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“His pencils were put to rest for the next 55 years!”


by Jeremy Rowland

Throughout history boredom has driven kids to do some pretty stupid things. Many a forest has burned and window been broken by young boys with too much time and too little stimulation. Fortunately, when 12-year-old Paul Dufault grew tired of moping around his aunt’s home during summer vacation, he headed to the local library.

There he stumbled upon a book on drawing faces and decided it may be just what he needed to pass the time. He took the book home and quickly found that he actually enjoyed drawing. Engrossed in his artwork, he lost track of time and before he knew it, his parents had returned to take him home. It wasn’t long after his parents’ return that art took a backseat to more familiar pastimes. Baseball and bike riding took precedence, the library book was returned, and his pencils were put to rest for the next 55 years.

During this time, Paul taught computer sciences until retiring to start a construction company. In 2008 he sold the construction business and decided to retire for good. This time he turned his attention to golf. However, in Rhode Island, where Paul currently lives, golf becomes a little less enjoyable during the winter months.

Two and a half years ago, during his winter interlude from golf, a thought popped into his head. For reasons unknown, he remembered that summer spent with his aunt many years before. He remembered how he had enjoyed spending his time drawing and wondered if it would still appeal to him after all these years. Paul went online, stumbled upon Darrel Tank’s 5-Pencil Method drawing tutorials, and decided to give them a try.

A Drawing Paul did of his wife.

This time drawing stuck! For the past two years, Paul has been developing his drawing skills. It has become a daily therapy session. A chance to sit and lose himself in the portrait drawing process. He now credits drawing daily with improving his memory and keeping his mind active.

Paul’s goal is simple—continue to improve. His journey as an artist has been a bit unconventional, but who says you have to follow convention? Paul’s initial discovery as a child, the years away from art, and his recent return have all contributed to his artistic vision today. His advice to anyone interested in art is simply to pick up the pencil and paper and just do it!

That’s great advice from another proud supporter of art, and yet another reason for you to stop making excuses! Whether you’ve dabbled in art since childhood or you’re considering it for the first time, there has never been a better time than now to act on your dreams.

So, you’ve just heard Paul’s story. We want to hear yours! Leave us a comment below and tell us a little bit about your journey as an artist.

You can view more of Paul's work at

Jeremy Rowland is editor for Senior Artist magazine and Director of Media Development at Happy Brain, Inc. He is a connoisseur of edible foods, an avid day dreamer, and has a hard time passing up an art museum.

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