Best known for his skill with pencil in detailed drawings of western art subjects, especially mountain men during the fur trade era, Paul Calle was born in New York City.
In 1947, he attended at age nineteen and was much taken with the figure work of Thomas Hart Benton. He also learned woodcut techniques from Lynd Ward and the effect of sinewy lines from Ben Shahn. Ever-working in black and white until he became a painter of western subjects, he was an illustrator for McCalls, Saturday Evening Post, National Geographic,and Fortune.
He became official artist of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Fine Art Program and designed the "First Man on the Moon" stamp for the United States Postal Service. He also illustrated for the Department of the Interior, which led to many western paintings.
His technique is to create a buildup of lines to create his figures, creating a soft, air-like effect.
He lives in Stamford, Connecticut, and is the author of The Pencil, recently into its sixth printing and first published in 1974.
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Navarro College, Corsicana, Texas. Site last updated January 2004.