Born at Table Rock, Madison County, Ohio, on 23 March 1865, Paul Sawyier lived in Frankfort, Kentucky as a young man. He studied painting with Thomas S. Noble at the Cincinnati Art School in 1884, and was a student of William Merritt Chase at the New York Art Students League from 1889-1890. He returned to Covington, Kentucky, and studied for a year under Frank Duveneck. Some of Sawyier's paintings represented the state of Kentucky at the Columbian Exhibition of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. In 1908 while living at Frankfort, the artist moved aboard a houseboat on the Kentucky River, which served as his home and traveling studio until 1913. Moving up and down the river, Sawyier painted views of Camp Nelson, Shakertown, and other river towns and locales, photographical local scenes which he later used to create paintings. In 1913 Sawyier moved to Brooklyn, New York, and two years later settled in the Catskill Mountain towns of High Mount and Fleischmanns. There, with the aid of his photographs, he continued to paint impressionist Kentucky landscapes until his death on 8 November 1917. Sawyier created as many as 3,000 original paintings during his life. In his early years he was a watercolorist and painted some portraits but the majority of his mature works were landscapes executed in oils.
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