Contemporary Art

The Artist and the Art

British American artist Paul Seftel creates contemporary abstract paintings using archival hand made paints with pure pigment and minerals. These organic abstract textural artworks are inspired by the Earth, the elements, forces of nature, waves of light and time, and the ocean of space. Paul Seftel's studio is opposite the Monterey Bay Aquarium at the American Tin Cannery, Pacific Grove, CA.


Constant traveller, Seftel has lived all across the US for the last 25 years and is originally from London. Settling in California a few years ago, Paul Seftel's studio is currently in a huge old cannery warehouse at the edge of Cannery Row, Monterey Bay.

Capturing the deepest parts of the ocean and space, Paul's work with light, color and texture fuse emotion with observation of earth changes, epiphanies as forces of nature and meditative self realization into painting. Exploring marks of nature from lightning strikes to ocean coral, the underlying structures of how the world has been created emerge.  Evoking memories of dreams, emotions and spiritual experience, the work explores and reflects our emotions connected to our changing landscape.

This collection of paintings is a collaboration of art and nature. Filtering romantic and mystical influences present in the history of art, literature and nature into 21st century abstract expressionism, the artist is the medium, and each work is a shamanic act. Created in observation of the light of the moment the paintings are not merely objects, but metaphysical states where a transformative art form has manifested.  An artifact of time, the layers are built, added and subtracted over a period of weeks and months. Beyond what is lost and what is found, what is left behind is all that remains.  A journey and map of experience, understanding, accumulated knowledge and expertise merge with happy accidents and sensitivity to the moment. Always an experiment, when a new painting is born, it is an artifact of an ephemeral state, known as 'the unfolding way'.

Using abstract expressionist and action painting techniques, there's gravity, alchemy and magic at work in the textural surface of the canvas. Earth changes, mineral mining, desert, ocean and space exploration and self realization, are all conveyed in these topographic colorfields and elemental landscapes. The language of color and texture is seen close up and at a great distance, and perhaps even something becomes awakened within us, offering a glimpse of our place in the universe. 

Paul was an artist in NYC for nearly a decade, painting, exhibiting and running studios and project spaces in Brooklyn and Manhattan. He spent earlier years living in Colorado, New Mexico and Los Angeles, after leaving school in London and University in Edinburgh.

Along the way Seftel has created many commissioned custom large scale interior spaces, written a couple of books, and worked with film / video art and production. His original works are in private collections, from world renowned musicians, composers, fashion people, moguls, lawyers, tech entrepreneurs and other wonderfully inspired wizards and matriarchs of discernment.

To find out more, purchase work, visit the studio etc call or text Paul at 970 376 1577

 Paul Seftel Studio at American Tin Cannery, Monterey Peninsula, California

Paul Seftel Studio at American Tin Cannery, Monterey Peninsula, California

 Paul Seftel Studio at the American Tin Cannery, opposite the Monterey Bay Aquarium, CA, 2017.

Paul Seftel Studio at the American Tin Cannery, opposite the Monterey Bay Aquarium, CA, 2017.


2003 - 2004 School of Applied Arts, Denver CO
1993 - 1995 Edinburgh University & Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland
1987- 1992  University College School, London


2016 American Tin Cannery, Artist Residency, California
2010 Kalulau Artist Residency, Hawaii
2009 David and Julia White Artist Residency, Costa Rica
2009 Red 03 Galleria, Artist Residency Barcelona
2008 SVA Public Art Summer Residency NYC
2004 Artist Residency, Vail CO
2002 Globeville Studios Artist in Residence, Denver CO
2000 New Buffalo Artist in Residence, Taos NM



Process in Progress,  Artist collab w/ Hector Dio Mendoza, Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey CA, 2018

Art Hamptons, Davidson Art Advisory, Bridgehampton Museum NY 2017

Meaning Made Visible, Cherry Center for the Arts, Carmel CA 2017

Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series, The Midway, San Francisco 2016

Land + Earth, Alex Ray Projects, Nido Living, San Francisco 2016

San Francisco Decorators Showcase 2016

Art Santa Fe, NM, Decker Fine Arts July 2015

Scope NYC, Titled Projects March 2015

AAF Hamburg, Thomas and Paul Gallery 2013

An Abstract View, Thomas & Paul Gallery, London  2013

Beautifully Broken, Projekt NYC @ Von Lounge 2013

Holographic Light lounge, Tasmania, 2013

The Traces, PS Project Space, NYC, 2013

Young Collectors Exhibit, Leila Heller Gallery; NYC 2012-13

'Global Positioning System' SVA gallery, NYC; 2012

Traveling Light, PSPS, NYC, 2012,

'Its a small small world,' Family Business, NYC; 2012

The Four Elements, PS Project Space , NYC, 2012

Benefit for Ai Wei Wei, White Box, NYC; 2012

'No Comment' Loft in the Red Zone, 23 Wall St, NYC; 2011

Geronimo Intervention -The Armory Fairs NYC- VOLTA, Pulse, ADAA, 2011

RHM Benefit, Marianne Boesky Gallery, NYC 2011

CFDA Council of Fashion Designers of America Lounge Exhibit, NYC, 2010

Alliance for the Arts Auction, Christies, NYC 2010

Art Santa Fe; Volume Black Gallery NYC 2010

'That Gallery' Hong Kong, 2010

Seven Seas Gallery, Nantucket, MA 2010

KiptonArt Santa Monica CA, 2010

Red03 Galleria Barcelona, Spain 2010 

Artists for Dalai Lama, Frankfurt Germany, 2009

Lana Santorelli Gallery NYC 2009

AFI Times Sq Building, United Creators, NYC; 2009

Bang & Olufsen, United Creators, NYC Frankfurt & Istanbul 2009

SVA Public Art Residency Exhibit, NYC, 2008

Paper works’BJ Spoke Gallery, Huntington NY 2008

B & O Munich, United Creators,Frankfurt: Istanbul. 2008

Finding lost Time’ NYC Art in Odd Places. 2008

Lana Santorelli Gallery NYC, 2008

Broadfoot and Broadfoot Gallery, NYC 2007

Kolok Gallery, North Adams, MA 2007

Soke Fine Art. Vail CO 2006

Solo shows

8th St Exhibits, NYC 2017

Launch, Astra Space, Alameda, CA 2017

ATC Studio, Monterey CA 2016

Bushwick Open Studios 2014, NYC

Light from a Stone, PS Project Space NY NY 2012

Color Shift, Baco Projects, Brooklyn NY 2012

The Ninth Wave, PS Project Space NY NY 2011

Alchemical Skins, Baco Projects, Brooklyn NY 2010

Post History - PS Project Space NY NY 2010

Totems, Red03 Gallery, Barcelona Spain 2009

Pigment and Patina, Midoma Gallery, NY, NY 2007

Soke Fine Art, Vail Valley, CO 2006

Globeville Studios, Denver CO 2005, 2004, 2003, 

Woburn Gallery, London WC1 2001

The Engineer, London NW1 2001