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New York artist Paul Hunter knows how to use art to brighten a room—and his unique metal foil landscapes are just thing to do it.

Preparing a canvas is important for most artists, but Paul takes it a step further. Beyond applying gesso (primer) to the canvas, he also takes weeks to incorporate paper thin, metal leaf into the surface.

Precious metals such as bronze, aluminum, gold and white gold are painstakingly adhered to the canvas to create a distinctive backdrop for his paintings.

And what does one paint on an already exceptional canvas?

Just simple, beautiful landscapes in acrylic paint. Paul chooses pure, natural forms to showcase his metals while still creating exquisite images.

Take a look at this first landscape:

Trees on Horizon

Paul uses gold and bronze foil to emphasize his distinct horizon line, and separates the two metals with a stand of dark trees.

One might think that the reflection of those trees indicates a representational body of water below them. . . but it could also be that they are simply being reflected in the precious metal itself.

In this next painting, Paul uses aluminum leaf, which lends a misty gray ambiance to the piece. It’s almost as if a curtain of fog was draped over the entire landscape.


Of course, Paul’s talent as a painter is also seen in his use of simple black landforms to create space and depth. The dark foreground and ever-lighter hills are quite successful at creating (and containing) that beautiful sea of silver.

In this final piece, Paul simply draws us into the sky. A luminescent gold background adds warmth and life to the birds above—and that subtle gradient of light falling across the canvas brings a convincing sense of movement to the flock.


Please visit Paul’s website to experience more of his precious metal paintings.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

Today's post is Part 1 of EmptyEasel's "Holiday Artwork Series." :) If you have a few minutes today, I'd encourage you to visit these artists' websites and take a look around. Then check back tomorrow for more great winter artwork!

Linda Tieu

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