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San Clemente Journal

Artist Paul Bond - Life is But a Dream

Oct 13, 2021 12:57PM ● By Donna Bond, M.A.

The Waterhouse_30 x 40_Oil_Paul Bond

by Donna Bond M.A. 

What if you could look at the world and add in any notion of imagination to alter the picture you’re seeing? What if you could incorporate elements of magic to make the world a dreamier place? What if you were able to change your reality just by seeing things differently? What if you discovered a guy who does this all day long? 

 Meet Paul Bond, who creates worlds where the art of dreaming and reality come together as one. Oil painter, father, husband, lifelong surfer and overall good citizen, Paul stepped into the life of a full-time artist in 2011, when his date (who soon became his wife) saw a pile of paintings stacked up against a wall and asked, “what is this?”

Paul, who was working in real estate at the time, replied that it was something he just did in his spare time. As his match date more fully immersed herself into these dreamlike images, she asked him a life altering question: “If you can do THIS, why are you not doing this? This is a gift to the world!” Shortly thereafter, Bond made the decision (as a gift to himself and for the world) to pursue his craft and dedicate to life as a profession fine artist. 

Can you hear the angels sing?
Paul Bond’s art draws from the Latin American genre of Magic Realism, where symbolic, surreal, and fantastic elements blend with realistic atmospheres to unveil a world where anything is possible. Paul shares the following about his work:

“My early training as a graphic and commercial artist and illustrator taught me to take a book or campaign concept for example, and distill it into a single visual snapshot. Likewise, as I move through what to me is a heartbreakingly beautiful world, I’m inspired to take those experiences and create vignettes that become new, grander statements on what I choose to reflect back into the world. The goal being to deepen my own life experience and to stir the souls of my fellow travelers.”

Bond, who describes his work as allegorical fairytales for adults, is equally as talented a writer, and decided early on to give the viewer a more in-depth experience of his art. He crafts beautiful insights into the metaphoric symbolism through fictional storylines, descriptions and poems, inviting the reader to go deeper and question what first meets the eye - looking beyond how things may appear on the surface. 

At the time Paul made the decision to share these narratives, he was pushing against a fine art world that typically looked down upon artists revealing their insights to the viewer. He’s since discovered that the written portion of the fairytales he creates are often what “seals the deal.” It is the connection made in the viewer’s heart that bonds them to the visual art and they decide in an instant that acquisition is the only option. When seeing Bond’ s exhibits or reading his book, people laugh, cry and literally fall in love. They fall In love with life, with the mystery and magic of the universe, with the part of themselves that he reflects back in his work. 

The subject matter for this artist incorporates landscape, portrait and still lives. Yet through the language of magic realism and allegory, they come to life in a boundless new expression of environmental, philosophical, psychological, and spiritual associations.

His ever-popular stacked stones were born from his desire to depict balance in a chaotic world. Other works address the concepts of death, childhood, innocence, and our connection (or lack of) with the natural world. Animals often take the place of people. Women lifting off the earth via a floating umbrella raise the spirit and remind us of our inherent nature as magical beings. An oversized bouquet of roses stuffed into the top of a cathedral, a monkey floating on a buoy at sea, or maybe a cat dressed up like an aristocrat - all invoke wonder and a deep sense of whimsy. I think Bond might be trying to remind us to not take it all so seriously.  

His match date, who is now his life-partner, lover and wife, has served as a model in many of his works. These visual love letters have been shared with the world as Bond openly expresses his love for her through himself as the instrument working the brush. If you ask her, she’ll say, “I’m a cheap model.” She has been featured stranded on an island of rocks without baggage in the middle of the ocean, swinging on a swing above the clouds, perched atop a giant silver pearl, depicted as the sanctuary of a eucalyptus tree, as an angel readying herself for physical birth, a sleeper awakening from a dream, and most ironically, checking the weather while perched on a see-saw in the sky counterbalanced by a flock of doves.

This summer marks the 11th consecutive year that Paul exhibits at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters. One of the nation's oldest and most highly acclaimed juried fine art shows, this beautiful outdoor venue which runs from July 5th to September 3rd, has offered a breathtaking showcase for artists and collectors for more than 85 years. 

Bond’s award-winning art has been featured in galleries and museums, including the Gateway Museum and the San Diego Art Institute. His paintings are in private collections worldwide, and his art is licensed for greeting cards, calendars and collector-quality wooden puzzles. Corporate collections include Fox, Warner Bros and NBC Studios, Royal Caribbean International, Scripps Hospital, Marriott Hotels, Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, as well as on sets for the series “This Is Us” and “Lucifer.” 

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Paul currently shares his time between a home in Costa Rica and his home and studio in San Clemente, where he lives with two feisty cats and his wife, Life/Business Coach and Transformational Consultant Donna. 

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