paul norman pedersen

I am the egg man’s son.  My father came to this country from Denmark in the 1920’s.  He made a living delivering butter and eggs.  The tools of his modest trade were salt glazed crocks in which he packed butter, and an old tin coffee can with a light bulb inside which he used to candle the eggs.  He was a meticulous man who believed in the quality of one’s product as well as making something from nothing.  As an artist, I too, adhere to this philosophy.  My art is about quality.  My tin can is a canvas and a brush.  With it, I make something from nothing.  I am the egg man’s son.

I was raised in a blue-collar town near Detroit, Michigan and spent my summer months on my uncle’s farm.  It was there that I developed a deep and abiding respect for nature.  After high school, I worked in the auto factories to finance my art education.  While a young student at the “Society of Arts and Crafts”, now the College for Creative Studies , in Detroit, I took a job as the morning janitor.  I have held a number of various jobs from which I have acquired a treasure trove of life experiences.  I am the guy that mowed your lawn, shoveled your snow and raked your leaves.  I painted your house, I built your cars, moved your gravel and poured your cement.  I was a welder of heavy machinery and a retail shop owner.  I delivered your flowers and delivered your mail. All of these life experiences and more are reflected in my art.  I am a blue-collar artist.

A painting is composed of four interrelated levels of content:  physical materials, technique, form, and cognitive meaning.

My materials are of the highest quality.  I work primarily in oils and acrylics.  For support I use stretched canvas or linen, as well as hardboard.  For oil mediums I use venetian turps, stand oil, linseed oil, odorless turps, and liquin.

As for technique, depending on what I’m trying to achieve I may choose direct painting/alla prima with the intention to complete the painting in one session or I may choose indirect painting, which is slower and more deliberate involving numerous layers of paint. 

The building blocks that form the visual elements of my paintings are a result of an interlocking combination of colors, shapes, values, texture and lines.  My intention is to place these elements in a composition that fills a space beautifully.

To relay the cognitive meaning of my work I try to encourage the viewer to make a distinction between the subject matter and content both intellectually and emotionally.


So why do I paint? I paint to move the human heart.