LAS CRUCES — Artist Paul Maxwell has continued to put his talent to good use during the pandemic, creating paintings that are now on display at the Our Neighborhood Gallery in his Picacho Hills home.
Eight of those paintings created during the pandemic will now be auctioned off to raise money for the Roadrunner Food Bank in Las Cruces.
The paintings include original pieces and reproductions of paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet.
“It all started when we all started staying home in March. A lot of stuff was put on hold, including a few art exhibits that I had on hold at that time,” Maxwell said. “I saw an article about people doing chalk drawings, and I thought maybe I could do something like that and I walked out and realized I didn’t have a sidewalk. So, I thought I’d paint it on the wall because I have an adobe house; it turns out it’s a stone wall.”
It was then that Maxwell had the idea of painting on canvases and displaying them in his garden.
“I ended up doing eight. I finished the last one last week and I’m running out of space in front of the house,” Maxwell said. “I always wanted that in the end I would sell the paintings and give the money away.”
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Maxwell said he’s inspired by people walking by and telling him what to paint.
“It’s part of the process. I was asking people what they wanted me to paint and inviting them to choose flowers in a vase, lilies in a field, seascapes, whatever,” Maxwell said. “Basically most of what I painted was based on feedback from people passing by. I contacted those people and let them know the paintings were for sale.”
Maxwell said he was having fun in quarantine and encouraging the community to get involved.
“One of the paintings is of a dog. We held a dog portrait contest in the neighborhood. I invited neighbors to send me photos, I made a random drawing and I drew a picture of this dog,” Maxwell said. “Lucille is a dog that was chosen by my dog, Scout. We had a blind drawing with paper plates, numbers and dog biscuits, and he chose my neighbor’s dog, Lucille. The painting is part of this auction.”
Maxwell said friends, neighbors and local and out-of-town residents are invited to participate and bid on the paintings. Bids can be made in person, by email or by text. A minimum opening bid of $200 is requested with a minimum of $10 higher bids requested on each coin.
Bids and overbids will be displayed on each gallery board, and current counts will be published on Maxwell’s website, maxnewmexart.com. Bidders will also be notified by email or SMS as the auction progresses.
Our neighborhood gallery is at 6648 Vista Hermosa. For more information, email Maxwell at [email protected] or visit maxnewmexart.com