Paul Gottardo

Growing up in South Florida I developed an appreciation of the natural beauty of the coastal environment.  As a youngster I learned to fish, surf, gather oysters and hunt.  My Mother was a teacher and an artist.  She saw that I wanted to paint pictures and she led me along in a very relaxed kind of way.  When I first saw the paintings of Beanie Backus, her good friend, I was amazed!  I’m still amazed to this day.  All I wanted to do was be able to come close to him.  I knew it wasn’t easy.  The Highwaymen had the same feelings.  All in all the impression Backus had on us was strong and it lasted forever.  Now that I’m getting older and realize that my art is part of my life I want to push my limits and constantly improve.  My love of wood carving has been positively affected by the fact that I have a tree service and an unlimited supply of carving wood. Being an ISA certified arborist, I’ve really discovered the beauty of wood and trees.  I appreciate the living  trees and camping under their awesome canopies.  If I have to cut them down I try to make use of them.  Due to the weather in South Florida it’s nice to do the wood carving in the cooler months and hide in the AC during the summer for oil painting.  However, nothing is off the plate when the urge takes over!