Artist Paul, 64
I first began oil painting in 1978, shortly after I was discharged from the army at the end of 1977. I then took a couple of classes at Fullerton Community College. My painting instructor told me to paint whatever I felt like painting, however I felt like painting it. I was hooked. Then I met a girl, fell in love and was persuaded to leave painting behind. I was told by my new In-laws “No one makes a living painting.” So I worked in sales and left painting behind. Many years later, in 2010, I attended a painting class at San Quentin, taught by Patrick Maloney. I discovered that my life wasn’t quite over. Pat had the same teaching philosophy as my first instructor. For me, it clicked. Since I do not have the benefit of viewing things in the real world then painting them, I rely on my imagination. Sometimes I use photo references to guide me. I have painted recreations of some of the great masters: Vermeer, Monet, Marguerite and others. I change them slightly to make them my own interpretation. I am ashamed to be known as a convicted murderer who paints. That’s why I don’t promote my work. But beauty often grows out of ugliness.