artistic talent from Leigh on sea

PUBLISHED: 12:31 11 November 2010 | UPDATED: 18:08 20 February 2013

Michael Caine

Michael Caine

The Paul Karslake Fine Art Gallery in Leigh on Sea is home to one of the county's most precocious artistic talents. Caroline Foster spoke to the man behind the name

Paul Karslake was born in Basildon in 1958 to the renowned architectural model maker, Michael Karslake. From an impressionable young age, Paul helped his dad model making and says he learnt at lot about business ethics, form and perspective attributes so lacking in many of todays working artists. He also used this grounding to help with his school art projects, exam results, SEEVIC and finally a place at Southend College of Art and Technology.

After college, Paul joined his father in his business and assisted on many famous architecturally iconic projects such as the Grade II building Centre Point on Londons Oxford Street and the

Thames Barrier, but very quickly Paul realised this wasnt the career he was looking for. In 1977 he left England with the ambition to meet Salvador Dali, an artist he much admired since finding an art book on the pavement as he climbed off a school bus. Having been granted a memorable audience with the great man, Paul travelled on to the US for what he planned to be a three-week holiday. He stayed four years after managing to secure work with Los Angeles Art Studios, CBS Television and Disney with whom, years later, he was to work on EuroDisney.
Early in the 1980s Paul came back to England and formed a company, The Art House, to control his ever-expanding business of airbrushing designs on scooters, particularly Lambrettas, and other commercial, fine art and art teaching interests. In 1990 Paul was commissioned by the Wiggins Group Plc to produce a 650ft long artwork hoarding for its South Quay in London Docklands for which he was awarded The Evening Standard Environmental Award. In the same year Paul was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art (FRSA).
In 2001, the Paul Karslake Fine Art Gallery and studio was opened in Leigh on Sea from where, over the past nine years, Pauls artistic talents have further brought him worldwide recognition. His air-brush and hand-brushed paintings of iconic and popular figures, from the likes of The Rolling Stones to Jonny Depp, are hanging in the homes of the famous and infamous and form part of many private collections.

Pauls work is always large scale with surprisingly intricate detail in spite of the subject matter, or in fact the canvas. Paul is equally renowned for air-brush painting on vehicles, from coaches and scooters to cars and aeroplanes, and his own Mercedes has not escaped his hand with a large portrait of Heath Ledger (as the Joker) across the bonnet.
Pauls CV is an almost endless list of solo exhibitions and private commissions while he still regularly works for television and film companies producing promotional art pieces. His latest work was for the launch on DVD of Harry Brown, Sir Michael Caines new film, and a Spartacus painting commissioned by Sky Bravo television for its new Gladiator series launched in May of this year.
Over the years Paul has submitted paintings for various charity fundraising events and has now raised more than 120,000, he is also very passionate about sharing and explaining his skills, and takes an active part in supporting children wishing to do work experience, tutors at schools and demonstrations at art groups. In 2005, The Karslake Centre of Art opened at The Cornelius Vermuyden School and Arts College, on Canvey Island.

Get in touch

The Paul Karslake Fine Art Gallery
5 Carlton Drive
Leigh on Sea
01702 480884


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