Paul Jorgensen was born in 1947 in Tofino, and raised in Nanaimo, British Columbia. After graduating from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in the early 1970s, he spent some time travelling in Europe, the influence of the Tuscan landscape clearly evident in his artwork. Over the next 30 years Jorgensen worked at everything from running a tropical plant store to owning a restaurant, painting after hours. Along the way, support and mentorship came from fellow mid-Island artists, Grant Leier and Nixie Barton. Leier offered encouragement and put Jorgensen in touch with the West End Gallery, who sold the first three paintings he brought to their Victoria gallery within a week. Jorgensen is now happy and humbled to be painting fulltime, considering himself an “overnight success that took 55 years”. Collectors appreciate the freshness of his artwork with it's winning combination of fantasy, colour, and confidence.
The whimsical, funky, unusual worlds created by Jorgensen are full of questions, appealing to the child within. His use of bright tropical colours, rudimentary shading, twisted houses, and stretched trees exude a magical sense of the sublime, disguising the level of expertise and training used to create it. His unique birds-eye point of view push houses and pull trees into a fun-house carnival of colour and shapes, telling a story by creating new perspectives we normally don’t see. In many of his artworks, the entire surface is filled to overflowing with an interlocking puzzle of forms and shapes. Some of these shapes add visual energy and focus, while others are repeated, making patterns that resemble ploughed fields, winding pathways, and neatly planted gardens. Pattern, colour, and texture combine to create a fanciful universe, our eyes rejoicing in the exploration of this magical kingdom. Paul Jorgensen’s artwork has been available for purchase at the West End Gallery since 2001.
"My paintings are not intended to be a serious view of the world. I like work that involves imagination and technique, and that suggests stories. I just want to make people happy looking at my paintings." - Paul Jorgensen