paintings that I am working on now. In opposition to that, is the need for immediate income.

Art is a very expensive profession. I have three tubes of paint that I am out of, and they cost about $120 total. Not many people realize the supply cost that goes into creating a painting. I go through almost a set of brushes per large-size painting. I prefer linen to canvas. Then, there are the obligatory monthly bills—the cost of living. The immediate need for income surpasses the need to build up a body of work. I feel like I am caught in a spin cycle, trying to fight my way back on top of the water.

To fulfill my immediate monetary needs, I take commissions, I sell my work to interested buyers, and I teach. I like doing all three. Commissions are important because you know that the work you are creating is already spoken for, with a partial deposit. Direct sales are the goal of every artist. There is nothing more satifying for an artist than to create a piece of work and have someone fall in love with it and claim it as their own. I also enjoy encouraging beginning artists in the foundations of painting, helping them grow in their understanding and skill.

However, I have recognized that to make it to the next level, I need to do more. I need a great body of work that sets me apart in the crowd. So, I am trying to figure out how to do it all. I think it is important to set goals and revisit them daily. What shows do I want to enter this year? What kind of advertising do I want to do? In what galleries would I love to be accepted? I guess I am recognizing the need for a business plan. Artist's don't like to think about business much because it leeches away the creativity. I am blessed to have a wife who helps me with the business side. I don't know how people like James Gurney do as much as they do, but it is encouraging.

I must find that balance between immediate need and future goal. I must document my goals on paper and revisit them daily to keep myself on track. I'll let you know my progress...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Work Featured in PAFA Alumni Exhibit

Two of my paintings, Green and Cattle at the Watering Hole, were selected by Juror David R. Brigham, Ph.D., the Edna S. Tuttleman Museum Director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), for exhibit in the PAFA Juried Alumni Exhibition 2008.

The exhibit runs through July 27, 2008, in Gallery 128, 128 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA, on the first floor of the Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is Free.

This special exhibition features 74 graduates of the Academy, and all artwork is for sale. Twenty-percent of all artwork sold will benefit the Alumni Annual Fund of the Academy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Recent Happenings

I just returned from a very eventful trip up to Maryland. The landscape painting workshop at Belle Haven Park in Alexandria, Virginia (June 21-22) went really well. I will be planning another workshop in the DC area for early August.

The next workshop I will be teaching will be July 12-13, 2008, in southwest Charlotte, North Carolina, at the McDowell Nature Preserve. This workshop is a plein air landscape painting workshop overlooking Lake Wylie. It is from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. each day and is limited to eight (8) participants. Please call 704-596-1286 or email me if you would like to take this workshop or would like to be notified of future workshops or classes in the MD/VA/DC or Charlotte areas.

I recently completed two commissions for a client in DC.
Moving to the Shade - Original Realism Landscape Painting by Paul Keysar

Moving to the Shade
10" x 14"
Oil on Linen
© 2008

Black Angus Grazing in the Countryside - Original Realism Landscape Painting by Paul Keysar

Black Angus Grazing in the Countryside
10" x 14"
Oil on Linen
© 2008

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

English Pointer painting featured in
Garden & Gun Magazine

English Pointer - Realism Painting by Paul Keysar

My painting, English Pointer, is featured in the article "Good Dog" in the January/February 2008 issue of Garden & Gun Magazine.

Garden and Gun Magazine is a 21st Century Southern lifestyle magazine, which launched in early 2007. It is carried in major retailers. If you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, I encourage you to give it a read. The name drew me to pick up the first issue last spring, and I quite enjoy it.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

I cannot believe how quickly the last third of 2007 went. Months felt like weeks and weeks, days. I wanted to thank everyone who has supported, encouraged, or shown an interest in my work and my life over the past year.

2007 was a year of many changes for me. I moved from Maryland to Concord, NC, in January, a temporary residence while house hunting. In March, I joined the Lake Norman Art League and started my first "miniature" paintings. In April, I decided to start this blog, and because of a lack of work space, took up the practice of completing several miniature paintings a week (works which are all posted on this blog). In May, I purchased and moved into my first home in Charlotte, NC. June and July were months of transition as I became adjusted to my new work space and for the first time, a somewhat settled life.

During the summer, my wife and I were asked to serve on the Board of Officers for the Lake Norman Art League. As summer drew to a close, I began to focus more on my larger work, phasing out work on miniature paintings. In September, I joined the Mooresville Artist Guild to become more involved in the local art community. I participated in several shows during the fall and received recognition for several different works. Moreover, I started to turn my attention back to figurative study and work, as I intend to incorporate the figure into my landscapes more. Two books that have proved to be a valuable resource are Classical Drawing Atelier - A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice by Juliette Artistides, Watson-Guptill, 2006; and The Artist's Complete Guide to Figure Drawing: A Contemporary Perspective on the Classical Tradition by Anthony Ryder, Watson-Guptill, 1999.

Looking Ahead to 2008: I have thought about getting back to teaching for some time now, and in early January, I will be starting a Long Pose Figure Drawing Class held at the Mooresville Artist Guild. My painting, English Pointer, will appear in the January/February 2008 issue of Garden and Gun Magazine, as part of the feature titled "Good Dog." Look for that to hit newsstands sometime in mid-January 2008. I have many plans and goals for 2008. I hope you will check in from time to time to read more about what's happening in my life as an artist and to view newly completed paintings and other works. If you would like to start receiving my e-Newsletter with information on new works for sale and other news, please send an email to I send out newsletters approximately once per month.

I wish you all a happy, healthy, and successful 2008! May it be your best year yet.


Monday, December 31, 2007


Moonrise Over the Marsh - Traditional Realism Landscape by Paul KeysarI will post some more of my latest work soon. Things have been pretty hectic. Since my last post, I finished the painting Moonrise Over the Marsh (shown at left). I also completed a couple of commissions and am working on a couple more.

If you would like more information about commissioning a painting, please email me at, or call (704) 596-1286.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Latest Works

Cast Shadows - Original 8 x 10 inch, Oil on Canvas by Paul Keysar

Cast Shadows
8" x 10"
Oil on Canvas
© 2007

Green - Original 20 x 16 inch, Oil on Canvas by Paul Keysar

20" x 16"
Oil on Canvas
© 2007

Well, it is hard to believe September has gone by so quickly. I know many are wondering about the paintings I have been working on for the past several months. I finished two larger paintings this past week. I entered several pieces into fall exhibits for two local artist leagues today. I always have something on the easel each day. Shown here are my latest works.

I appreciate your interest in my work. If you would like to receive news regarding my latest works and other news, please sign up for my email newsletter list by following the link to the form at the top right, or send an email to

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Featured Artist on

Last week, I submitted information about my work to the website in hopes of being reviewed. Each week, a new artist is featured on the EE Reviews section of the website. I am happy to announce that my work was selected for review, and I am the featured artist for September 5, 2007. Please take a moment to read the article, which is written entirely from the perspective of the site owner. His interpretation of my work is spot on with what I hoped to convey in the three paintings depicted, and that of my work in general. In addition, I encourage you to browse the rest of his website, which proves to be a valuable resource for artists and art lovers. (Read the full article by clicking this link...)