Conley Family Estate Collection (a rare opportunity to purchase original watercolors by this renown Indiana artist)
Paul J Sweany was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, and was a multi-talented renaissance man. He received a B.F.A. from John Herron School of Art in 1951. Paul was a prolific artist, best known for his transparent* watercolor paintings, although he was well versed and excelled in nearly every visual art form. His career included over 75 solo exhibitions, with over 200 awards. His artwork can be found in corporate and private collections the world over. “Wingin’ In” (Conley Family Collection) received the Best Indiana Painting award for the Pan American Games, a major international multi-sport event held in Indianapolis in 1987.
Paul was an enthusiastic instructor of art and art history, teaching at John Herron School of Art, Marian College, the Indianapolis Arts Center (formerly the Indianapolis Art League) and Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center (Bloomington). The IAC held a lifetime multi-media retrospective of his artwork in 2001, which was the largest one-person showing they had ever hosted. The exhibit filled every gallery and hallway in the facility with hundreds of his works of art, including watercolors, oils, ceramics, enamel jewelry, intaglio, lithography, pen & ink, pencil, dry brush ink, silkscreen, photography and a book of his poetry.
Paul met his wife, Margaret, in the late 1940’s, when they were both students at John Herron School of Art (Indianapolis). Together they raised four daughters, who have each pursued careers in the arts. Paul and Margaret were best known as wild life artists, and spent the summer of 1990 as Artists in Residence (watercolor and sculpture) at Eagle Creek Park, Indianapolis.
Paul spent over forty years leading art history students and enthusiasts on tours throughout Europe, sharing his encyclopedic knowledge and deep love for the Italian Renaissance. Over years of travelling together, Paul and Margaret captured their appreciation for art, architecture and European landscapes on canvas, paper and film.
Paul was an avid nature lover and environmentalist, as is evident in his masterful artwork, as well as his lifelong hobbies of raising orchids and bird watching. Paul saw beauty in even the most-subtle and overlooked details which were depicted so skillfully in his intricate watercolor paintings.
*Note: "transparent watercolor" means that the white you see, is the white of the paper. Whites are not applied as an opaque pigment. It is especially skillful to paint in this capacity.