I still remember the evenings of my childhood watching my father work on his art. He was a painter, a sculptor, a carver… even carving his own frames.. and a model maker of the planes he repaired during the war. He enjoyed making things that either told a story or reflected his past. I wish I could describe the sights and sounds of his work, but rattling of the memories is like fireflies of a summers evening… too many to count. One thing that proved true in all of his work is that quality and patience would always prevail over time and labor. Witnessing his patience as a child would honestly drive me mad. There were only two things I sounded like a broken record about… “Are we there yet!?” and “Are you done yet!?”

I learned so many things about the man through his art… his life growing up in the depression, fighting in a war that we have not seen the likes of since, but most importantly perseverance. I think the latter is a result and fruit of the preceding two. I also remember the lifelong words of this man, a veteran of war that made these words his creed… “It takes a stronger man to build than a man who would destroy”.

Photography has always been a challenge for me. I want to touch… I want to feel. With photography you can only create with your eyes and a lens. Honestly that one thing has become a love hate relationship for me. It has, however done two things for me. One, to think deeper and simpler about the image I capture and the story I create. Two, a reminder of my father’s patience… to never give up, finding a way to bring my desire to feel the image through texture to life.

I always smile when someone asks me… “Is this a photograph or a painting?”

My response… “It is neither…. it is a story.”

I love the past. I love my family. I love my country. I love art. Most importantly I love my Maker. The things I create are not me… not my voice, but a collective spirit of my stories, my parent’s stories, the stories told to them by their parents, the stories such as the Book of Ruth and Letters from Paul. They are a collective of simply being and what the collision of time and life bring.

I guess I could sum my thoughts up in this quote by CS Lewis… “Every poet and musician and artist, but for grace, is drawn away from love of the things he tells to love of the telling…”

The result of my work is simply the opportunity to share.

May I tell you a story?…..


_DSC4493(“Ruth” Paul Ernest, 2014, Texture Study)
_DSC4499(Carved Bowl, DeWitt Ernest II, 1963)
_DSC4491(Frame Detail)
_DSC4507(Carved Box, DeWitt Ernest II, 1961)


Paul Ernest Visual Storyteller

1 Comment On This Topic
  1. Melissa V
    September 8, 2015

    Beautifully said

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