Artist and designer Paul Montgomery draws upon a lifetime of inspiration to transform walls with an expanding repertory of murals and wallpapers. The artist shares news of his exciting new endeavor, The Mural Source, with MILIEU’s Style and Market Editor, Lucy Bamman.
Beginning in his teenage years, Paul Montgomery has been exploring various genres in his artwork—from classical European landscapes to Asian scenes of nature. By imitating and reinterpreting these venerable themes, Montgomery has cultivated a keen interest in color and design, earning him recognition as an important artist with an original vision.
It all began when Montgomery’s father gave him, as a boy, a book about Chinoiserie painting. A chance commission at the ripe old age of fifteen to paint a mural for a private residence ignited Montgomery’s love for painting large works today as an adjunct artist to interior decorators. By the age of twenty, Paul regularly received commissions for a wide range of projects—from painted ceilings to Asian screens. Eventually, he began to form a business model, too, for his art. He refers to a specific moment in his career, a realization that struck him with the force of an epiphany: that people would pay for art that wasn’t sold in a gallery or hung in a frame. “Ah ha!,” Paul said to himself. “I can paint what I love and make a living doing it.” Over the years, as Montgomery developed his techniques, his paintings have become imbued with a sense of history and nostalgia, yet remain modern at the same time. History, of course, repeats itself, and this is especially true in design.
Upon moving to Los Angeles, Montgomery secured significant commissions, creating artworks for celebrities’ homes and hotels around the world. His growing business required him to recruit other like-minded artists to join his team, who would often travel to cities and countries to paint on site to install the large murals that had been painted in the LA studio. But the cost of sending an artist and his team to a project can be prohibitive for an interior designer’s client.
Montgomery responded to this problem by adding to his business handcrafted, hand-painted wall coverings that could be installed on site by a professional wallpaper hanger, thus keeping costs manageable. This opened yet another door for Montgomery. After he advertised his services (and talent) in design magazines, showrooms around the world took notice and asked to represent the Paul Montgomery Studio, leading to far greater sales than would have been possible with artists painting on site. The company has since embraced the technology of high-quality digital prints, which perfectly reproduce the studio’s hand-painted murals, and answer the resurgent and growing interest in the interior design industry for classic wallpaper designs like Chinoiserie, Panoramic, and hand-block printed styles.
Today, the Paul Montgomery Studio has gone one step further with the introduction of his most recent endeavor, The Mural Source, which allows most custom hand-painted mural sales to be done through on-line showroom interactions. The Mural Source offers more than two hundred and fifty mural options, as well as framed art pieces and wallpaper panels from the company’s Studio P collections. These designs include repeating damasks, modern patterns, and adventurous reinterpretations of designs originally found in Ottoman textiles, the French Art Deco period, and more.
While the studio still offers their custom hand-painted murals on silk, tea paper, and metal leaf grounds, the advent of print technology has allowed the company to introduce hundreds of mural patterns at much lower prices for their clientele, which also includes hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs.
In business now for fifty years, Paul Montgomery Studio continues to create exceptional murals and wallpapers to complement interiors. Whether digitally printed or hand-painted on silk, Paul Montgomery’s art tells a compelling story that lives on.
For more information, please visit themuralsource.com.
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WRITTEN BY LUCY BAMMAN
Images courtesy of The Mural Source by Paul Montgomery