About the Artist

Paul Chase

When you're a fanatic about the beauty and style of guitars, in all their various forms, you can't get enough of them. But what happens when an accomplished fine art painter is obsessed with guitars? Looking at the work of Paul Chase will answer that question...in a big way.
Jeffery Luhn Guitar Kulture TV

Paul Chase Turns the Term 'Guitar Art' Inside Out...Just when you think there is nothing new under the sun... well, something new breaks upon the horizon. In this case, it is artist Paul Chase's version of the guitar as art. He has taken the phrase literally, by sawing up and embedding guitars into the surface of his painted works as if they were a musical watermark upon the canvas.
Howie Doyle, Six String.com magazine
USA Guitar by Paul Chase at www.graphicguitars.com
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The definition...
graph-ic (graf'ik), adj. belonging to painting or drawing, picturesque.

gui-tar (gi-tar'), n. a musical instrument of the lute family, usually with six strings which are plucked or strummed with the fingers or a plectrum.

The artist/guitarist Paul Chase has been playing the guitar for over 20 years and he has been an artist forever. It has been a process of development in recent years combining the two to make music with art. Beginning with a few old guitars and some paint, Paul would create on the surface of the guitar bodies, neck and headstock. He then experimented with a few total body designs. The guitars were not meant to be playable, only decorative. With a love for the sculptural aesthetics of the guitar body and a background in the arts, Paul continued to perfect the guitar graphics. Paul has a bachelors degree in Art, a Masters degree in Education/Communication, has been a freelance illustrator for years, and is currently a commercial art/photography instructor in a vocational/technical center. He is also a distant (very) relative of the American Artist Georgia O'Keefe. Perhaps some of her style can be found in the close-up guitar paintings that began to flow into existence about a year ago. Another powerful influence came from the book on Ferrington guitars. Danny Ferrington creates incredible guitars! The graphic design of the book is outstanding! The layout was put together by the graphic design studio of Skolos/Wedell, and each page is a poster of guitar beauty featuring the collection of Scott Chinery. With unlimited guitar body styles and colors there are even more possible design and guitar combinations available in "graphicguitars." Each finished painting includes an "embedded" guitar creating a three- dimensional, sound producing work of art.

graphicguitars
are hand painted and meant to look "hand painted" by various application of paints. The process evolved from painting the guitar itself to painting a panel with the guitar attached. Part of the vision came from watching a TNN program about the life and home of Gary Chapman. As the camera followed Gary around his home Paul noticed the paintings on the walls of the large home. There were lots of walls without paintings. There were no paintings of guitars. Gary Chapman has a guitar room with hundreds of guitars in a rack and a recording studio in the remodeled barn. There was a need for large format guitar graphics, graphicguitars!

Paul combined an old guitar and a 48inch X 36inch panel with a coat of white paint. He then projected slides of his artwork over the panel to create the beginning of graphicguitars. The paintings were of various landscapes and still-life subject matter but were stunning over the guitars. The next phase is history as he began to paint guitar bodies and headstocks on panels with actual guitars embedded in the surface. The first paintings were, of course, trial and error. Some repainting was necessary. Techniques were tried and some failed.

The very first success was the red strap. This painting is 48x32 and features a Taylor type concert cutaway with a metallic red guitar strap flowing over the body and creating a smooth curve into the actual acoustic guitar. It was/is very commanding in any environment. The frame adds to the overall graphic design by using the same paint as the red strap. Speaking of frames; the frames have become as innovative as the paintings themselves. Paul has successfully incorporated the frames into dramatic paintings as well, enhancing the very character of the overall graphicguitars fine art painting. An effort is consciously made to draw the viewer into the painting by making the frame musical with the colors of the guitars.

One of the most captivating graphicguitars is the 48x38 classicalpastels which was painted with pastels over a classical guitar. The theme depicts the touch of a rose and music sheet placed casually on the surface of the guitar... after a great concert! Another innovative painting is the harlequin12. Painted with harlequin paint, it actually changes color as the viewer walks by. Each environment would create a totally original work of art from the same composition.

Paul seeks to create something new and fresh with each graphicguitars composition. Custom orders are welcome. Paul has recently started a series of smaller format graphicguitars fine art, two-dimensional designs. Approximately 20x30, these works of art will be various media and art techniques and, of course, innovative graphic designs of guitars. Entering into the world of the "jazz" guitar, Paul has been working on a series of archtop guitar paintings. The archtop guitar has a unique design and presents the artists many beautiful compositions. Currently he is doing a painting for Bob Benedetto, one of the leading archtop guitar makers. www.benedetto-guitars.com. The painting USAguitar was licensed by MEL BAY Publications for a fingerstyle guitar book called American Treasures by Phillip Lester and is slated for worldwide distribution. Posters of the USAguitar may be available by summer of 2002. High quality photographic prints are availabe in various sizes by spcial order. Posters of graphicguitars will be available sometime in the near future and articles about the paintings are already slated for various guitar/music magazines and online art/music and guitar magazines.

The adventures of Pick N' Strum is now a regular feature of Guitar Digest and was created by Paul. It depicts two guitars (they have faces, hands and feet, and can talk) and their adventures in Guitarworld... going to concerts, guitar shops, guitar builders, and doing interviews with guitarists in a humorous yet informative way. Pick N' Strum can also be seen on www.graphicguitars.com along with all the guitar paintings.
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Please Note: Some of the images shown in Guitar Chasers Who Is It? gallery have been intentionally reduced in quality to quicken loading time. To see these pics (and more) in their highest quality display, please visit Paul's website: Graphic Guitars. Also, many of the smaller pics are actually just a portion of the original work. Images used by permission.