Paul Maxwell's recent paintings draw from a visual vocabulary which has evolved through fifty years of his use of several different painting media. He now works, primarily, with acrylic paints, which can be used as transparent watercolor, as gouache, or for relief painting, when combined with acrylic modeling paste.
Insight into Maxwell's message can be gained by following the development of his use of an overall screen of lines in much of his painting. Explaining "all of those lines in the sky" of one of his paintings, the artist told a 1950's audience, "I paint what I see, in the sense that I see everything, sky included, through a veil of knowledge. I know, and you know, that the sky is not just empty space. It is filled with invisible energies and forces such as gravity, Earth's magnetic field, infrared radiation and x-rays. I use a field of lines to symbolize the energies and forces that I know to be there".
Eventually, the "field of lines" became the primary content of Maxwell's
paintings. A grid composed of vertical and horizontal lines is "a field
of coordinates, symbols of measurement". A field of waves connotes an
energy field. Much of Maxwell's work can rightly be called "structured