Retired professor to showcase watercolor, acrylic paintings at Art on the Mall

July 22, 2014 | Events, Features, UToday, Medicine and Life Sciences
By Jessica LeMire

Whether capturing the autumnal golden scene of Mallard Lake in Oak Openings Preserve Metropark or showcasing a rustic barn beneath a blue country sky, Dr. Paul Brand prefers the elusive nature of watercolor.

“July 4, Flowers at the Toledo Botanical Garden,” acrylic, by Dr. Paul Brand

“July 4, Flowers at the Toledo Botanical Garden,” acrylic, by Dr. Paul Brand

“I like watercolor because of the spontaneity and every brush mark shows. It’s a little bit like calligraphy,” he said.

The UT associate professor emeritus of physiology and pharmacology was animated and excited to talk art.

“Watercolor is the most difficult medium,” Brand said. “You’re trying to control water on a flat surface.”

Looking at his colorful creations, it’s clear the artist has command of the medium.

Since retiring from the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences in 2012, Brand has been painting full time. His work primarily features landscape scenery.

“Landscape paintings are my joyous response to all the color and light in the visible world,” Brand said. “My goal is to capture the ever-changing beauty of the landscape in paintings with bold, simple compositions. Boldness comes from painting with a large brush, combining strong value contrasts and dominant color themes.

“I strive to place each brushstroke in the right place the first time so that the finished work shows the hand of the artist.”

Dr. Paul Brand beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 2008

Dr. Paul Brand beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 2008

Growing up in New York City, Brand was exposed to art at an early age. He recalled being dragged as a child past all the famous Rembrandt and Vermeer paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Two 19th-century painters served as great influences on Brand’s art: John Singer Sargent for his brushwork and Winslow Homer for his use of color.

Brand said he relishes the hunt of finding the next great scene to paint and getting lost in his work.

“I love being in the middle of a painting,” he said. “It’s about finding the natural composition and then putting down the paint; it’s almost a manual thing.”

And it’s natural that he would find himself teaching again, this time teaching workshops and classes on watercolor, acrylic, oil and pastel painting. For nearly 20 years, Brand has spent the majority of Sunday afternoons leading watercolor classes at the Toledo Museum of Art.

Brand will be among more than 100 artists featured in UT’s Art on the Mall juried show, which will take place Sunday, July 27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Centennial Mall on Main Campus.

“I was very pleased to be accepted into Art on the Mall,” Brand said. “I submitted watercolor and acrylic, which is where I have most of my work, and I got into both. It’s nice when you get an affirmation like that.”

Brand’s paintings have won more than 30 awards, including three Best of Show honors, at the Parkwood Gallery, the Toledo Artists’ Club, the Northwest Ohio Watercolor Society Annual and Fifth Third Bank Show.

He was juried into the Northern Ohio Watercolor Society and has served on the boards of the Toledo Artists’ Club and Spectrum Friends of Fine Art.

Stop by Art on the Mall to meet Brand and check out his award-winning work, and visit

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