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Paul Grant

Painter

As a Michigan native, Paul Grant has spent the greater part of the last four decades living and painting in Marquette. While Grant is best known for his watercolors, he also works in oil and charcoal. Raised by a preacher, Grant jokes that he often spent his time in church drawing pictures – the clergy didn’t pique his interest like art did. With his talent driving him, Grant briefly went to an art college downstate before setting out on his travels across the U.S. He took dozens of jobs before returning to Michigan and settling in Marquette, a place where his work is a staple.

Like many artists, Grant had a mentor. Forty years Grant’s senior, John Voelker took the artist under his wing – exploring the U.P., fishing, camping. More important, Voelker encouraged Grant in his painting, and as a testament to their friendship, and to Grant’s talent, the artist has completed dozens of paintings of Voelker.

What began as a suggestion by a mutual friend of both Grant and Brian Cabell’s turned into an insightful and alluring collaboration – one that joins together painting and the written word. Once Grant and Cabell realized they shared a vision, they set out to begin their newest undertaking: a book that would feature Grant’s paintings and Cabell’s descriptions. Grant would collect some of his best known paintings over the last four decades, paint a few new ones, and Cabell would write about them, explaining how they reflected what the U.P. and what Yoopers are all about. What took place for the next seven months was a meeting of the minds. Grant and Cabell got together nearly every week at the Landmark Inn’s Northland Pub, over beer and coffee, and discussed the paintings. Cabell scribbled down his notes, then wrote the stories that accompany each of the more than eighty paintings in the book. The result is Portrait, a beautiful look into the U.P., the place and its people.

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