During his early career as a furniture designer with the Greater London Council Paul lived in London. Working on the South Bank, London and the Thames had always played a part in Paul’s life. Joining the Wapping Group of Artists in 1995 provided Paul with ample opportunity to paint the river, including many happy days spent in the capital. London and its streets are always evolving, a fact captured in his work which documents the changing city skyline and loss of working industrial life on the river.
Writing in The Wapping Group of Artists, Sixty years of painting by the Thames (2005), Paul described how he dealt with painting the river plein air:
“When I’m standing there in the mud, with the tide coming in or going out, and the light constantly changing, I can put up with a hot sun or the rain, because I’m working to capture the reality of the river at that moment. For me the challenge is to paint whatever exists today, and to know that I’m recording the changing nature of the river and the way which people use it. I have to paint it warts and all, and not how are used to be with a veneer of nostalgia. The Thames poses so many challenges and as I choose my subject matter, I am conscious of what will work in the morning, all the way the light will fall in the late afternoon or early evening, and of how to capture the whole atmosphere before me.”