Mexico 1970-1992

When Paul and Virginia moved to Guadalajara, Mexico in 1970, he was 57 years old. No longer receiving financial security from a permanent job, retired and now having to provide for his wife and daughter, Claudia, through a pension and selling his paintings, he had reached a turning point in his life.

He spent the first 18 months living in the Yuca Trailer Park in an ‘enhanced’ shack set upon a 36′ x 8′ trailer patio. Where the trailer would set he had a tent built for painting.  Living in perfect weather, for $50 a month rent, playing tennis every day and all the fruit you could eat was his idea of paradise. His wife had other thoughts.

The New York Times, wrote a full editorial in the Sunday edition on their new lifestyle: “In a Trailer Park, Camraderie and Peace”New York Times, 19 December 1971 p.62

Yuca Trailer Park, Guadalajara, Mexico, 1969

Yuca Trailer Park, Guadalajara, Mexico, 1969

Paul worked exclusively in watercolor those first months, planning many of the designs he later used in larger works.

There is no denying his vision had been enriched by the bright lights and tints peculiar to the Mexican tropics. Now colors added to his strong imaginative strain broke out in vibrant clean, aggressive patterns, as compared to the subdued colors of Germany where he lived for thirty years. In some of his paintings, transparent washes of color run freely over the surface. They are rhythmically combined in a modulation of anticipated musical scales.

Sometimes there are violent contrasts, making up compositions of reds, blues, greens, violets, browns, yellows, or ochres, which are released from all formal allusions.