"The distinctiveness of Paul’s paintings lies in their transitions from element to element and in the evolution of techniques visible within each work: each piece is unique but still related to the others in this series through the contradiction of a flattened surface that yields surprising depth." - Jonathan Goodman

John Lyon Paul was born 1943 in Ossining, NY, and lives near Ithaca in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Paul received a BA in English Literature from Hamilton College in 1965. Paul began to make artworks in the 1970s, at the same time that he began to practice meditation. These two practices, one active and the other receptive, have anchored and informed his creative life, resulting in a large and innovative output of artworks. Entirely self-taught, Paul is presently the master of many materials and divides his time equally between painting and sculpting in the solitude of his studio. 


John Lyon Paul has had solo exhibitions throughout the United States including the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum, IA;  the Anderson Museum of Art, IN; Lederer Gallery, SUNY, Geneseo; Wells College and Hamilton College and in numerous galleries throughout the U.S. In 2010 he was the Featured Artist of the "Conflict and Visual Culture Project" at the Solomon Asch Center, Bryn Mawr, PA and in 2011 he was selected for the NYFA MARK professional artist program.


"Paul, who displays deep concern for his fellow men, has made spirituality the unspoken center of his art. His capacity for empathy is large and informs the creation of the paintings, which are done on the back of the side of the glass facing the viewer."

John Lyon Paul's early figurative sculptures were executed in the 70s; these works were directly carved in wood or hammered in metal. In 1982, John took a vow of silence during the seven months it took to make the sculpture Vow of Silence. Since that time his sculptures have taken on new, more abstract forms so that the work might embrace the areas of his explorations. Recent sculptures can be thought of as imaginative and spiritual resources--what the artist calls "tools for releasing, centering, and healing."  Among the works produced to meet these needs are two, large, interactive sculptures: Many Thousands Gone, and Nagasaki Prayerwheel.  Videos about these two works as well as images of other sculptures and paintings can be seen on his website.


In the late 1980s, Paul had a visionary dream in which he found himself holding a Mason jar. Curious as to its contents, he unscrewed the lid, which released a flood of colorful butterflies. The next day he began to paint. Since that time he has made several hundred paintings. Paul's use of color and line with their pulse, vibration, and rhythms clearly emerges from the kinesthetic awareness evident in his sculptures. But unlike his sculptures, which engage us in the actual world, the world of three dimensions, his paintings draw us into their imagined realms.  A journey through the 100-painting Pilgrimage series (1996-2001) unfolds like a new visual language. Subsequent series (Oracle, Mirage, Templates for Another Life) lead to his Meditation Shawls (2003-9). Here the viewer is asked to use each "shawl" as an entry point to meditation, as well as to imaginatively wrap her/his body in that shawl during the inner journey experienced along the way.


Since 2010, Paul has been working on a series of paintings: Spun From Light, Woven In Silence.  Now numbering over one hundred paintings, these innovative works are painted "in reverse" on the back of plate glass or clear Mylar. Paul says that these radiant paintings "grow like crystals." They act like lenses into mysterious environments that the viewer can explore, first drawn and then released by the pulse of color and energy of line.  Within these paintings "abstraction" gives way to "freedom" as we surround ourselves with pulsing energies that are almost musical.  The multi-textured results are extraordinarily fresh, immediate, and luminescent.  


His work has been viewed in solo exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the United States, as well as in major juried and invitational group exhibitions, and is also included in numerous private collections; additionally Paul has received public recognition through awards and affiliations. 


•Art Buzz, The 2012 Collection: [JURIED] Art Buzz Publishing Company, Dunedin, FL

•Art Buzz, The 2013 Collection: [JURIED] Art Buzz Publishing Company, Dunedin, FL

•ARTSCENE WSKG-TV, Binghamton, N. Y. July 1983: (Televised Interview)

•Bogadottir, Johanna. "Mannlif og list gegn stridi,"  Fimmtudagur/ Morgunbladid, Iceland, 4/17/2003.

•Bowman, Stan. "Open Invite," Ithaca Times, Jan. 10, 2001.

•,"Kitchen Theatre Gallery Presents John Lyon Paul's Pilgrimage”9/25/13

•Bumgardner, George. "New Talents at State of the Art," The Ithaca Journal, Jan. 13, 1994.

•Barnard, G. William, Living Consciousness, , SUNY Press, Albany, NY 2011 (Cover Art)

•Chaisson, Bill & Glynis Hart "Shin Hollow Radio Interview," WVBR-FM, Nov. 17, 2013

•Conquer, Brad.  “Interview on the Light Fantastic Show at Crary Gallery,” YouTube 8/2012

•DeDominick, Allison, “The Work of John Lyon Paul: Art and the Meditative Touch,” What’s HOT Magazine, July 2013, Cortland, NY

•Epoch, Volume 19, Number 5, 2000 Series, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (cover artwork reproduction)

•Ferry, Brian, "At The Crary: Two Artists converge" Warren,PA "Times Observer," 9/29/2012

•Friswell, Richard J.,  “Connecticut's Housatonic Museum’s Eclectic Landscape Exhibition,” Artes Magazine, 3/11/2018

•Hart, Glynis,  “Art From a Deep Place,” Ithaca Times & Finger Lakes Newspapers, July 2012

•Hart, Glynis & Bill Chaisson, "Shin Hollow Radio Interview," WVBR-FM, July 15, 2012

•Ithaca Journal: Ticket. "John Lyon Paul at CSMA" May 4, 2000

•Lindquist, Kenneth. "Summer Sculpture Show,"  The Column, Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, New York. Summer 1983

•Miller, Valerie & Carrie Barrett, "String Room News," The Onyx (Wells College, Aurora, NY) Dec. 2000.

•Nahas, Dominique, “Resonance and Memory: the Essence of Landscape,” darte International, Vol. 18, No. 1, Summer/Fall 2015

•Perlgut, Sue, "Cruising the Art Trail: 3 interviews", PEGASYS PRESENTS, Episode 40, Fall 2015, P.E.G.A.S.Y.S. TV, Ithaca, NY

•River Art: 2010 Susquehanna International Art Competition, © Sudbury Press. 2011

•Sawyer, Paul,  "A Plea for Mercy in a Time of War,"  The Bookpress, Vol. 12, No. 6, October 2002, Ithaca, New York.

•Sawyer, Paul.  "The Laughter at the Heart of Being; The Art of John Lyon Paul," The Bookpress, Vol. 12, No. 1, Feb. 2002, Ithaca, New York.

•Schneider, Vanessa. “Instrument of Peace," The Ithacan, Vol.72, Issue 19, Feb. 17, 2005, Ithaca, NY

•Whitman, Arthur, "Abstraction and Glass: Local artist dazzles in new forms," Ithaca Times, Vol . XXXVII, No.8, Oct. 20, 2016, Ithaca, NY

•Yahn, Fred, "Visions; John Paul at the Arnot Museum," The Ithaca Journal, July 29, 1983.

•Zellars, Rachel “Pilgrim’s Progress," The Ithaca Times, May 24-30, 2000.

Virtual exhibition