Paul Calle is a master of both the oil painting and the pencil drawing with few contemporary artists having attained greater mastery of the pencil than Calle, for which he earned his title “The Master of the Pencil.” His drawings - often very large - show incredible control and sensitivity; they have the quality of fine etchings. Calle's oil paintings, finely detailed panoramic landscapes of the majestic West, often take several years to complete.
In 1962, he was chosen by the National Gallery of Art as an official artist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and in 1969 Calle’s “First Man on the Moon” postage stamp had a run of 150 billion. Calle has made a personal commitment to portray America's past with the same sense of history that guided his hand in depicting our nation's space explorations as an artist for NASA’s Fine Art Program. Calle's artwork is in the permanent collections of numerous prestigious institutions including The National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Washington, D.C., The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Department of the Interior. His drawings and paintings have been widely exhibited in the United States as well as in the Soviet Union, Sweden and Poland.
He still paints in the converted hayloft of a big red barn in Stamford, CT. and is surrounded there by Western gear, garb, and guns that come from the regular sketching and photographing trips he takes. Paul Calle records the past with his sights set on the future. Calle says, "If I had to state a goal, a hope pertaining to my work, my aim would be to help keep alive that huge reservoir of our past, to draw strength and sustenance from it and build upon it in ways that are new and different, but not to reject it."
Paul Calle is an artist whose work reflects the dramatic era of America's western heritage as well as the one in which he lives. His portrayal of the West is not as a romantic adventure but as a realistic challenge. His magnificent art portrays the human spirit, paying tribute to the trailblazers - those largely forgotten and unsung heroes, the North American trappers of the early 1800s. His art celebrates their quiet courage and rugged dignity amid the frontier wilderness. He paints man in relation to his environment, moments when man pauses, alone, to consider his surroundings. His painstaking attention to detail involves hours of research, collecting historic artifacts and retracing the footsteps of his subjects, all before committing the scene to pencil on paper or oil on panel.